The FLISPA Festival presents three magnificent operas that will delight all lovers of classical music: Suor Angelica, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Gianni Schicchi. Each of these masterpieces offers a unique experience, from the emotion and spirituality of Suor Angelica to the brilliant comedy of The Barber of Seville and the intrigue and humor of Gianni Schicchi.

We are delighted to present this varied program that reflects the diversity and richness of the operatic genre.

Opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Opera de Gioachino Rossini (in Italian, full production) (One function)

Music Director:  Linus Lerner

Stage Director: undefined

Stage: Teatro Pablo Tobón Uribe

Date: August 16

Opera Suor Angelica

Opera by Giacomo Puccini (in Italian, full production) (One function)

Music Director: Linus Lerner

Stage Director: Gisela Zivic

Stage: To be defined

Date: To be defined

Opera Gianni Schicchi

Opera by Giacomo Puccini (in Italian, full production) (One function)

Music Director: Linus Lerner

Stage Director: Ragnar Conde

Stage: Bellas Artes

Date: August 18

The “IX Linus Lerner International Singing Competition” is a prestigious event that will take place on August 3 and 4 in Medellín, Colombia, at the facilities of the Fundación Universitaria Bellas Artes and the EAFIT University, two ideal scenarios for the participants to showcase their talent and passion for opera.

This competition is aimed at professional, semi-professional singers or vocal students between the ages of 18 and 35 y from different nationalities.

The competition jury consists of five distinguished opera experts, each of whom has an extensive career and experience in the field of music. Their knowledge and criteria guarantee an impartial and rigorous evaluation of each performance, with the aim of identifying the most outstanding artists and giving them recognition for their professional development.

The competition prizes in 2024 will be $10,350 in cash and other prizes with career opportunities for artists. In previous editions, the competition has awarded more than $100,000 in cash, in addition to full college scholarships, private teaching fellowships and opportunities to sing abroad in opera productions, recitals and concerts with orchestras.

We look forward to seeing you at the IX International Linus Lerner Singing Competition. Before you participate, we recommend that you read our official rules carefully. In it you will find important information about the rules, requirements and important dates of the competition.


Linus Lerner - Chair


Conductor Linus Lerner is praised for the charisma and passionate energy he brings to his musical performances, inspiring artists and audience. At home on either the symphony podium or the operatic pit, Lerner has conducted in the United States, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Turkey and Russia.

Lerner is currently Artistic Director and Conductor of SASO: Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (USA); OSRN: Rio Grande do Norte Symphony Orchestra and OSG: Gramado Symphony Orchestra (Brazil); Gramado in Concert International Music Festival (Brazil); and the San Luis Potosi Opera Festival and the Linus Lerner International Voice Competition (Mexico). He also serves as conductor of Round Top Festival Hill Institute (TX).

Some of his recording include MENDELSSOHN (Meridian), with the Royal Philharmonic of London; AMERICAN CLASSICS (Naxos) and CELEBRATION (SASO) with the Southern Arizona Symphony; TONHECA DANTAS (OSRN) with the Rio Grande do Norte Symphony Orchestra. Other recording credits include CDs with choruses in the USA and Brazil.

Conductor Linus Lerner also worked as a teacher and coach for various orchestras and choruses and for El Sistema “La Esperanza Azteca” in Mexico, where he taught more than 100 teachers and conductors. Before his full dedication to the conducting, Lerner also sang with various opera companies and orchestras in the USA, Brazil and Europe and received several awards in different voice competitions. His performance of Carmina Burana with the OSRN won the title of “Best Performance of the Year.”

Some important recognitions and honors received by Maestro Linus Lerner are: the Ohtli Medal (the highest award of the Mexican government) because of his work for the development of the opera in Mexico; the Djalma Marinho Medal and the Alberto Maranhão Medal for his work with OSRN as well as the Key to the City for his work in the musical community of Tucson, AZ.

Lerner received his Doctor of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Arizona, his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Florida State University, his Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati and his Bachelor of Music in Conducting from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

Elisa Brex Bonini - Soprano


Spinto lyric soprano, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated as a singer from the Teatro Colón in the same city and made her debut in 1977 at the Teatro Avenida in the Argentine capital.

During her artistic career, she has played the leading roles in operas and zarzuelas such as El Trovador, Celos aun del aire matan, La Rondine, La Fiamma, La Flauta Mágica, La Boheme, La Traviata, Jeanne d’Arc, La Dama de Pique, El Zar de Zaltán, Las Campanas, Cosi Fan Tutte, Otello, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Luisa Fernanda and Doña Francisquita among many other roles. In 1986 and 1987, she was invited by the tenor Luigi Alva to take part in the Lima International Season, alternating with him in the work “El Murciélago”.

