March 9, 2019 – NEW YORK CITY – Matthew Laifer Artists Management presents the Opera Gala to tribute the genius composer Giuseppe Verdi. The incredible young, mid-career, and established artists will perform at the concert at the National Opera Center.

Natasha Novitskaia is a dramatic mezzo-soprano whose roles include Amneris (Taormina, Italy), Santuzza (Liderkranz Foundation, NYC), Fricka, Carmen (with NY Opera Forum), Principessa (Tuscia Opera Festival, Italy), Azucena (One World Symphony, NYC), to name a few. Along with that, she has been singing arias and duets in an array of concerts of high caliber such as Giuseppe Giacomini Gala in Carnegie Hall (2017), Mascagni Gala and the Closing Night Gala in Taormina, Italy (2018). She performed under the baton of such prominent conductors as Eve Quelle, Alberto Veronese, Everett McCorvey. Ms.Novitskaia is a finalist at the Altamura Caruso International Voice Competition and a prize winner in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition. In 2018, Ms.Novitskaia also performed at the Holiday Transformation opera concert produced by Lyric Seasons and RE:ARTISTE and at the Christmas Ball (Carnegie Hall) where she sang Carmen. In the upcoming season, she’s singing in concerts together with Francisco Casanova in Maestro Pier Miranda Ferraro Concert Series. She’s also on hold for a few productions in the USA and abroad.

Alla Perchikova is a dramatic soprano, relatively new to the United States. Ms. Perchikova is well-known in her native Russia and in Germany, her current residence, for interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana, Maria, and Lisa, Wagner’s Elsa, Venus, Freia, Gerhilde, Rossweisse, and Adriano (Rienzi), Verdi’s Amelia, Leonora (Il Trovatore and La forza del destino), and Lucrezia (I due Foscari), Leonore (Fidelio), and the title role in Rusalka. She has distinguished herself at the Marinsky Theater in “Stars of the White Nights” conducted by Valery Gergiev, New Israel Opera, Helikon-Opera, and Alte Oper Frankfurt among others.

Zoya Gramagin is a lirico-spinto soprano who has been praised for her beautiful, vibrant voice with characteristically warm Slavic colors, while maintaining a very Italianate sound. The Petersburg-Concert (Russia) called her a “true Verdian soprano, [with] fascinating richness of the voice and fiery musicality.” Her performances include Liza in Tschaikovsky’s “Queen of Spade” (Lowell House Opera at Harvard University), a guest artist at the annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Gala where she “wowed the crowd” of 4,000 with her “thrilling” interpretation of “Un bel di”. In Fall 2017, Ms. Gramagin became a finalist in the Altamura International voice competition in NYC. In Spring 2019 Zoya Gramagin is performing a lead role of Cio Cio San in Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly”, St.Petersburg Opera Company, Florida. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in Marketing. Using her musical, artistic, and organizational skills, Zoya founded and serves as Artistic Director of Lyric Seasons, an organization that produces an array of performance events that provide a platform for well-established and emerging artists to experiment with various music genres.

Jacqueline Quirk is a lirico-spinto soprano who is making her mark in the realms of operatic performance throughout the world as one of opera’s outstanding stars. She most recently made her Carnegie Hall Debut as a finalist in the International Verismo Opera Competition. She is celebrated as a leading interpreter for her roles as Mimi (La Boheme), Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly) and Nedda (I Pagliacci). After her return from a concert tour in Italy, Ms. Quirk’s upcoming engagements include many debuts. First starting with Opera Idaho, as Marguerite in Faust, then a return to Hawaii Opera as Ortlinde in Die Walkure, a debut with Opera Jacksonville as Micaela (Carmen), Mimi (La Bohème) with Miami Lyric Opera, and Nedda (I Pagliacci) in the Bechstein Concert Series at the Players Club in Gramercy Park, NYC. Jacqueline is set for numerous concert tours of her All American Concert “Of Thee I Sing” in New York, Florida, Hawaii.

Francisco Casanova is lyric tenor and a frequent guest artist at the major theaters of the world, appearing both at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall of New York, the Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Rome Opera Theater, Arena di Verona, the Concertgebuow (Amsterdam); the Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, the ABAO theatre of Bilbao, The Teatro Colóm of Buenos Aires, The Opera of Tel-Aviv, among many others. Francisco Casanova has received numerous awards and prizes around the world. His interpretations of operas by Giuseppe Verdi, of whom he has sung 20 titles, have been praised for their depth, as well as for his adherence to what has been defined as the Verdi Style. He has been called a generous tenor with a real verdian timbre by reviewers of major publications such as Il Corriere della Sera. Francisco Casanova’s recordings include the last opera of Amilcare Ponchielli, recorded for RADIO FRANCE, a collection of Latin American gems, Cuando se quiere de veras, and the recording Reflejos del Alma.

