Transylvanian Opera Academy

Think. Open. Achieve.

TOA is an innovative professional development and insertion program offering international-level mentoring and performance opportunities to exceptional young talents in the field of Opera.

TOA was created by the Perennis Association in 2017 to address Romania’s “talent drain”, a societal phenomenon particular to post-Communist countries whereby young talents are compelled to leave their country in the pursuit of international-level education and professional opportunities.

In order to respond to this phenomenon and create an international-level opera academy in situ, TOA fosters an environment of introspection, growth, and achievement for young opera professionals in the heart of Transylvania, which will challenge its participants while helping them to successfully negotiate the transition from student to professional.

“The Oak tree grows only where there is good soil…”
- Mihai Eminescu

"First of all, it allowed me to surpass myself. I was surrounded by people who wanted to help me and wanted the best for me, they helped me develop more artistically and personally, they gave me a lot of courage and confidence in everything I wanted to do and somehow my dreams became more palpable and clearer. Mrs. Elizabeth taught us in detail what this job implies, all the aspects were very well defined and new information to have a clear and broad image of ourselves and the world of opera. Also, her guests, experts in their fields, contributed a lot to broadening our horizons and I believe that when we are surrounded by good people our dreams get their wings and come true and with TOA I got my wings."

Dora Blatniczki, mezzo-soprano

"The experience with TOA was a very beautiful one for me because it completed my artistic training. I consider TOA a complex program because it gives you the opportunity to attend many workshops where you can learn new things which in your regular training from the Music Academies or other institutions you cannot manage to discover them. That's why TOA is also a very complete program."

Adriana Gheorghisor, soprano

"Well, it was something new. I very much enjoyed the fact that I can express myself uniquely as an artist and as a person and it's a wonderful space where these two elements of my being are actually highly connected: my artistic persona and that thing that makes me unique. I felt this complete freedom of just being myself and being encouraged to discover all these things about me and express them to my colleagues and also finding out that they are also expressing themselves as unique little drops of light or something like that. The thing is that this program, all in all, has helped me become more authentic and that for me is very valuable."

Valentina Puskàs, soprano

"TOA is one of the greatest organizations of which I am a part of and we are very thankful to Elizabeth Askren for making us better. What she has done to promote us was a great deal. And if there is another opportunity to work with Elizabeth I would definitely say yes."

Stefan von Korch, tenor

"We had many very interesting talks and conversations which I really appreciated. More importantly, this program gave me the fuel to do more and aim for more."

Gabriela Opacka-Boccadoro, conductor

"A very positive experience. I am very pleased with this program and I am very grateful for this opportunity offered by Mrs Elizabeth. I really liked the classes with her, they were really helpful and I liked how the workshops were organized. It changed my vision of musical interpretation and analysis by showing me how wider and deeper it can be. Also, it strengthened my confidence in myself and what I do. That is the most important part. TOA is also a great space where you can meet other musicians and learn from each other."

Florina Dan, soprano