I am extremely grateful to the Teatro Carlo Felice and to the Theatre’s Superintendent, Claudio Orazi, for entrusting me with the artistic direction of the newly-created Academy of Advanced Professional Training and Placement for Opera Singers: it is an honour which I wish to share with all the teaching staff, who have embraced this educational project with enthusiasm. We are ready to welcome and start working with the thirteen promising young singers who were recently selected from amongst 250 candidates.
We want both to create a virtuous organisation for our city and to contribute to the educational role of the Italian music environment, guaranteeing that young singers from the Academy can debut first at Teatro Carlo Felice and then at other theatres.
Lessons start on Monday 22nd March and in June we will be on stage at the Carlo Felice with “L’Elisir d’amore”, entrusted entirely to the singers of the Academy. This production is very dear to me. I sang here as Nemorino in 2004 (it was my Genoa debut) and again in 2017. It is a memorable, totally Genoese production, unforgettable thanks to the poetic scenery by Lele Luzzati, in the year which marks the one hundredth anniversary of his birth.
The tutors include internationally esteemed musicians, who will alternate to ensure provision of the various lessons, starting with singing technique given by Vittorio Terranova and Antonella D’Amico, but also performance skills entrusted to Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, Giulio Zappa, Roberto De Candia, Serena Gamberoni and myself. Then an introduction to stage movement by Silvia Paoli. There will also be a decisive moment: two days of music rehearsals led by Daniele Callegari. The Maestro will prepare the young singers for theatre music rehearsals. Lastly, they will have “vocal hygiene” sessions with voice therapist Antonella Giusti.
Towards the end of the course, around the last two weeks, lessons will end and the laboratory phase will begin, working exclusively on “L’elisir d’amore”. Here we will aim to dissect the music, note by note, word by word, until we gain a perfect understanding of the roles. It is a phase which means a lot to me and I have decided that I alone will follow the students in their pre-rehearsal “retreat”.