Adriana Festeu

Adriana is Opera Prelude’s Course Director. She has given many lectures covering a 400 year spectrum of Opera History in inimitable style and scholarship, making opera accessible in the widest possible way!

Mezzo-soprano Adriana Festeu graduated with a First Class Honours Degree at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj, Romania. In 2009 she completed her Masters with Distinction at the Royal Academy of Music Opera Course. She is currently a PhD student at the Academy, researching the Zwischenfach voice, supported by the AHRC.

Adriana made her operatic debut for the Romanian National Opera in Cluj in 2005 as Fidalma in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segretto. In 2008 she sang Candida in Donizetti’s Emilia di Liverpool for the European Opera Centre. For Royal Academy Opera, she has sung Endimione in Cavalli’s La Calisto and Diana in Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata. For Garsington Opera, Adriana covered the role of Cenerentola, the role of Rustena in Vivaldi’s La Verita in cimento, Megacle in L’Olimpiade and that of Calbo in Maometto Secondo. She also performed the role of Marianna in Il Signor Bruschino and Lucilla in La Scala di Seta for British Youth Opera. Other recent roles include Suzuki in Madam Butterfly, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Isolier in Rossini’s Count Ory, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen as well as the role of the Komponist in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. She also worked with the New London Consort performing the roles of the Priestess in Purcell’s King Arthur and Juno in Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris.

Adriana performed solo Romanian art songs for the BBC Radio 3 dramatisation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 2012. In 2014 she was invited back by Radio 3 to record Greek songs for The Oresteia: The Libation Bearers.

She participated in masterclasses with Ileana Cotrubas, Barbara Bonney, Jose Cura, Yvonne Kenny and Della Jones. She was also invited to take part in the Solti Academy, where she had masterclasses with Frederica von Stade and Kiri te Kanawa.

On the concert platform, Adriana has presented well-received solo recitals at Leeds Lieder Festival and St. Martin-in-the-Fields and recently she won the Czech Song Prize in the Emmy Destinn Competition.

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Q&A with Adriana Festeu

Operatic Debut?

I was 20, still an undergrad. I sang the role of Fidalma in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segretto at the Romanian Opera House in Cluj, Romania.

Hopes for the future?

That my voice will finally do everything I tell it to!

Strangest costume you've had to wear on stage?

I was dressed up as an old man. Had a prosthetic beard and moustache which took 40 minutes to put on. I spent more time in make-up than on stage.

What did was your childhood dream?

For a while I wanted to become a ballerina so I would put on one of my mother's discs with the Swan Lake and would jump around the living room for hours. We lived on the 3rd floor of a block of flats. Poor neighbours!