Director of Mascarade Opera
Dr Ralph Strehle is Director of the Mascarade Opera and Head of Education for the Mascarade Opera Foundation.
Ralph is a leading expert on peak-performance psychology and was formerly the Associate Head of Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Ralph works frequently as a guest performance coach and lecturer at institutions across Europe, such as: the National Opera Studio, the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Hamburg International Opera Studio, Akademia Operowa, the New Generation Festival, the Kiri Te Kawana Foundation and most recently the Cardiff Singer of the World. Ralph’s work has been the subject of articles in Opera Now, Classical Music Magazine and many other publications.
Ralph holds a doctorate in music, his thesis exploring performance psychology and motivation, as well as a doctorate in English in the field of ethics and philosophy.
He regularly works as resident resilience coach at international singing competitions such as CLIP International Singing Competition, Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Artistic Director of Mascarade Opera
Julia Lynch is Artistic Director of Mascarade Opera, Florence. Having spent three decades at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as senior vocal coach, she relocated to Florence in 2019 to devote her time fully to Mascarade Opera.
A sought-after vocal coach and recital partner, she has collaborated with many international artists, including Anthony Roth Costanzo, Michael Spyres, Lawrence Brownlee, Christopher Purves, Sir Tom Allen, Sue Bullock, Nicky Spence and Roderick Williams, as well as upcoming young opera stars such as Anna El-Khashem, Catriona Morrison, Beth Taylor and Svetlina Stoyanova. Concerts have taken her all over the world, with recitals in London, Tokyo and Geneva, as well as appearances at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Cardiff Singer of the World and the Bayreuth Wagner Festspiele. She has worked with many renowned conductors, including Donald Runnicles, Sir Andrew Davis, Matthias Pintscher, Kent Nagano, Christian Thielemann and Kirill Petrenko. Also an acclaimed chamber musician, Julia has performed with, among many others, Jeff Bradetich, Maximiliano Martin, Mark O’Keefe, Tijmen Husingh, Donnie Deacon and Gabrielé Geminiani.
Most recently, she founded the Perfumeria Trio with violinist Tijmen Husingh and clarinettist Ross Montgomery.
Artistic Administration Manager
Giulia Ragionieri joined the Mascarade Opera Foundation at its inception in the spring of 2020, lending her knowledge and expertise to the daily operations of the studio as well as the design and implementation of long term strategies that provide the foundation of the future successes of Mascarade's studio artists.
Giulia holds a BA in Political Science, an MA in International Relations as well as a Masters in Food & Wine Communication.
With several work experiences abroad, ranging from market research to marketing consultancy in very diverse industries, she has lived and worked in Milan, London, Switzerland, Paris.
Passionate about music since a very young age, she started listening and going to the opera at age 3 and has not stopped since.
Veronica Camaioli Giusti
Venue Manager and Events Coordinator
Born in Florence, Veronica Camaioli Giusti graduated in languages and studied fashion communication and marketing.
Her path started in Milan after which she moved to Rome and Paris where she was able to deal with dynamic and stimulating realities that led her to expand her network of knowledge and work experience. Before joining Mascarade Opera, Veronica worked at an architectural communication and events agency. Thanks to many years dedicated to the study of ballet, she was able to refine her passion for classical music and opera.
She joined the Foundation in July 2023 as Venue Manager & Events Coordinator.
Born in Florence, Irene Colantoni graduated in 2016 with a degree in modern languages from the University of Florence. Her degree thesis on Pushkin’s Stone Guest was her first experience of the theatre and she decided to continue her university education with a degree in Performing Arts.
She graduated in 2019 with summa cum laude and left for the Academy of Performing Arts in Milan where she worked with Alberto Oliva during an opera direction workshop. Since 2019 she has been working with the website “TeatriOnline” writing reviews and articles about the performing arts.
Career Development Consultant
Dorothea Gregor has been working for the Bertelsmann Stiftung since 2015, where she is responsible for the areas of funding, cooperations and cultural politics and also for studies and surveys in the field of culture and society. One of her focal points is the management and developement of the activities of NEUE STIMMEN, a project that promotes international young opera singers during their career entry phase.
Ms Gregor began her professional career as a mezzo-soprano and taught at several German Universities. After her artistic studies at the Hochschule für Franz Liszt" Weimar, she studied music education, business and cultural management. She worked as a project manager for various cultural institutions and festivals in the field of programme conception and planning.
In 2018, she successfully completed a modular qualification as a systemic consultant in the field of organisational development.
Dorothea Gregor is a board member of the "Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft", an association of all important German companies that are actively involved in cultural sponsorship.
She has been professionally associated with the Fondazione Mascarade Opera since 2019 in the areas of quality assurance and programme development. Since September, she has been supporting the Foundation as a consultant in the area of career development and marketing of young artists.
Quality Assurance Officer
Dr Diana Salazar is a composer and music educator with extensive teaching and leadership experience in higher education. She is Director of Programmes at the Royal College of Music (RCM), having previously taught at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, City University of London, Kingston University London, and the University of Manchester.
Diana has worked internationally as an external examiner in music and music technology and as an external adviser and consultant for exam boards and higher education providers, including ABRSM, Edexcel, WJEC, Bath Spa University, the University of Derby, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the University of Glasgow, Royal Holloway University of London, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
A Conservatoire graduate herself, Diana originally trained as a flautist at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Scotland before specialising in composition for Masters studies, followed by AHRC-funded doctoral studies at the University of Manchester. As a composer and sound artist her works were performed and broadcast internationally, with many of her works recognised in leading international competitions including Bourges, Música Viva, the International Computer Music Association Awards, Musica Nova and Prix Destellos. In her current role at RCM she leads on learning and teaching strategy and curriculum development at junior, undergraduate and postgraduate taught levels. She is a co-founder of the Global Conservatoire Consortium and has published in the fields of music technology and technology-enhanced pedagogies in higher music education.