Mikhail Svetlov is a world-renowned bass whose international career began with a successful debut at the Wexford Festival in Ireland. He is a winner of Viotti International Competition and was nominated for a Grammy award and was also honored with two Telerama Awards on Le Chant du Monde for the world premiere of works by Rachmaninoff “Miserly Knight” and Serov “Judit”. A principal soloist of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow and Metropolitan Opera of New York he also has been an acclaimed guest the many of the world’s opera companies, festivals and orchestras having also performed at leading venues such as: Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Carnegie Hall, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg Staatsoper, Teatro Colón, Salzburg Landes Teater, Bregenz Festshpiel , Santa Fe Opera, Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, New York City Opera, San Diego, Florida Grand operas, Opera de Bellas Artes and many others.

Gustavo Ahualli is a baritone who is hailed for his rich and powerful voice. Mr. Ahualli has performed over 45 roles including Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Alfonso Xl in La Favorita, Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio and Tonio in I Pagliacci, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Germont in La Traviata, Posa in Don Carlo, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, title roles in Macbeth, Nabucco and Rigoletto, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Scarpia in Tosca, Michele in Il Tabarro, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, to name a few. Since his debut in the role of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Teatro San Martin in his native Tucumán, Argentina, Mr. Ahualli has sung at the iconic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires as well as other Argentinean venues such as Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Teatro Avenida for Buenos Aires Lírica and many others. In the United States he has sung with the Palm Beach Opera, Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera in the Heights in Houston TX, the New York Opera Society and many others. Recent performances include Dido and Aeneas at Teatro Isabel la Católica in Granada Spain, Escamillo in Carmen, Mario in La Leyenda del Beso, Germont in La Traviata, Juan en Los Gavilanes, Tony in The Most Happy Fella, Alfonso Xl in La Favorita, Silvio in I Pagliacci next to Jose Cura at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Operatic Recital next to Aprile Millo in Canada and recital tour next to Arianna Zuckerman.

Kristian Benedikt is a tenor who has built up a reputation as one of the leading international singers of Verdi’s Otello. He sang this role more than 100 times: at Wiener Staatsoper, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Mariinski Theatre in St. Petersburg, to name a few. Mr. Benedikt’s other roles include Jose in Lithuanian National Opera, Herman in Luzern Festival, Cavaradossi in Llangollen (Wales), Radames in Estonian National Opera, Dick Johnson in Trieste and Siegmund in Odense New Opera House. Highlights of the recent seasons are Don José (Carmen), Cavaradossi (Tosca), Samson (Samson et Dalila), Calaf (Turandot), Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly), Canio (I pagliacci), as well as roles like Eleazar (La juive), Manrico (Il trovatore), Dick Johanson (La fanciulla del West), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), the title roles in ”Andrea Chenier”, ”Ernani”, ”Rienzi”, ”Lohengrin” and Hoffmann in ”Les Contes d’Hoffmann” in Munich, Saint Petersburg, Santiago de Chile, Mexico, Beijing, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Tallinn, Barcelona, Bergamo, Palermo among others. Currently, you can enjoy Kristian Benedikt’s singing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City.

Craig Ketter is a pianist acclaimed for “transporting the listeners to extraordinary heights” and “into a world beyond time and space,” pianist Craig Ketter is known for playing with powerhouse sonority combined with long-lined, dulcet lyricism. Mr. Ketter has performed as soloist with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Mobile Symphony, the South Orange Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Durham Symphony, the Rocky Ridge Music Festival Orchestra, and the American Festival for the Arts Orchestra. His solo concerts have taken him to Mexico, Argentina, Barbados, France, Germany, Japan, and across the United States and Canada. Complementing his solo performances with collaborative ventures, Mr. Ketter regularly joins forces with international singers and chamber groups. Venues include NPR’s Performance Today series, CBS Sunday Morning, Sirius Satellite Radio, Carnegie Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall.


Press Release

Alla Perchikova, Craig Ketter, Natasha Novitskaia, Francisco Casanova, Jacqueline Quirk, Kristian Benedikt

Still the Best Dramatic Tenor, Giuseppe Giacomini

Some beautiful things stay the same through the span of a lifetime. The world’s best dramatic tenor Giuseppe Giacomini who was represented by Matthew Laifer back in the days retired many years ago and doesn’t go public now due to his illness. But his voice is still in minds and memories of all opera fans.

In April 2017, Matthew Laifer Artists Management produced a Gala Event at Carnegie Hall, New York City, to tribute and celebrate the legacy of the singer.

Here, enjoy the excerpts from Tosca.


Season 2018-2019: Auditions

Matthew Laifer_Auditions

Tenor Roger Krebs, mezzo-soprano Natasha Novitskaia, soprano Dilara Unsal, manager Matthew Laifer

One of the most challenging phases in artists’ calendars is the audition season. Matthew Laifer’s artists are auditioning for several opera companies and theaters in NYC this Fall. Auditioning is stressful, from one hand, but it’s also a very productive time because you can show your artistry and technique to the top professionals. Artists do not get always hired. But rejection does not mean one has to stop. Take seriously the feedbacks you get, keep on working on your repertoire, technique, artistic skills, and move on.