She has sung in the most important theaters in the world, including the Teatro Avenida, Teatro Colón and Teatro San Martín de Tucumán in Argentina, Teatro Nacional de Milán in Italy, Teatro Solís de Montevideo in Uruguay, Teatro Mélico Salazar in the city of San José in Costa Rica, Teatro Metropolitano de Medellín in Colombia, among many others. She was invited by the tenor Plácido Domingo to appear at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; In addition, concerted by the Caracas Opera, it received the approval of the critics and television of the neighboring country.

She is a founding member and Artistic Director of the Prolírica Foundation of Antioquia. She is currently preparing and organizing the project “XXX International Season of Zarzuela, Operetta and Opera City of Medellín 2024”.

Gisela Zivic - Soprano


Gisela Zivic began her private music lessons at the age of 8 in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and two years later she entered the Carlos López Buchardo National Conservatory of Music in the same city to begin her career as a pianist. In 1989, she settled in Medellín, where she continued her music studies at the Conservatory of the University of Antioquia while taking singing lessons with her mother, the Argentine soprano Elisa Brex. Since 1994, she has been part of the ensembles of the International Zarzuela, Operetta and Opera Season of Medellín, organised and performed by the Prolírica Foundation of Antioquia, of which she is a founding partner and director.

On stage she has starred as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimì and Musetta in La Bohème, Sour Angelica, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Micaela in Carmen, Nedda in I Pagliacci and Desdemona in Otello, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro; Valencienne and Anna Glawaris from La Viuda Alegre, Luisa Fernanda, Amapola from La Leyenda del beso, Lota from Corte de faraón, Ascensión from Manojo de rosas and Aurora from La del Soto del Parral, among many others. She has performed on international stages such as the Istanbul State Theatre in Turkey, Melico Salazar Theatre in San José in Costa Rica, Miguel Ángel Asturias Theatre in Guatemala, Juarez Theatre in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Fernán Gómez Theatre in Madrid and National Theatre in Bucharest in Romania, among many others.

She was a semi-finalist at the XLII Francesc Viñas International Competition in Barcelona and at the Jaume Aragall Competition in Sabadell, Spain, and participated as a jury member at the IX Maria Callas International Singing Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, alongside the great Peruvian tenor Luigi Alva. In May 2012, she sang with the tenor José Carreras in Bogotá, Colombia, in a great lyrical concert performing famous arias and duets under the direction of David Giménez Carreras.

She began her first productions as a Stage Director in 2014 with various musical theater shows in the cities of Medellín and Bogotá. She is currently preparing to participate in the productions of Fondation Prolírica de Antioquia with its XXX International Opera and Zarzuela Season City of Medellín 2024. Gisela is also a Social Communicator – journalist at the Pontifical Bolivarian University.


Martha Seen - Mezzosoprano

She is one of the most famous voices and figures in the world of opera. Born on November 19, 1949 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, but naturalized Colombian, she is a lawyer, mezzo-soprano, actress and writer who is very committed to the dissemination of culture and music. She began her training in piano, harmony, music theory and music history at the age of fifteen at the Conservatory of the National College of Colombia. In the early 80’s she moved with her two children. to the United States to continue her training as a singer. In 1982, she made her professional debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington with the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. She has won numerous awards, including the Baltimore Vocal Competition, the American Opera Auditions New York Award and the International Singing Competition in Paris (one of the most important in Europe). These accolades have opened the doors to the most important stages in the world, including the Salzburg Festival, La Bastille and La Fenice.


In 1984 he made his debut at La Scala Theatre in Milan. During her career she has sung outstanding roles in the operatic repertoire, such as: Carmen in Carmen, Rossina in The Barber of Seville, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Delilah in Samson and Delilah, Charlotte in Werther and others. She also took part in the Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo’s concert An Evening with Plácido Domingo. In Colombia, she has performed as a guest soloist with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra. 

She sang with personalities such as: Plácido Domingo, the pianist Pablo Arévalo and many others. From 2004 to 2007 she was Secretary of Culture of Bogotá, Colombia, and until 2013 she was Director of the Cultural Centre of the Library of the EAFIT University in Medellín. In New York, she was Colombia’s cultural delegate to the United Nations. In 2003, she sang the cantata “Pacificando” with humpback whales in the Colombian Pacific together with the scientist Jorge Reynolds, who is known for his whale research.She currently works as a columnist for the newspaper El Tiempo and devotes this time to writing. Her latest book “Más allá del canto” (Tragaluz editores, 2021), in which she summarises his artistic career and paints a portrait of the different facets of the opera world, is available as an audiobook on Spotify.


José Antonio García - Bass-baritone


Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, he began his singing studies at the Music High Conservatory, following at the Singing High School in Madrid, later with Carlos Chausson in Barcelona, Vashek Pazdera in New York and with Tenor Daniel Muñoz in Madrid and now under vocal supervision of Alfonso Leoz. 

