Melofonetica was established by tenor, musicologist and Italian Coach Dr. Matteo Dalle Fratte in 2014, to promote and preserve the correct use of Italian language in opera. We do this by coaching singers, accompanists and other music professionals using the research-based Melofonetica Method®.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, Italian poets carefully curated a version of the Italian language for use in poetry recital. The beautiful properties and sounds of this language contributed to the birth of opera in the Italian peninsula in the 16th century, and to the Italian language as we know it today. Clearly articulated, well projected sounds and words, with their innate rhythm and expression became key to the great composers of Italian opera repertoire, from Monteverdi to Puccini – and we want to ensure that this heritage is not lost.
Our vision is that sung Italian in all opera and classical music is clear, correct and expressive – as intended by the composers and the great poets who built the language.
Melofonetica courses are led by Matteo Dalle Fratte with a team of experienced, collaborative music coaches. All have experience of working closely with Matteo and using the Melofonetica Method in their work with singers.
Matteo Dalle Fratte
Dr. Matteo Dalle Fratte is an Italian tenor, musicologist and coach who studied singing in Italy with Paolo Badoer, a pupil of Gilda Dalla Rizza, Puccini’s favourite soprano.
Following a research fellowship in Italian phonetics for opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) in 2013, Matteo founded Melofonetica in 2014 to promote and preserve the correct use of Italian language in opera. As creator of the Melofonetica Method, Matteo leads Melofonetica’s coaching activities.
Matteo is a Professor of Italian at GSMD, and an Italian Coach at the Royal Opera House, the National Opera Studio and the Royal College of Music, London; the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. In 2016, Matteo became a Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy (HEA).
Since 2010, Matteo has coached for a wide range of opera productions for the Royal Opera House, Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Grange Park Opera, Classical Opera, Nevill Holt Opera, Opera Rara, Arcangelo, La Nuova Musica, Raymond Gubbay and La Serenissima.
Before moving to the UK, Matteo worked on musicological projects in collaboration with the University of Padua and the University and Conservatoire of Bologna. He was also journalist and music critic for Rassegna Melodrammatica of Milan and the newspaper Gazzettino. His musicological work includes publishing the biographies of the soprano Gilda Dalla Rizza, in 2003, and the tenor Giovanni Lunardi, in 2004, and the History of Teatro Sociale in Notiziario degli Amici del Museo of Bassano del Grappa in 2005. He has also worked on critic editions including Zarlino’s Istituzione Harmoniche, and in close collaboration with Professor Raffaello Monterosso on Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Lamenti di Arianna e Olimpia, Madrigali spirituali, Cantiunculae e Canzonette with the Fondazione Monteverdi of Cremona.
Prior to his Research Fellowship in Italian phonetics for opera, he achieved a Master’s Degree in Music as a tenor at GSMD with vocal coach Professor Scott Johnson, and a Laurea cum laude in Italian Literature and Musicology at the University of Padua, with a thesis on Gilda Dalla Rizza and Giacomo Puccini, tutored by Professor Anna Laura Bellina.
Conductor Peter Ford works as a music director, coach, and educator throughout the UK and Europe. His early conducting studies were undertaken both privately with Colin Howard and at the Canford Summer School, overseen by the late George Hurst. Subsequent postgraduate studies with Russell Keable at the University of Surrey resulted in an MMus Conducting awarded with distinction.
Peter made his international conducting debut at the opening night of the 2016 Birgitta Festival, Tallinn, conducting Così fan Tutte in a collaboration between the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, The Black Cat Opera Company, and acclaimed Estonian scenographer Lilja Blumenfeld.
As a pianist he has performed at the Tibrà International Festival, Kópavogur, with tenor Ólafur Rúnarsson, and has returned to perform in venues across Iceland.
As the Artistic Director of The Black Cat Opera Company, recent Italian-language productions have included Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Così fan Tutte, and La Bohème.
Peter is principal guest conductor of Rocket Opera, and productions have included Rita, Don Giovanni and The Mikado at Berwick Festival Opera. 2018 productions include The Beggar’s Opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, and HMS Pinafore.