In addition to her work at the RCM, Diana is a Governor of the Purcell School for Young Musicians and a Trustee of the National Centre for Circus Arts.
Director of the Sacred Music Programme
Mark Spyropoulos read Music at Trinity College Dublin and trained as a singer in London at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under Laura Sarti, and the young singers programme English National Opera. He has performed with several ensembles in London and France including with William Christie at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, Opera Holland Park, the Philharmonia Chorus and the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court.
In 2015 he became the first British singer to join the Papal Choir of the Sistine Chapel.
With the Sistina, Mark has recorded four albums with Deutsche Grammophon including several world-première recordings, winning the Echo Klassik Prize for Cantate Domino in 2015.
He has toured extensively across Europe, South Korea, the USA and Canada, appearing as both a chorister and a soloist. Mark has also made several TV and radio appearances discussing choral music, including interviews on RAI, Sky Arts, CBS 60 Minutes, Fox News, BBC Breakfast, the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune'.
He has lectured in London at the China Exchange and at Eton College in addition to contributing to articles for the Independent on Sunday, Early Music Today, The Tablet, The Guardian and The Florentine.
In 2020 he starred in the BBC documentary Inside the Vatican.
In November 2018, Mark established the Music Programme at the Medici Archive Project in Florence with a mission to rediscover sacred works from the vast archives of Medici Florence.
To facilitate this, he founded Vox Medicea, a bespoke choir of Renaissance specialists based in London, with the sole purpose of reviving this forgotten repertoire.
As Music Director of Vox Medicea, Mark has performed two concerts in London, an extended broadcast feature for CBS Sunday Morning and a major public concert in the Salone dei Cinquecento of the Palazzo Vecchio on behalf of the Comune di Firenze.
In July 2022, he launched the Florence Choral Course, offering advanced choral training in Renaissance repertoire.
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Francis Parham co-founded the Mascarade Opera Foundation with Roger Granville and Max Fane.
As an opera and music festival producer, credits include The New Generation Festival, in collaboration with the 23Arts initiative, and Andermatt Music, a programme designed for a brand new concert hall in Switzerland that included, among others, Daniel Barenboim, Maxim Vengerov and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Other producing credits include represent.’s production of Trueman and the Arsonists by Max Frisch in a new version by Simon Stephens with songs by Chris Thorpe at the Roundhouse, Much Ado About Nothing at the Rose Theatre Kingston, the UK première of Luce by JC Lee at the Southwark Playhouse and an international tour of Henry V for OUDS/Thelma Holt. He has also worked for the RSC, Cheek by Jowl, Shakespeare’s Globe, Theatre Royal Plymouth, the Sovremennik Theatre, Antic Face and Shakespeare in Italy. Francis read Classics and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, after which he studied Law at both SOAS and BPP University in London. He qualified as a solicitor with White & Case LLP and worked for the firm in London, Moscow and Paris.
Executive Chairman & Co-Founder
Roger Granville is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the Mascarade Opera Foundation in Florence which he established in 2019 with Francis Parham and Max Fane; the same trio that also founded The New Generation Festival in 2017.
After three years of critical success in the gardens of the Palazzo Corsini, The New Generation Festival moved to the larger Boboli Gardens of the Palazzo Pitti in 2020 as ‘The ReGeneration Festival’ in partnership with the Uffizi Galleries in order to support hundreds of performing artists at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Roger has led international theatre productions at the Young Vic Theatre, The Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai and Shakespeare’s Globe, with whom he co-produced a project in 2012 to encourage the revival of the performing arts in Afghanistan, culminating with an Afghan touring production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Other producing credits include Oliver Dench’s One-Man Hamlet at the Théâtre National de Nice, Waiting for Godot at the Arcola Theatre, and Much Ado About Nothing at the Rose Theatre Kingston. For the New Generation Festival, he directed Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as assisting with the direction of The Three Divas, co-produced with the 23Arts Initiative at the Boboli Gardens in Florence. He has directed Sir Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love at the Oxford Playhouse and worked as an assistant director at both St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Alongside his co-founders, Roger was appointed Honorary Ambassador of the City of Florence and was honoured with the city’s Silver Florin decoration. He was educated at Eton College followed by Christ Church college at the University of Oxford where he was elected as an Exhibitioner and took a First in Middle Eastern Studies and Modern Languages (M.A. Oxon).
Max Fane is a Co-Founder of the Mascarade Opera Foundation and its former President and General Director.
Before establishing the jazz project Daisy’s Firenze and co-developing Club Nine in Florence, Max oversaw the work of the Mascarade Emerging Artists programme, as well as the foundation's non-classical and outreach programmes, including a partnership with the Alsama Project in Lebanon.
He co-founded The New Generation Festival in 2017 and Andermatt Music in 2019 alongside Francis Parham and Roger Granville.
Max is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he studied voice and piano and ran the touring opera company Raucous Rossini and chamber music series Westbourne Music.
He enjoyed an early career as a conductor before turning to arts management. He holds an MSc in Business and Management from the University of Strathclyde where he was the European Visionary Scholar.