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.

ELIZABETH ASKRENFounder and Artistic DirectorMore about Elizabeth

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 professiona

The Académie Model

The Académie of the Opéra National de Paris distinguishes itself from other world-class young artist opera programs by incorporating several backstage craftsmanship specializations into its fellowships.

This innovative model fosters inclusivity and supports a more complete representation of opera production while enhancing socio-economic interconnections between distinct operatic métiers .

Throughout the 2017-18 season, the French Ministry of Culture sponsored an administrative observation residency for TOA’s Artistic Director at the Académie.

TOA's Model

Inspired by the Académie’s backstage-onstage model, TOA adds a third and crucial element to its academy: Directors, both artistic (conductors and stage directors) and administrative (non-profit administration and development).

By including performers, artisans, and directors, TOA touches every aspect of opera production.


Where the worlds of backstage, office, and onstage collaborate to make magic.

(2017 - )

Singers Instrumentalists

(estimated in 2020)

Lighting technicians
Costume makers
Set designers

(estimated in 2020)

Cultural Nonprofit Leaders
Stage Directors



Auditions are currently closed. Please check back to see when a new auditions call will be open.

To apply for the TOA Summer Academy from July 15-19, please click here.

To stay informed about TOA's activities, join our mailing list by contacting us at direction (at)


September 18

Website and Visual Image Launch

In partnership with Vlad Sulea & Doru Sana

September 19 – October 19; December 6 - 12

Audition and Selection Periods, Part I and II

In partnership with the Kolozsvari Magyar Opera and the «Gheorghe Dima» Academy of Music

October 22 – June 28

TOA sessions

Including masterclasses, ateliers, workshops, showcase concert, mentoring schemes, outreach events

July 15-19

TOA Summer Academy

An intensive vocal academy for singers and pianists, including lessons, masterclasses, and showcase concert with international faculty


Following auditions at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy and the Hungarian National Opera of Cluj, 6 vocalists and 2 pianists were selected to participate in TOA’s 2018-19 program.

TOA’s first pedagogical atelier centered on professional presentation – including how to write one’s own biography in English.

The professional headshots were sponsored by the Cluj-based IT company, Evozon.

Adelina SABAU, 23, piano

Born and raised in Bacău, a small city from Moldova, Romania, Adelina Sabău first got a glimpse into the musical world in Cluj, when she started playing the piano at the age of 5. After moving back to Bacău, the young musician dreamed of coming back to Cluj – and so she did, as she was accepted into the „Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy as a student of lect.univ.dr. Horváth Edit. Adelina held numerous recitals in various cities across the country and participated in a variety of national and international competitions. After playing with the local Philharmonic for several years during concerts especially held for pupils, the young musician had her debut as a soloist in 2013. She has participated in various masterclasses with pianists such as Viniciu Moroianu, Melinda Lee Masur and Vlad Iftinca (Metropolitan Opera).

Szilvia Klára NAGY, 25, mezzo-soprano

Szilvia studied Musical interpretation - Opera singing at the „ Gh. Dima” Music Academy with prof.univ.dr. Ramona Coman. She started her professional carrier as a choir member with the Hungarian National Opera of Cluj-Napoca where she appears frequently as a soloist (Mária in Árgyélus királyfi, Little Devil in Búbocska, Pünkösdi Kató in Csókos asszony…).

She has performed in oratorios such as G. B. Pergolesi – Stabat Mater, Franz Liszt – Via Crucis, César Franck – Dextera Domini, J.S.Bach – Matthäus - Passion, Antonio Vivaldi – Gloria.

Her personal motto is : “you never have to give up and that the passion for what you like is more important than the obstacles that may arise along the way. Yes, you’ve got to sing from the depths of the heart. ”

Magda MAFTEI, 26, mezzo-soprano

A sensitive musician, mezzo-soprano Magda Maftei is appreciated for her warm timbred voice and charismatic stage presence. After winning the Second Prize in the National Competition Emanuel Elenescu, she studied at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, where she performed roles such as Rosina and Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Così fan Tutte, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, the title-role in Carmen, and Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. She made her debut on the stage of the Romanian National Opera of Cluj-Napoca in 2014, in a children’s version of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, performing the title-role. She participated in masterclasses with renowned singers and coaches such as Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Montserrat Caballé, Leontina Vaduva, Claire Lefilliâtre and Stéphane Fuget.

Renáta GEBE-FÜGI, 25, soprano

Praised for her vocal beauty, and abundant musicality, Renáta is being hailed a promising, young talent in opera. In 2012 she finished her violin studies at the “Sigismund Toduţă” Music High School and in 2016 graduated from the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in violin performance. Currently, Renata is continuing her studies at the “Gheorghe Dima “ Music Academy as a vocalist, while a violinist in the orchestra of the Hungarian Opera of Cluj-Napoca.

She has participated in several vocal master classes throughout Europe with Erika Miklósa, Mihály Kálmándi, Petr Zeifart, Sophie Gent, and Bernhard Forck. In 2017, Renata’s débuted as Ernestina in the Romanian premiere of G. Rossini’s L’occasione Fa il Ladro. Later that year she was awarded 1st place at the Romanian Mozart Society’s vocal competition.

Ioan POPESCU, 28, bass

Ioan discovered the beauty of singing and opera music at a young age through the help of his family. After finishing his studies in architecture, he developped his musical skills in different choirs and a capella groups, before studying privately with bass Mircea Moisa. He was recently chosen to participate in a masterclass with Stephane Fuget, and was invited to audition for the Opéra National de Paris’ Académie. He continues his efforts to fulfill his true calling, to make the world a better place through music.

Bogdan BOHUS, 28, pianist

Bogdan Bohuș is a versatile pianist, known for collaborating with orchestras as a soloist, accompanying singers and also playing chamber music repertoire with various types of ensambles. Besides performing on stage, he is developing an academic career, currently teaching piano at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy and doing research for his PhD dissertation. He excels especially in Romantic repertoire, where his playing distinguishes with electrifying virtuosity and intense feelings, which helps him connect easy with the public. Also, musical juries attested his talent throughout the years, rewarding him with several first prizes and scholarships that helped him establish his reputation as a refined musician.

Samuel Cornel BARANI, 24, baritone

Coming soon...

Tamas Otto PETI, bass-baritone

Coming soon...


Our trusted partners

Academia de Muzica Gheorghe DimaCentrul Cultural ClujeanDonatoriNiste OameniOpera Maghiara Cluj
  • The Perennis Association

    TOA - Transylvanian Opera Academy
    Calea Turzii nr. 33, Apt 3
    400193 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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