The Melofonetica Method: A complete guide to clear and expressive Italian diction for singers


By Matteo Dalle Fratte
With a foreword by Sir Mark Elder


“I urge everyone remotely interested in bel canto to embrace this book and dive in!”

– Sir Mark Elder, conductor


The Melofonetica Method™ is a transformative approach to Italian diction in opera and classical music, based on the phonetics of sung Italian. The product of over a decade of research and coaching, and with proven results on high profile productions and recordings, the method helps singers of all levels and language backgrounds to:
  • Get a clear vision of the building blocks of excellent sung Italian
  • Cut through complexities and rapidly achieve incisive, idiomatic sung Italian diction
  • Enhance vocal quality and breath support through the correct use of consonants
  • Strengthen dramatic expression and deliver a convincing performance
  • Sing in Italian with greater command, confidence and ease

This book provides a structured approach to teaching and learning Italian lyric diction and will be an invaluable resource for singers, coaches, accompanists, conductors and directors. It includes: 180+ notation examples, 120 vocalising exercises, 4 transcribed arias, access to 340+ audio recordings and fascinating insight into the evolution of Italian as a language built to be sung.

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Sir Mark Elder and Matteo Dalle Fratte introduce the Melofonetica Method book at the Royal Opera House, UK

Sir Mark Elder and Matteo Dalle Fratte discuss working with singers in Italian and the new Melofonetica Method book. Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Insights event on Aida in London, UK, April 2023. Thank you to ROH for permission to share.

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Lise Davidsen, soprano

“It’s absolutely wonderful to have the Melofonetica Method to work with.”

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

“Creates fantastic energy and expression... It's a huge bonus for any interpretation.”

RamĂłn Vargas, tenor

“Invaluable for all singers looking to achieve an authentic Italian sound.”

Philip White, Head of Opera,
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

“The Melofonetica Method is clear, concise and consistent – and it works wonders.”

About the author 

Matteo Dalle Fratte is an Italian language coach, musicologist and tenor who has been conducting research into the phonetics of sung Italian since 2009. He coaches at world-renowned UK conservatoires and opera companies including the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, National Opera Studio and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Read more.

Book launch at the National Opera Studio, London, May 2023

More reviews of the Melofonetica Method and the author's work

"Astonishingly helpful! The method gives you a clear vision of the building blocks of Italian, which is demystifying and very empowering. You realise that if you sing the text in the right way, good Italian releases good technique and gives authority to dramatic expression." – Madeleine Holmes, soprano

"Brings the text to life and encourages vibrant tone quality as well as incisive diction. The whole performance gains conviction as a result." – Jennifer Heslop, singing teacher

"As a trained singer, Matteo absolutely understands what is helpful vocally so not only are students able to deliver much clearer language but they are also able to sing the music with greater ease. I have learnt so much from him and it has really influenced the way I work as a vocal coach." – Liz Marcus, pianist and vocal coach

"The Melofonetica Method really works: I’ve seen at firsthand the difference that the tools and techniques make to singers, pianists and conductors." – Malcolm Martineau OBE, pianist

"The Melofonetica Method is refreshing: it cuts through complexities and helps make clearly articulated Italian achievable." – Mark Shanahan, conductor

"Revelatory! I really enjoyed finding new vocal colours in my singing." – Seán Boylan, baritone

"The Melofonetica Method has enabled me to understand my own support system through the use of consonants, as opposed to a vowel-to-vowel 'legato' mentality which has driven my technique for many years." – Stephanie Peat, mezzo-soprano

"Un plauso a Matteo Dalle Fratte, il vocal coach che fa cantare tutto il cast in un ottimo italiano.” [Applause to Matteo Dalle Fratte, the vocal coach who helped the whole cast to sing with great Italian.] – Alessandro Cammarano, review of the 2020 Opera Rara recording of Donizetti’s Il Paria, Le Salon Musical, January 2021

"Another boon to this issue is the forensic clarity of the singers in their projection of the text [...] the consistency and naturalness in their enunciation of the Italian text is a real joy. The language coach Matteo Dalle Fratte [...] has clearly done a wonderful job." – Richard Hanlon, review of the 2018 Monteverdi Productions recording of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, MusicWeb International, March 2019

"It is thanks in large measure to the insights of language coach Matteo Dalle Fratte that this performance is every bit as vivid (in many respects more so) as any DVD production might be." – Europadisc, review of the 2018 Monteverdi Productions recording of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, October 2018

"The stagings are simple and direct, arising naturally from the singers’ delivery of the all-important text – bravo to the language coach, Matteo Dalle Fratte – and Monteverdi’s sublime music." – Hugh Canning, review of Monteverdi’s Triptych, performed by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra and English Baroque Soloists at Teatro La Fenice, The Sunday Times (News Licensing), 25 June 2017

"It’s a joy to hear well–projected and clearly well–understood Italian [...] Language coach Matteo Dalle Fratte has done excellent work here." – David Nice, review of Le donne curiose, performed by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, The Arts Desk, 5 November 2015


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Meet and work with our team at one of our masterclasses, Veneto Opera Summer School in Italy or train-the-trainer courses.


The Melofonetica Method

A transformative approach to Italian diction in opera and classical music based on the phonetics of sung Italian.


Book audio recordings

340+ audio recordings accompanying The Melofonetica Method: A complete guide to clear and expressive Italian diction for singers.