Getting closer to 2018 Solti Accademia China Masterclasses at NCPA

On May 28th, the 3rd Solti Accademia China Masterclasses at the NCPA began at the NCPA Concert Hall. The eight finalists were given on-the-spot guidance from tutors, who gave suggestions on their performance of opera arias. Hundreds of vocal music students and opera lovers were invited to the masterclass as auditors.

The public masterclass of 2018 Solti Accademia China Masterclasses at NCPA

Vocal director and piano accompanist Jonathan Papp told students how to breathe skillfully and rhythmically while singing. He said: When singing a period repeatedly, keep yourself in good spirits all the time, not in low spirits. Language coach Stefano Baldasseroni taught students how to vocalise in Italian, and imparted on them with phonetic and semantic knowledge. He pointed out: Italian vowels are very important. You should try your best to pronounce the vowels vigorously with the shape of your lips changed to the least extent.” Soprano Barbara Frittoli offered the students guidance by doing demonstration, showing them the way to vocalise con anima and sing with proper facial expressions and gestures. She told them: Keep calm and steady as far as possible while singing, because your voice, especially your high-pitched voice, can be affected when you’re over-excited or over-nervous.

Tutors Stefano Baldasseroni (left), Barbara Frittoli (middle) and Jonathan Papp (right)

As the last student’s performance had ended, the 2018 Solti Accademia China Masterclasses at the NCPA concluded, followed by the announcement of the students to attend the summer programmes offered by the Georg Solti Accademia. Young baritones SHANG Chunlai and ZHAO Denghui stood out, and would receive a full scholarship from the Rolex Institute and go to Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy for the 2018 and 2019 summer programmes. They will receive professional training on language, singing style and theater performance and will be granted the opportunity to obtain guidance from core mentors at the accademia, as well as star mentors such as Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Leo Nucci, Richard Bonynge and Angela Gheorghiu.

SHANG Chunlai comes from Northeast Normal University, and is studying at the Academy of Opera of Peking University. He said, “This is a stage for dreams. I feel particularly privileged to study at the NCPA and receive comprehensive guidance from top tutors. All of the three tutors are conscientious and passionate. Ms. Barbara even shed tears when explaining music to us. Her professionalism is admirable. I’m glad to be chosen for further studies in Italy, and that’s not only encouraging to me, but going to be motivating to me in future studies."

The finalist received comprehensive tuition at the masterclass

Yong baritone ZHAO Denghui graduated from Conservatorio di Milano, Italy. He said, “It surprises me a lot that I will go to Italy for further studies! The Solti Accademia China Masterclasses are very professional, and the three tutors are international first-rate teachers with excellent quality. They are approachable in everyday life, but very strict academically and in terms of teaching. I have been really benefitted a lot by their ‘strictness’. Thank the NCPA for offering us this platform, which is beneficial to young singers’ growth and opera development in China. I’ve gained much, including a great improvement in pronunciation, performance and language expression.”

Over the past three years, 23 students have received tutoring at the NCPA and showed their talents in masterclasses and five of them had enjoyed the privilege to attend free courses in Italy. In the future, the NCPA will cooperate with more international top art institutions and plan to launch personal training and exchange programmes to help young Chinese artists showcase their talents.

Photos by WANG Xiaojing