José Antonio García has sung under the conduction of López Cobos, Leaper, Halfter, Colarusso, Merry, Ramos, Ortega y Pujol, Gómez Martínez, Haidjinikos, Kovatchev, Zedda, Benini, Hogwood, Noseda and Oren, among others…

He made his debut during the 2005 Season, singing in the production of Lohengrin at the Teatro Real in Madrid, he after that participated in the Christmas Concert of RTVE at the National Auditory in Madrid, broadcasted by RTVE National and International Channels. 

José Antonio García has performed the roles of Zuñiga from Carmen in Alicante, Salamanca, Málaga, Arena di Verona; Colline from La Boheme in Madrid; Duca di Verona from Romeo et Juliette at the Teatro Villamarta in Jerez; Pascual from Marina in Córdoba; Leuthold from Guglielmo Tell in A Coruña; Basilio from Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Bilbao, Porto Alegre, El Ferrol, A

2 Coruña, Madrid and Río de Janeiro; Ferrando from Il Trovatore in Alicante, Almería, Lieja; Simone from Gianni Schicchi in Madrid; Sparafucile from Rigoletto in Madrid, Ramfis of Aida in Brussels, Brujas, Ooidonk, Namur and Lieja; Padre y Director of Yo, Dalí at the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid and Liceu de Barcelona; Fafner from Das Rheingold at the Teatro Argentino de La Plata, etc.

He has sung at the Teatro Regio di Torino Il Commendatore of Don Giovanni, under the conduction of Cristopher Hogwood. Montecarlo Opera, Jorg from Stiffelio with Maestro Maurizio Benini. Euskalduna, Bilbao, Monterone of Rigoletto, under the conduction of Daniel Oren. Bunka

Kaikan, Tokio, performing Angelotti from Tosca and Tom of Un Ballo in Mascherawith Gianandrea Noseda. Again Angelotti at the Pérez Galdós Theatre in Las Palmas with Fabio Zanetti.


Sandra Lorena Caicedo


Sandra Lorena is a singing teacher from the University of Antioquia under the tutelage of Detlef Scholz. In her performance as a soloist she has excelled in different opera, oratorio and zarzuela roles which she has successfully interpreted in different halls and cities of her country, such as: Pamina and The Queen of the Night from “The Magic Flute”, Zerlina from “Don Giovanni”, Blonde and Konstance from the opera “The Abduction from the Seraglio”, Rossina from “The Barber of Seville”, Mussetta from “La Bohéme”, Lauretta from “Gianni Schicchi”, Nedda from “I Pagliacci”, Gilda from “Rigolleto”, Duchess Carolina from “Luisa Fernanda” and Rachel from “The Pharaoh’s Court”, Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, Bach’s “Mass in B minor”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, “Coronation Mass”, “Mass in C minor”, “Israel in Egypt” and “Exultate, Jubilate”, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, and many others.

She has been winner of the Young Performers Competition, Luis Ángel Arango Library (2000), finalist on several occasions in the Festival de Ópera al Parque and winner of the Festival in 2006, where she obtained a scholarship to pursue higher studies in singing at the Liceu in Barcelona (2008-2009), with the teachers Eduard Jiménez and María Soller.

He has worked as a teacher at the Universidad de Antioquia and at the EAFIT University. In the latter institution she obtained the title of “Magister in music” in the line of musical interpretation. In addition to her training in singing, she has complemented her training with different workshops in vocal rehabilitation, singing pedagogy and speech therapy. She will soon take a diploma course in “Neuroeducation” at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana.
She has been invited to conduct workshops and master classes in several universities in Colombia, she has also had the satisfaction of accompanying educational processes of strong international projection in which students have won awards, prizes and scholarships to pursue studies in undergraduate and graduate programs in leading schools and universities in Europe and the United States.


Founded in 1979, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is a vital community resource that connects artists and audiences through their passion for music. The orchestra presents world premieres, rarely performed treasures and classical gems. The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Association strives to nurture and inspire audiences and artists alike through the pleasure of classical music. By serving our Southern Arizona community and connecting with the international music community, we create unique, vibrant and accessible experiences that celebrate the tradition and future of classical music in its many forms.

Fundación Prolírica de Antioquia

The Prolírica Foundation of Antioquia is a non-profit cultural organisation founded in 1994 with the aim of providing Medellín, Antioquia and Colombia with professional lyrical performances worthy of the great capitals of the world. For 30 years, it has been organising the “International Zarzuela, Operetta and Opera Season of Medellín” on the city’s main stages and developing social projects to educate audiences, benefiting more than 9,000 children, young people and adults every year. The Prolírica Foundation is currently the only stable opera company in the department of Antioquia and one of the most important in the country.

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