The intensive program is structured to push every artist to the max as we have found this to stimulate learning. To maximize learning potential we have grouped activities into periods of time.
During weeks 1-3 all artists (singers, instrumentalists, and assistant conductors/directors) will focus on the process of putting an opera on its feet.
Singers will work intensively on coaching individually and as a cast with both coaches and conductors. Your cast and performance date will be determined before arriving in Sicily. You will also be completely immersed in the staging process with your directors. Each singer will work either in a cast or individually at least twice per day with the coach/conductor team. Voice instructors will play a lesser role, advising singers during coachings for the most part during weeks 1-2 and start voice lessons in week 3 daily. The typical day will be 10am-1:30pm and 3pm-6:30pm.
Instrumentalists will be hard at work preparing the operas with their conductors from 10am-1:30pm and 3pm-6:30pm.
Assistant conductors will be involved in observing the maestro prep the orchestra and will also conduct during staging rehearsals. They will need to pay close attention to our conductors and what they are requiring of the orchestra during the prep time and that information as they conduct in staging rehearsals.
Assistant directors will assist the stage directors in helping with staging and with shadowing. We have multiple casts and their will be multiple casts staging the opera at the same time (shadowing each other). The assistant director’s job is to make sure everyone stays on track with direction and blocking.
Italian classes will start, basic and advanced. All participants are invited to participate.
Singers: voice lessons will continue in full with individual sessions daily. We will also have guests during this period. The typical day will consist of Italian class, voice lesson, and 2 coachings. Performances will also have started and every singer will be required to be present at every show, in support of their colleagues. Between individual studies and performances, this is a challenging period as days are often 12 hour working days between your studies and performances.
Instrumentalists: during this period your work load will diminish as rehearsals will have significantly decreased. Their will be almost a performance every night. During this period we will also have rehearsals and concerts for orchestra, ensembles and soloists.
Assistant conductors: during this time, as staging rehearsals will have ended, you will be instructed on how to prompt during an opera performance, and will receive instruction from conductors on various aspects of conducting and coaching singers. You will have a guest instructor specifically for your group from the Metropolitan Opera of New York.
Throughout the 6 weeks we will have a weekly tourism outing. Typical attractions most liked by our artists have been visiting Taormina (and going to the beach there), Ragusa and Marina di Ragusa (also beach area), and Siracusa/Ibla (enchanting ancient city, Greek ruins, etc).
To endure the rigors of this program it is required that all participants follow closely our rules and regulations and look out for their health (hydration, rest, no excessive drinking or sunbathing, etc.). Any harassing, unprofessional, or disrespectful behaviors will be met decisively and unapologetically. Our entire focus is on becoming better artists and distractions from this goal, jeopardizing learning and people’s investment in the program, will not be tolerated.
Every year, lasting friendships and deeply meaningful artistic experiences are created and cherished by students and staff.