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
The 2005 was 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.
In 2005 the celebrated international soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa led the Accademia. Together with the teaching staff she gave daily masterclasses to seventeen students from thirteen countries.
The selected students from around the world arrived in Italy on the 28th of August to begin the two week period of study that the Accademia offers. They took part in daily masterclasses for the 2 week duration of the course. The masterclasses of the Accademia was also opened 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, Italy and especially Tuscany.
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 the resident pianists David Mazower and Maria Giallombardo.
The afternoon session was in the form of an open masterclass, giving the young artists a chance to measure their ability and accept open critics and advice from their colleagues, a fundamental key to their preparation for their future careers in such a competitive environment.
During the first week both Svetla Vassileva and Leo Nucci held masterclasses for the students. In the second week Dame Kiri Te Kanawa worked both in one to one teaching sessions with the students and in masterclasses.
Outreach concerts were given in the surrounding area and the course ended with two major events. The first was the annual concert in memory of Maestro Solti, hosted by the Commune of Castiglione Della Pescaia of which Solti was an honorary citizen. The final evening was a gala at which the students had the unique experience of performing with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
The Nando Peretti Foundation funded two study scholarships to cover travel, board and lodging expenses of two selected student, one singer and one pianist. The Nando Peretti Foundation also funded the realization of an educational CD/DVD of the final concert, copies of which were used by the students as personal promotional material.
The 2005 Accademia attracted the attention of the international media. The Daily Telegraph praised the school's distinctive "Italian-ness" and its special ability to increase young singers' understanding of the Italian opera repertoire by providing total immersion in Italian culture.
The success of the 2005 programme has given rise to ambitious plans for the following years:
• Extending the programme to include classes in stage technique, including working sessions with stage directors and designers.
• Assistance for students in their preparation of CV's, publicity photographs and demonstration CD recordings.
• Opportunity for the students to give public performances through the creation of a series of international concerts and recitals.
• Further development of the links between the Accademia and international artists. It is also planned to create a separate annual course for répétiteurs, to be launched in Spring 2008. Maestro Solti and many of his colleagues started their careers as répétiteurs, a most vital area of music development. Jonathan Papp artistic director of the Accademia and official pianist to Dame Kiri will lead the course.