How I Spent My Summer
Students from around the United States joined Wichita State University voice student to spend four weeks in Lucca, Italy in intensive voice and language training. Singers worked with seven teachers in voice, language, opera and role preparation. Numerous opera lovers and supporters generously provided over $25,000 in scholarships to assist students with travel and tuition expenses.
Students spent two hours each day in Italian language classes, as well as voice lessons and coaching sessions. Lessons were enhanced by visits to important cultural sites where opera history took place, including the Pitti Palace in Florence, birthplace of Peri's Euridice.
All students participated in master classes conducted by noted international opera singer, clinician, opera director and teacher, Alan Held, Metropolitan Opera singer, Claudia Catania, noted voice teacher and international opera singer, Dr. Pina Mozzani, and Lorenzo Frassà, whose agency specializes in working with young artists on the Italian language and pronunciation, as well as translation and preparation of a libretto. Students were able to coach with accomplished Italian conductors as well.
Viewing professional performances was also on the agenda. Students attended Aida in the Roman era Arena di Verona. Time was allotted to exploring historic Verona.
Students measured their progress by performing before the Italian public, always a daunting prospect. All took part in two final concerts which were enthusiastically received by tutti l'Italiani. Everyone celebrated at a farewell party including much wonderful Italian food and wine (definitely part of the cultural education component!), and all toasted what for many had been a revealing, “life-altering" first trip to Europe.
Farewell party, 2018.