The sixth edition of the “Corso d’Opera 2017 in Cortona” Masterclass (21st June – 10th July) selected 12 young opera singers from all over the world (Italy, Ucraine, China, Romania, Hungary and Argentina). It took place for the first year in Cortona, a city which has welcome with enthusiasm our activities, participating in the organization of the courses and in all our initiatives.

CORSO D’OPERA 2017  was divided in two parts:

The first part, June 21-29, featured Vocal technique with Mirella Parutto; Interpretation of Opera with Michele Pertusi. M° Richard Barker and M° Simone Savina as Collaborative pianists. Mirella Parutto’s lessons have been precious thanks to her great experience as an opera singer from the past “golden time”. She worked on the vocal technique focusing on the warming up of the voice and on the management of the respiration.

Bioenergetics with Dr. Alessandro Temperani, psychologist and psychotherapist and sessions of training specifically for singers with the Prof. Mario Marella, biologist at the University of Florence.

In 2014, Corso d’Opera started a partnership with the department of Science and Sport Technology of the University of Florence for a scientific study of the biotype of opera singers and the realization of training’s protocols with the collaboration of Prof. Mario Marella with Michele Pertusi and Juan Francisco Gatell.

The second period, 1 – 10 July, featured a continuation of Interpretation of Opera with Michele Pertusi and M° Richard Barker as pianist collaborator; Body movement and Interpretation with Alessandra Panzavolta, dancer and choreographer, Artistic Director of S.P.I.D. Dance Academy in Milan, ballet master and assistant at the Rome Opera and Director of the Ballet at San Carlo in Naples; Vocal Technique and Interpretation of Opera and Chamber Music with the baritono Lucio Gallo and M° Richard Barker as pianist collaborator.

The courses of Interpretation with Michele Pertusi and Lucio Gallo were a very important experience for the Corso d’Opera’s students. They had the chance to work with two major professionals of international recognition and to sing with on the stage of Teatro Signorelli in Cortona for two concerts. Lucio Gallo and Michele Pertusi have given precious advice on the choice of the repertoire according with the vocal possibilities of every student and on the planning of a career.

The titles of the Seminars- Conferences were:

THE IMPORTANTE OF STUDYNG FOR ADVANCING YOUR CAREER: RAFFAELLA COLETTI, Artist Manager and Director of the Corso d’Opera, will speak with participants about the necessity of developing a career plan, including the time to study new roles.


CORRECT NUTRITION: Gabriele Coletti, Nutritional expert for high performance athletes, will discuss the importance of nutrition as part of maintaining an optimal physical level. Each student will have a personal consultation to discuss their dietary experience as it relates to their lifestyle.

ART PERFORMANCE AND PERFORMANCE TOP LEVEL: Mario Marella, Professor of Science and Sport Technology at the University of Florence and Director of the Laboratory for Applied Biomechanics for the Italian Federation of Soccer, Fencing and Skating, will discuss  the link between physical fitness and performance and how to improve performance level.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS BEYOND THE STAGE with ALBERTO DE SANCTIS, trainer, expert coach in effective communications and public speaking


BEGINNING YOUR CAREER THROUGH COMPETITIONS AND AUDITIONS with DOMINIQUE MEYER, Director of the Wiener Staatsoper and Founding Memeber of Corso d’Opera.

MANAGING YOUR CAREER:  Giuseppe Oldani, President of ARIACS (Italian Association of Concerts and Productions), will discuss about professional and contractual relationship between artists, theaters and artist managers.

The 19 days of courses and conferences have been supplemented with two concerts on the stage of the Teatro Signorelli: on the 30th of June there was a recital of Michele Pertusi (basso), with the participation of the Corso d’Opera’s students, who have performed in duetti from the most famous opera repertoire. On the 10th of July there was the final concert of the Corso d’Opera’s students with the extraordinary participation of Lucio Gallo (baritono).

All the students had the chance to show their skills and talents in front of a public of experts and opera lovers.

Important personalities of the opera world have come to Cortona to listen to the open days that were organized on 29-30 June and 8-9 July: Elvio Giudici (“L’Opera”), Simone Tomei (“Amici della Musica”), Susanna Toffaloni (“Operaclick”), Roberto Del Nista (“L’Opera”), Alessandro Galoppini (Director of the Artistic Area of the Teatro Regio in Torino) and Gianni Tangucci (Coordinator of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s Academy).


On the 10th July, in the Sala del Consiglio Comunale of Cortona, there was a meeting with the students and the future president of Corso d’Opera , Dominique Meyer, the professors Lucio Gallo, Alessandra Panzavolta, the General Director of Corso d’Opera, Raffaella Coletti, the press and other professionals in the music world. During this meeting the students said the training and artistic experience were very intense and productive; some also said that it was an honour to have the chance to study with artists they had only heard on CDs before.

They also found very important to have the singing lessons on the stage, having the chance to try the acoustic of the theatre before the concerts.

The Study Grants were awarded to the students and the meeting ended with the important suggestions and observations of all the presents, included Alessandro Galoppini, the Director of the Artistic Area of the Teatro Regio in Torino.

The Faculty of the principal courses expresses their satisfaction both for the programming and the high level of the participants. All are hoping to be invited back for a future edition.

All those who attended were enthusiastic in their support for the “Corso d’Opera”, saying that it provided a training program for young singers on an international level at a time when the tradition of the great masters of the interpretation has been “forgotten” and the artistic level of those who sings 19th century Italian does not meet the expectation of either the public or the music press. They stressed that some of the initiatives were of particular interest: the introduction of Bioenergetics, which, according teachers of vocal technique, could be particularly beneficial to singers; the presence of medical specialists and psychologists who were able to discuss particular aspects of the profession which are not usually thought about but which are nonetheless important.

Another area of excellence that was mentioned appreciatively were the locations of the lessons and seminars:

Teatro Signorelli, Sala Pavolini ( Foyer del Teatro Signorelli), Sala del Consiglio Comunale, all around the Signorelli’s square, in the heart of Cortona.

Other locations were the Sala S. Sebastiano and the Auditorium San Francesco.

Fundraising efforts in 2017 brought in significant revenue to the Association and it looks positive that we will meet our financial objective by the end of the year. Fundraising allows us to provide a Study Grant of 1600 euros to each participant. For the 2017 edition the Study Grants have been dispersed in the moment of the inscription to help the students to face the cost of the Masterclass.

Input and output data for 2016 edition are significant. The numbers are small but the rate of success is important: in 2016, six participants of Corso d’Opera obtained 22 contracts within 12 months of finishing the course, for a total amount of 350 days of work and a total value of 282.000€.

It is important to point out the “flagship” of the 2017 Corso d’Opera edition: Szilvia  Vörös won the First Prize at the International Opera Competition in Portofino immediately after the end of the Masterclass.

CORSO D’OPERA is grateful for the patronage the common of  Cortona and the contribution of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.

CORSO D’OPERA thanks also the city of Cortona expecially the Mayor Francesca Basanieri, the Curtural Councilor Albano Ricci and Consorzio Cortona Vini, Nessun Dorma restaurant, B&B Dolce Maria, Caffè del Teatro, Agenzia Travel Ideas and Cortona Charme for the collaboration.