On Saturday 11 August 2018, participants on the advanced and professional level week of Veneto Opera Summer School gave their final performance at Asolo’s historic royal opera house, the Teatro Eleonora Duse – inside the castle that once belonged to Queen Caterina Cornaro.

Serata lirica al Castello was the culmination of a week of Italian opera coaching for our group of international singers and pianists from countries including Canada, China, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the UK. They performed a magical selection of Italian arias and ensembles for an Italian audience, including pieces by Mozart, Gluck, Handel, Puccini and Donizetti, and a moving performance of Verdi’s Va pensiero as a finale.

Asolo’s Head of Culture took to the stage at the end of the evening to thank the performers, highlighting the clarity of the singers’ Italian diction in particular. One member of the audience commented, “Even though it was a very warm evening, I didn’t need anything to keep me cool as I had goosebumps throughout the concert!”

The evening was presented by Melofonetica Founder, Matteo Dalle Fratte, who gave background and context to the pieces performed and explained the preparation that the performers had undertaken to perfect their skills in sung Italian diction.

Shortly after the finale, one of the singers described the experience: “It went really well, the crowd was amazing, they were very appreciative, they seemed to really enjoy being here and listening to the music and that brought a lot of energy for all of us, so we had a lot of fun.”

Well done to all the performers, conductor and music coach Peter Ford, and music coaches Julie Aherne and Bernard Tan.