Bela Mavrak was born of Hungarian parents, in Austria in the city of Baden Bei Wien, but grew up in Serbia, former Yugoslavia.
He started to take music and piano lessons as young as four, however his parents wanted him to pursue a career at the medical field, as a doctor, Following his parents wishes he studied at a secondary school specialized in medicine and health care before seeking acceptance to the university of medicine.
Famous Serbian music teacher, professor Bursac discovered his talent and encouraged the young Mavrak to take the audition exam at the Music Academy of Belgrade. The young talent was accepted and started his professional studies in 1989.
In 1991 he moved to Cologne, Germany, and enrolled at the prestigious Music Academy of Cologne, where he attended the classes of professor Jochims. Only two years after he started his studies in Cologne, in 1993 he won the gold medal and first prize of the International Singing Competition in Santa Margarita Ligure in Italy, where he sang Rodolfo's aria from Puccini's La Boheme. The competition opened up new doors for the young singer.
Soon, he was invited to participate at master courses of great XX. century bel canto legends. In Milan Franco Corelli, "the prince of tenor", in Bologna, Gianni Raimondi introduced young Mavrak to the noble tradition of bel canto singing. In addition, he also participated at the legendary Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda's master classes in Germany.
Following his competition success in Santa Maria Ligure, the Belgrade State Opera hired him for his first full operatic role in 1994. He debuted in the la Boheme production.
Later several wonderful roles followed in Germany and all over the world in numerous prestigious opera houses and concert halls. Just mentioning a few of his career milestones, in Cologne he sang world premier of Marianna Martinez' in Exitus Izrael, and Dixit Dominus. Verdi's Requiem took him to the famous Beethowen Hall in Bonn, in a joint concert with Philharmonica Hungarica. One year later he sang Requiem again in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and at the Teatro Municipal in San Paolo, Brazil. In the same year of 1995 he appeared in the role of Faust in Hector Hector Berlioz's opera, the Damnation of Faust, at one of the most prestigious halls of classical music, the Salzburg Festspiel House, Austria. For two more years he continued to sing the Faust role and ten different roles at the German National Theater in the city of Weimar. During the second year when Weimar was "Cultural Capitol of Europe".
Mr Mavrak considers the year of 1999 to be the one of the brightest ones in his life, as he had the exceptional opportunity to work together with one of the greatest violinists ever, Lord Yehudi Menuhin. Menuhin himself conducted an aid concert of the Menuhin Foundation, in which Mavrak sang as guest tenor.
In 2000 together with Gary Bennett and Thomas Gruel he became one of Andre Rieu's "Platin Tenors" , however he still carried on singing as a guest at several German theaters. Few of his roles from this period included; Sou Chong in Lehar's Land of Smiles, Sandor Barinkay in Joahann Strauss' Der Ziguenerbaron, and Edwin in Imre Kalman's Die Czardas Furstin.
In 2003, he sang the first Berlin performance of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratario, in the Konzerthaus Gendarmenmarkt.
Since 2005, Mr Mavrak has been intensively touring with Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, appearing in about hundred concerts each year, all over the world, including historical opera houses such as the Semper Oper in Dresden, the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, or the legendary American Radio City Music Hall in New York.
In 2008, the city of Maastricht / The Netherlands, awarded Mavrak the gold honorary medal of merit in recognitions to his contributions to the international fame of the city, as a member of the Andre Rieu concert productions.
Mr Mavrak and dancers will be accompanied by the Camellia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Christian Baldini.
Alexandra Lengyel was born in New York but raised in Hungary where she started her dance education at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest. After attending Youth America Grand Prix, Alexandra continued her dance education at the Nutmeg Conservatory of the arts in Torrington CT. Where she had the opportunity to train under Eleanor D' Antuono, legendary prima ballerina of American Ballet Theater and partner of Rudolf Nureyev. Alexandra was also coached by Viktoria Mazzarelli, Scott Thyberg, Alexi Tchernichov among other wonderful teachers.
Later, at the New England Ballet Conservatory Alexandra become assistant to the artistic director Vanina Wilson, author of the major educational manual "The French Schoo of Ballet". Alexandra then continued her career in California as associate artistic director and soloist at Black Diamond Ballet, and Parthenon Classical Arts Center.
Alexandra founded her own dance academy in 2015, since then Bellissima European Dance Academy had the pleasure to collaborate with Camellia Symphony Orchestra presenting the Nutcracker suite in 2016 and the Sleeping Beauty Suite early 2018. Dancers of the academy have been invited to perform at the Mayoral Celebration of Steve Ly, as well as the State of the City Address. The young ballerinas have been awarded by dignitaries and have taken home countless awards from dance competitions. The academy was voted "BEST dance school" by the Slavic speaking community and the Russian American Media.
BEDA was delighted to welcome world-renowned guest artists, such as Alexey Kulpin, Mate Szentes, Fabrice Calmes and more, over the past few years.
The Hungarian Connection Gala was founded by Alexandra in 2014 with co-founder Thomas Jackovics, greatest Hungarian benefactor of art and culture in California. Mr Jackovics has been awarded by the Knight Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit.
The gala continues to evolve and grow each year, inviting more and more artists, building cultural competence and awareness in the region, as well as internationally through the diverse and one of a kind artistic concept that has become the trademark of the gala series.
Alexandra is passionate about involving the youth and leading them to realize how important high art, as well as ethnic culture is to the world and all human beings.
Bela Mavrak - Star Tenor
Alexandra Lengyel - Founder and Artistic Director
Travel Around the World with us in one Evening on June 10th at the Crest Theater in Sacramento California!