The seventh edition of the “Corso d’Opera 2018 in Cortona” Masterclass (25st June – 15th July) gathered 13 young opera singers from all over the world (Italy, Ucraine, China, Romania, Hungary and Argentine). It took place for the second year in Cortona, a city which has welcome with enthusiasm our activities, participating in the organization of the courses and in all our initiatives.

Thanks to the support of Bando “SIllumina”, MIBACT and SIAE, this year Corso d’Opera had the chance to guarantee free access to the Masterclass 2018 for students of any nationality with the Italian residence.

The Masteclass started with Vocal Technique and interpretation of Chamber Music with the tenor Leonardo De Lisi and M° Simone Savina and M° Ulla Casalini pianist collaborators. Thanks to those lessons the students had the chance to start the learning process with a great teacher as De Lisi, he is the Assistant Director of the Cherubini Conservatoire of Florence, working on a niche repertoire which can be sometimes neglected.

During the Vocal Technique lessons with the the baritone Roberto Coviello and M° Simone Savina and M° Ulla Casalini pianist collaborators, the students had the chance to extend their consciousness of the vocal technique and reflect on their voice finding new ways for their repertoire, thanks to the “revolutionary” suggestions of Coviello.

The lessons of Effective communication beyond the stage with Alberto De Sanctis, trainer, expert coach in effective communication and publics speaking, has been fundamental for the creation of a strong and unify group of work. The activity has stimulated the students in understanding the importance of working in enjoyable groups, showing their features and recognizing their weakness. Those transversal skills are fundamental for opera singers as much as the professional skills as the vocal technique, interpretation etc.

With Alessandra Panzavolta, dancer and choreographer, Artistic Director of SPID Dance Academy in Milan, ballet master and assistant at the Rome Opera and Director of the Ballet at San Carlo in Naples, the students worked on the movement and the movement’s interpretation. They managed to acquire awareness with themselves and in relations with their colleagues in the space.

It helped a lot to improve the stage presence and gestures.

On the 4th of July, for the first time in the history of Corso d’Opera, the students have been protagonists of a shooting with a great photographer as Gianni Ugolini. The day ended with a seminar of Gianni Ugolini about the importance to take care of the public and professional image that every singer has to create.

M° Angelo Michele Errico, as the professor of Interpretation, has prepared the students for the concert of the 7th July at Teatro Signorelli. He was also the pianist for the concert. He helped the students in choosing the best repertoire for the concert, they had the chance to understend the importance of studing with piano co-repetitor.

Angelo Michele Errico is a Faculty member of the “O. Respighi” Conservatory in Latina, teaching piano accompaniment, a professor at the Academy of the Maggio Fiorentino Theatre in Florence and at the Showa University of Music, Kawasaki, Japan and a Faculty member of the Corso d’Opera from 2016’s edition.

The Bioenergetics has been particulary appreciated. It is an innovative subject which was introduced in the 2013 Corso d’Opera’s edition. The Bioenergetics is a way to understand the personality through his energetic process: breathing, metabolism and discharge of energy in the movement. Alexander Lowen remebers us that the word “personality” has two origins: the person as a “mask” and the person “through the sounds”: in this way the voice becomes expression of the personality.


The students had the chance to understand the connection between the feelings and the voice and to notice that to free the feelings has helped a lot for singing. Everyone understood the importance to breath also with the rear rib cage.


The Functional Training for singers have been another occasion to understand the importance of training to improve the resistance of the body during the performances.

Prof. Mario Marella was the director of the team of the Department of Science and Sport Technology of the University of Florence (which is in partnership with the Corso d’Opera from 2015) in picking up important datas from tests they did on the students during the concert of the 7th July in Teatro Signorelli. They needed those datas to improve their study on the “Biotype of the Opera Singer ans his energy expenditures

The students understood how important is to always remember the training: also according to the new theatrical directions where the singers are asked to run, jump, go up and down while they are singing on the stage.

In the last week of the Masterclass, 8-14 July, there have been the lessons of Vocal technique and Interpretation of Opera and Chamber Music with Alessandro Corbelli and M° Angelo Michele Errico as pianist collaborator and the Acting lessons, body and masks technique, with Hugo De Ana.

Those lessons were an important experience for the students who had the chance to work with two great, world famous artists.

On the 14th July, at the end of the courses, the final concert of the students took place in the Teatro Signorelli in Cortona. This year the concert became a real show directed by Hugo De Ana with the extraordinary partecipation of Alessandro Corbelli, who sang with the students and M° Angelo Michele Errico at the piano.

The students had the chance to live the experience of a real theatre’s production, with hair and make-up, and a performance in which they could sing and show their talents in front of a public of experts and opera lovers.

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.

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:  MMAG ANDRE’ COMPLOI, Pressechef Wiener Staatsoper, “How to communicate the professional image through the media “André Comploi will lead the partecipants to understand the importance of communication, throught the best strategies and instruments.


During the period of the courses there were two concerts of the students at the Teatro Signorelli in collaboration with the Arditi’s Academy: the first on the 7th July with M° Angelo Michele Errico at the piano and the second one on the 14th July with the extraordinary partecipation of Alessandro Corbelli, the direction of Hugo De Ana and M° Angelo Michele Errico at the piano.


During the Open Days on the 7-8 July and 13, 14, 15 July many important personalities from the opera world have come to Cortona to see the lessons: Danilo Boaretto (Director of Opera Click), Susanna Toffaloni ( music critic for Opera Click), Francesco Arturo Saponaro (for Calssic Voice), Gianni Tangucci ( Coordinator of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s Academy), Carlo Mazzini, Giuseppe Oldani (Manager and President of ARIACS), William Graziosi (Superintendent of the Teatro Regio of Torino), Giovanni Oliva, (Artistic Coordinator of the Fondazione Cantiere internazionale d’arte di Montepulciano), together with other guests ad Maria Cristina Rizzi, her friends Francesco Giovanni e Romola Tomasinelli, Maria Francesca Spatolisano, Pietro Sorrentino.

Also this year the RAI have followed the Masterclass with two television reports with interviews and part of the students’ concert of the 7th July.

On the 15 July, in the Sala del Consiglio Comunale of Cortona, was held the final meeting of the courses with the students, the President of Corso d’Opera, Dominique Meyer, the General Director, Raffaella Coletti, the faculty members M° Angelo Michele Errico, Alessandro Corbelli, Hugo De Ana, the press and important personalities from the opera 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 have only heard on the 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.

At the end of the meeting every student has received a certificate of presence for the Masterclass Corso d’Opera in Cortona 2018.

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.

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, Palazzo Ferretti, the Sala S. Sebastiano and the Auditorium San Francesco.

Fundraising efforts in 2018 brought in significant revenue to the Association and it looks positive that we will meet our financial objective by the end of the year. For the first year the Corso d’Opera managed to guaranty to every student with the Italian residence to attend the courses for free.

Input and output data for 2017 edition are significant. The numbers are small but the rate of success is important: in 2017, six participants of Corso d’Opera obtained 30 contracts within 12 months of finishing the course, for a total amount of 390 days of work and a total value of 250.000€.


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, Consorzio Cortona Vini, Nessun Dorma restaurant, B&B Dolce Maria, Hotel San Luca, Caffè del Teatro, Agenzia Travel Ideas and Cortona Charme for the fundamental collaboration.