Solti-Te Kanawa Bel Canto Masterclasses

Project location: ITALY, Various
Project start date: January 2005 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2005-30
Beneficiary: Accademia di Bel Canto

Final Report 2004 Accademia di Bel Canto

In September 2004 Castiglione Della Pescaia hosted the first Georg Solti International Accademia di Bel Canto. After rigorous auditions, 14 young opera singers from 11 different nations gathered together on the Maremma Tuscan coast. They worked in masterclasses with 4 well-known coaches from Italy and the UK, to study the Italian language, culture and all musical aspects of interpretation and vocal technique related to the Italian lyric repertory.
There was already strong support from local companies, the Comune of Castiglione and the Chamber of Commerce, to ensure that the Accademia should grow as an annual event. 2005 has been the second chapter of the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, an event dedicated to Maestro Solti's passion for Music, the Maremma and his unstinting support for young artists.
The selected students from around the world have taken part in daily masterclasses for the 2 week duration of the course. The masterclasses of the Accademia were also open on a listening basis only, to vocal students from the Music Schools of the Province of Grosseto and the Region of Tuscany, thus encouraging sophisticated cultural relations between Britain and Italy.
The 14 selected students arrived in Italy on the 28th of August to begin the two week period of the study that the Accademia offers.
The morning session was dedicated to one to one coaching on all aspects of vocal, diction and interpretation techniques of the Italian lyric repertoire. These sessions were taken by 3 resident professors: Paolo Speca, Emanuela Ferrari and Jonathan Papp, assisted by resident pianists David Mazower and Maria Giallombardo.
The afternoon session was in the form of an open masterclass, to give the young artists a chance to measure their ability and accept open criticism and advice from their colleagues, a fundamental key to their preparation for their future careers in such a competitive environment.
Svetla Vassileva and Leo Nucci are planning to hold masterclasses for the students in the future.
In the second week Dame Kiri Te Kanawa worked both in one to one teaching sessions with the students and in masterclasses. During its second week of activity the Accademia organized, as part of its educational outreach programme, a number of concerts and events in the ‘borghi'/ villages of the surrounding area, such as: Massamarittima, Scarlino, Orbetello and Campagnatico. The most important events of the Accademia for the students were the concert organised in Piazza Solti on the 9th of September in Castiglione Della Pescaia and the final evening at the "Badiola" hosted by Alain Ducasse, where the students had the opportunity to perform in a showcase of the Accademia with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. For the benefit of the students, arts critics, opera agents and BBC Radio 3 have been invited to these last 2 events.
The Nando Peretti Foundation financed two scholarships for the pianist Maria Giallombardo and mezzo soprano Eleni Voudouraki, as well as the realization of a CD of the final concert edited by BBC. The NPF has decided to finance this project in order to allow to deepen the artistic preparation, lyric repertoire, and Italian pronunciation of two young talented singers from all over the world who could otherwise not afford the expenses.

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