The Team

Julia Lagahuzère

Co-founder / General Director

Working at the highest level, Julia Lagahuzère was previously Deputy Casting Director of Opéra National de Paris in the two theatres of Opéra de Bastille and Palais Garnier. She is currently artistic consultant to the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Norway. Julia has a passion for finding and helping to nurture young talent, and established a concert series in order to strengthen relations between the QSMIC and the top international young artist programs; notably in collaboration with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

She has previously worked at the San Francisco Opera, Scottish Opera and Opéra de Limoges. She is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Sussex University, a musicology scholarship recipient at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Masters degree in Opera and Visual Performing Arts from King’s College London, in collaboration with the BBC Proms.

Dmitry Vdovin

Co-founder / Artistic Director

Founder and artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre Young Artist Program since 2009, Dmitry Vdovin is hailed as the world’s leading vocal coach. He was artistic director and teacher at the Moscow International School of Vocal Art which made it possible for leading opera teachers and specialists from Russia, USA, Italy, Germany and Great Britain to come to Moscow to work with the most talented young singers.

He has also been resident guest teacher at the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Program (HGO Studio) and Opernhaus Zürich. He is regularly asked to serve as a jury member on international music competitions. Among his students are leading soloists in the greatest opera houses, such as the Bolshoi La Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, amongst others.

Paolo Petrocelli

Co-founder / Director of Institutional Relations & International Affairs

Paolo Petrocelli, PhD, serves as the Cultural and Music Diplomacy Officer for the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. He has become a leading member of some of the most prestigious international organizations, including the United Nations, UNESCO, and the World Economic Forum. He is also the Co-Founder and Honorary President of the Italian Youth Association for UNESCO.

As a Music Diplomacy Ambassador, he serves in institutional roles to forge bonds through music in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the US. Mr. Petrocelli is the founder and President of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy for Peace).

Former Board member at Rome Opera House, he is a Board Member at Opera Lebanon,  International Advisor at Royal Opera House Muscat and Cultural Advisor for Coldplay, the multi Grammy award-winning British band.

Jenna Wolf

Co-founder / Development and Communications Consultant

With more than ten years of experience working in the performing arts, Jenna Wolf brings a devoted passion for music and diversity in the arts to her many endeavors. She is currently the Publicity and Digital Media Manager at Lenny’s Studio, a renowned female-founded international public relations and digital firm, which collaborates with an acclaimed roster of artists and performing arts organizations. Previously, she worked in Development and External Relations for Minnesota Opera, and has consulted on fundraising and communications strategies with a number of arts organizations throughout the continental United States.

Jenna was an inaugural member of Arts Midwest’s Future Leaders Network, and served on the board of the Tempo Young Professionals Organization. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree (Horn Performance) from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and a Master’s degree in Music (Horn Performance) from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Kamal Khan

Co-founder / Artistic and Musical Advisor

Kamal Khan combines a passionate commitment to the globalization of operatic training with an active career as a recitalist and conductor. He was the Director of the Opera School at the University of Cape Town for nearly a decade, where he took students starting from their late teens and prepared them to win top prizes in such prestigious competitions as the Belvedere International, Montserrat Caballe Competiton, OPERALIA, Neue Stimmen, and many others.

He is currently affiliated with the Royal Opera Covent Garden Jette Parker Young Artists Program, the iSING Operatic Training Festival in Suzhou, China, the Voices of South Africa Festival and Competition, and is Director of the Taller de Jovenes Cantantes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He has worked at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music in New York, Chautauqua School of Music, Ravinia Festival and Glimmerglass Opera. Kamal Khan is an active recitalist in leading international venues.

Sumi Jo, soprano

Advisor / UNESCO Artist for Peace

Praised for the remarkable agility, precision and warmth of her voice, and for her outstanding musicianship, Sumi Jo has established herself as one of her generation’s most sought-after sopranos. She is the highest-selling Classical singer in the world, with over 50 recordings to her credit, including a Grammy-winning Die Frau ohne Schatten with Sir Georg Solti for Decca London and Un Ballo in Maschera for Deutsche Grammophon under Herbert von Karajan. Sumi has performed at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, at the International Olympic Games in Beijing, and appeared, performing as herself, in the film ‘Youth’ by Paolo Sorrentino starring Michael Caine. Sumi’s performance of the film’s signature song, “Simple Song #3” won her an Oscar in the “Music – Original Song” category.

Upcoming plans include a concert tour with the English Concert in Korea and in Europe, judging the Glyndebourne Opera Cup, and numerous other international recitals and concerts. Born in Korea, Sumi Jo studied in her native country before enrolling in the Conservatory of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Her many prestigious awards include the international Puccini Award and First Prize at international competitions in Seoul, Naples, Enna, Barcelona, Pretoria and the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition in Verona. She was elected UNESCO ‘Artist for Peace’ in 2003.

Thomas Hampson, baritone

Advisor / Education & Technology Artist for Peace

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and inducted into both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” and a recipient of the famed Concertgebouw Prize, Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He was honored with a Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress, where he has served as Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America.

Hampson is an honorary professor at the University of Heidelberg, and holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Whitworth College, and San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France. He was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor in Arts and Sciences and the Hugo Wolf Medal. He is the Artistic Director of the Heidelberg Lied Academy, and collaborates with the Barenboim-Said Academy Schubert Week in Berlin each year.