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Below is a list of our core team and all contributors. If you’d like to join our team, contribute writing or materials, mail us directly, use the contact form or ping us on Twitter @operavivra


Pawel Pachniewski


Pawel’s passion for opera was ignited in his early teens by an exploration of historical opera recordings. In an instant he fell in love with the art and its many voices, both of the past and present. He discovered the tenor website Grandi-Tenori in 2002 and became a contributor, community manager and eventually co-editor in 2007. In 2011, one year after Grandi-Tenori’s closure, Pawel founded Opera Vivrà.

Aga Beermann

Business Development

Aga has been passionate about opera since elementary school. As a little kid she stayed up at night watching star performances presented on public television and listened eagerly to opera streams on the radio – to the wonder of her non-musical family. Then she began exploring old recordings and fell in love with the voices of the past. At college she founded an opera-focused group to explore ties between opera and literature, and enjoyed introducing her fellow students to the world of opera.

Geoffrey Mallinson

Feature & bio author

Geoffrey has written many appreciated biographies and features for, a wonderful website that unfortunately was discontinued several years ago. At Opera Vivrà, Geoffrey writes  features and occasionally biographies. His work from is republished here. Geoffrey’s mother was a singer, so he grew up with the sound of scales, songs and arias every day. His musical education was on the piano but became interested in singing when he first heard Jussi Björling singing ‘Questa o quella’. He has been hooked ever since.

Ilana Walder-Besanz

Blogger & Author

The daughter of two actors, Ilana Walder-Biesanz grew up surrounded by plays and musicals, but she wasn’t introduced to opera until high school, when a friend was cast in The Magic Flute and invited her to the performance. She immediately fell in love with opera and began attending every performance she could. During her undergraduate college years, Ilana studied classical singing and foreign languages alongside her degree program in engineering.

Neil Kurtzman


Neil A Kurtzman MD is the Grover E Murray Professor and University Distinguished Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. He has combined careers in clinical medicine, education, basic research, and administration for more than 30 years. Throughout his life with multiple careers his love for opera has never faded.

Laura Wagner-Semrau

Bio Author

Laura Wagner-Semrau had been passed on the “opera-virus“ by her father very early. By the age of four she was singing along “Vieni t´affretta“ with Maria Callas. Her passion for opera and singing has since then resulted indelible and incurable. For many years, she worked at Preiser Records and wrote many booklet-notes for the “Lebendige Vergangenheit“ series, also editing her own compilations. Laura strongly believes, that opera is no elite thing and should and could appeal to everybody: it usually all starts with the thrill of a voice or the spell of an aria. Once you get hooked, you start to explore, learn and maybe start to compare and learn even more. That´s when it becomes addictive.


Opera Vivrà is indebted to its many contributors, who have graciously contributed their work in celebration of opera and its performers. Thanks to their efforts Opera Vivrà is filled with rich and interesting content. Our thanks goes out to them all.

Special Thanks

Opera Vivrà has received invaluable assistance and support from many individuals over the years. All those listed below we acknowledge as deserving special thanks for their support.

Jørn Anthonisen

Grandi-Tenori founder

Jørn Anthonisen is the founder of, a now defunct website that once hosted a rich array of articles, features, biographies on tenors & opera. His passion for opera fueled growth of the website, that aside from great content also grew a lively community. A few of Opera Vivrà’s staff members are old Grandi-Tenori staff members and have republished their content here. We’re indebted to Jørn for growing a great website with rich content, that has brought opera lovers together and continues to do so even after its closure.

Others we wish to thank

Commendatore Torsten Brander, Roberto Scandurra, Miguel Patrón Marchand, David Rogoff, Lewis Grenville, Bruce Badger, Diego Lima and Victor Asquith, Rodney Castillo, Marco Manoni, Dan Shea (The Jussi Björling Society, US), Ron D’Argenio, Martin Cooke, David Shengold, Frank Hamilton, Mike Richter, Antonio Vuono, Alice Poulsen and Michael Hurdle

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