We hope you will enjoy the following excerpts performed by new artists on the roster and those who’ve been with the company for a few years.

A new spinto soprano on the roster, Dilara Unsal, showing her Aida:


O patria mia (excerpt), AuditionMy artist Dilara Unsal is singing O Patria mia in audition

Posted by Matthew Laifer Artists Management on Thursday, November 1, 2018

Natasha Novitskaia, our dramatic mezzo, singing Amneris:


The Judgement scene (excerpt )My artists Natasha Novitskaia is perfroming The Judgement scene in audition.

Posted by Matthew Laifer Artists Management on Friday, November 2, 2018

Our youngest artist, soprano Katie Procell, is performing one of the most difficult arias, Cunegonde from Bernstein’s Candide:


Busy time riding for auditions to New York City 😊
National Opera Center, Manhattan, NYC

Posted by Katie Procell Soprano on Thursday, November 1, 2018


Anastassiya Kozhukharova: La Traviata in Fondi, Italy

Fondi, Italy – August 5, 2018: soprano Anastassiya Kozhukharova* is singing in La Traviata in front of 2,000 spectators. That was part of the Mythos Opera Festival program where Anastassiya took part in Summer 2018, on an array of levels: from masterclasses to performances.

“I’m very happy to have performed my Violetta in Italy! It is a big honor to work with Mythos Opera Festival and my wonderful colleagues Roberto Cresca and Milo Buson under conduction of Gabriele Pezone and direction of Frederik Boni. Thank you all for your support and joint creation!” – Anastassiya Kozhukharova says.


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In addition to her Traviata performance, Kozhukharova is performing in the Gala on September 1, 2018 along with her fellow artist from Matthew Laifer’s roster, Natasha Novitskaia. The Gala is conducted by Everett McCorvey, the Artistic Director of the National Chorale.

*Anastassiya Kozhukharova is a member of the Artists Development & Management Program // Matthew Laifer Artists Management


Everett McCorvey conducts the performance on September 1, 2018 // Matthew Laifer Artists Management

Mythos Opera Festival in the Beautiful Taormina, Italy


Taormina, Italy. Image courtesy:

Three days of great music is scheduled to be performed at the Ancient Theater in Taormina, Italy. Matthew Laifer’s roster artist, Natasha Novitskaia, is singing Amneris at the Aida Gala Concert on August 24 and in the concert on September 1, conducted by the one and only Everett McCorvey.

Several months of brainstorming and rehearsals led to three wonderful nights at the incredibly beautiful place in Italy.


Mezzo-soprano Natasha Novitskaia’s rehearsal with the orchestra

There were also a few meetings with officials as well as interviews to promote opera and music events that gather artists and spectators from all around the globe.


Matthew Laifer being interviewed about the current Aida production


The Taormina officials and the Aida production cast including Matthew Laifer and Natasha Novitskaia who’s singing Amneris at the Aida Gala on August 24, 2018


Giuseppe Giacomini Gala on April 4th will have several honored guests….

On April 4th, at Carnegie (Zankel) Hall, the Giuseppe Giacomini Gala will have several honored guests including Sherrill Milnes who will present Beppi with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Neil Shicoff, Lucine Amara and Barry Tucker and one or two others who are still trying to organize schedules to be there!  These honored guests performed during the time that Beppi performed in New York, and Barry Tucker was responsible for Beppi’s Carnegie Hall debut at the Tucker Gala in those great years in the 80s!

We are all very excited to have Beppi and his family back in New York now and look forward to this great evening.

Soprano Sharon Azrieli will sing at the Giacomini Gala at Carnegie (Zankel) Hall on April 4th

Soprano Sharon Azrieli has performed leading roles in operas and orchestral works with many companies throughout the world including the Canadian Opera Co., the New Israeli Opera, L’opera de Bastille in Paris,  The Israeli Symphony, Haifa Symphony, The Montreal Symphony, Czech National Symphony, Montreal Chamber Music Festival and has performed concerts and recitals throughout her native Canada, Israel and Europe.  She received her Advanced Certificate of performance from Juilliard and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Music from the University of Montreal.

This spring she appears in Cassanova at the Montreal Chanber Music Festival and the summer will take her to Sicily where she will sing her Nedda with Marcello Giordani as her Canio.  Early in her career she was Juliette to Marcello Giordani’s Romeo with the Canadian Opera Company and continues to do concerts with Marcello.  We are very proud to present Sharon at the Giacomini gala and she is honored to perform on this special night honoring one of her favorite opera stars.  She had joined my roster as an emerging star when Beppi was also on the roster and in his prime!  Welcome Sharon!