Passionate about Italian-language repertoire, Peter was a student on the very first Melofonetica courses before joining the team as a member of music staff. He is a regular coach at Melofonetica events in the UK, and coaches and conducts on the Veneto Opera Summer School in Italy.
Pianist Julie Aherne studied at Royal Holloway, University of London, with James Kirby, and later with Matthew Stanley. Her interest in opera and vocal music led her to attend the first Melofonetica courses in 2014. She has since returned on numerous occasions as a pianist and coach, including at the Veneto Opera Summer School.
A co-founder of The Black Cat Opera Company, Julie has worked as répétiteur and producer on productions of Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Carmen, Falstaff, and La Bohème, as well as appearing as accompanist for gala evenings and high-profile corporate engagements. In August 2016, the company was invited to take their production of Così fan tutte to the Birgitta Festival, Tallinn, with Julie playing harpsichord continuo alongside the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
Recent freelance work includes musical direction for Acis and Galatea with Opera Cameratina in association with The Mastersingers, orchestral piano for Opera Della Luna’s acclaimed touring show Tales of Offenbach, répétiteur and orchestral piano for Rocket Opera’s production of Donizetti Rita, and a recital programme including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives.
In addition to her work with Melofonetica, Julie works as an accompanist for the Association of British Choral Directors, Berwick Festival Opera, Rocket Opera, and at Royal Holloway, University of London. A keen advocate for community singing, she also directs Bisley Ladies Choir, Surrey, as well as working as a rehearsal pianist for other choral societies in Surrey and Hampshire.
Bernard Tan is an award-winning collaborative pianist, vocal coach and répétiteur, and joins us as a coach on our Veneto Opera Summer School. He graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with an MMus in Collaborative Piano, studying with Robin Bowman. In the UK, he was awarded the John Ireland Accompanist Prize, Hester Dickson Prize and Delia Hall Accompanist Prize, among others.
Bernard’s work on operatic repertoire has seen him appointed as a coaching fellow on productions in Canada and Italy including Tosca and Suor Angelica. He also created the Italian romantic song project Amore e Morte while studying in the UK, which he directed, coached and played.
Currently residing in Michigan, USA, Bernard studies with the world-renowned Martin Katz at the University of Michigan on the Doctor of Musical Arts programme.
Jamila Jones is our Academy Manager and manages our UK and Italy courses.
Jamila is an editor and communications specialist, and is passionate about Italy, language education and classical music.
With a background in classical ballet, she also holds a First Class BA. Honours degree in Italian and Spanish from the University of London and is a Chartered Institute of Linguists qualified translator.
Samuele Pellizzari is an editor, multimedia specialist and musicologist, and works closely with Melofonetica on the development of our courses and activities.
Since 2010, he has worked as a Digital Project Manager for Edizioni Curci, Italy’s leading music publisher, where he leads interactive digital educational projects. He also ensures the correct rendition of Italian in translated works and promotes user engagement through social media channels.
Prior to this, he worked as a member of the marketing and promotion team at Carosello Records, Curci’s sister company. During his university years, he collaborated with Matteo Dalle Fratte and La Fenice in Venice, on a project called Studenti all’Opera (‘Students at the Opera’), a series of activities designed to offer students an immersive, first-row opera experience.
He achieved a Laurea cum laude in Italian Literature and Musicology at the University of Padua, with a thesis on ‘Greensleeves’, one of the oldest tunes in music history. His study, spanning from the tune’s cultural roots in Elizabethan England to its contemporary jazz renditions, was later published and adopted by Prof. Luca Cerchiari for his course in African-American Music Culture at the University of Padua.
Passionate about both music and technology, particularly in an educational context, Samuele constantly seeks new ways to bring the best of music heritage to the next generation of music professionals and lovers.
Bass and Vocal Coach
Professor and Phonetician
Accompanist and Opera Coach
Anna Laura Bellina
Professor and Musicologist
Speech Therapist and Laryngologist
Professor, Musicologist and Conductor
Professor and Literary Theorist
Tann vom Hove
Journalist and Editor
Conductor and Opera Coach
Thanks to the following organisations for their support of Dr. Matteo Dalle Fratte’s research: