Veneto Opera Summer School

Aria and Song week

Led by Matteo Dalle Fratte, Founder of Melofonetica, renowned Italian coach and author of The Melofonetica Method: A complete guide to clear and expressive Italian diction for singers

Bassano del Grappa, Veneto, Italy

11 to 18 August 2024

 Join us for:

  • A week's immersion in the highly effective Melofonetica Method, designed to help you master authentic pronunciation and improve musicality and expression in sung Italian
  • 4 hours of one-to-one coaching, including sessions with each member of our faculty (see below) to improve diction, expression and performance skills in your choice of Italian aria or song
  • Unlimited access to observe inspiring Italian masterclasses
  • 6 hours of vocalising and ensemble sessions on Italian repertoire
  • A full overview of the transformative Melofonetica Method including presentations led by Matteo Dalle Fratte, vocalising with melophonetics, guided listening and Q&A
  • 2 x 60-minute workshops:
    • Working effectively with a pianist and conductor: understand how to optimise the collaborative relationship with your accompanist or conductor
    • Sung Italian in the body: explore how good sung Italian benefits singing technique and benefit from simple yoga exercises to develop inner awareness and quality of breath connection
  • 3 x 45-minute morning yoga sessions (optional but included at no additional cost)
  • A collaborative, supportive and inspiring environment led by highly effective coaches who will enable you to make a rapid improvement to your skills and confidence in Italian repertoire
  • The opportunity to meet, learn and sing with participants from all over the world while enjoying la dolce vita in beautiful, historic Bassano del Grappa

Optional activities:

  • Perform in a concert for an Italian audience and enjoy a celebratory dinner at the end of the week
  • Visit to a local vineyard with tastings
  • Visit to a local grapperia with tastings

“I loved every aspect of this course from the method itself to the staff, rehearsals, masterclasses and the performances. The course took into consideration everyone’s individual voice type and level of training and made sure they were used to their fullest potential so everyone got to show off their talents. The staff were also very kind, patient and understanding to every participant. Cannot recommend this course enough.”

April, soprano

“The week transformed not only my use of Italian, but my awareness of language in singing more generally.”

Johanna, soprano


Save £50 when you apply by 14 May 2024!

£745 early bird fee, tuition package as above excluding optional activities, for applications received by 14 May 2024

£795 full fee, tuition package as above excluding optional activities, for applications received 15 May 2024 onwards

Course fees include: All masterclasses, coaching, workshops, use of practice rooms at specified times, administration and course materials.

These fees do not include accommodation or board; participants are free to arrange their own accommodation in Bassano. Our teaching venue, the Istituto Scalabrini, provides comfortable, high quality accommodation onsite which may be booked separately at very reasonable rates (please contact us for more details).

Apply now

Places are available for singers and pianists and will be offered to suitable applicants on a first come, first served basis. We welcome singers of all levels and language backgrounds, as long as you have some prior experience of studying Italian repertoire. Participants must be aged 18 or over on 11 August. Please note that all tuition is in English.


Please either complete the online application form or apply via email with the following:

  • A brief CV
  • A short video or audio clip of you performing any Italian repertoire
  • Your voice type 


Pianists will benefit from tailored coaching in how to use the Melofonetica Method to better prepare Italian repertoire and collaborate more effectively with singers. To apply as a pianist, you will need to have, or be studying for, a conservatoire or university music degree with a strong performance element, or have equivalent experience. If you're a pianist interested in joining us, please contact us for more information.

More information
If you have any queries about the programme or you’d like an informal chat about any aspect, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to receiving your application!


Matteo Dalle Fratte


Peter Ford


Julie Aherne


Madeleine Holmes


Alessandra Fasolo


Jamila Jones



The Scalabrini Institute is the peaceful and comfortable location for all of our teaching during the week. The teaching rooms are spacious, with views towards the mountains, the town and the famous Ponte Vecchio.

The venue also provides comfortable, high quality accommodation for those who would like the convenience of staying onsite:

  • Air-conditioned ensuite bedrooms
  • Continental breakfast and three-course Italian lunches
  • Wifi
  • Use of a small kitchen and washing machine
  • Access to scenic riverside walks

Rooms at the Scalabrini Institute may be booked separately (please contact us for details).

“The venue was amazing and the course was superbly organised. Generally fantastic!”

Tom, baritone

Bassano del Grappa

Our venue, the peaceful Scalabrini Institute, is located beside the river in central Bassano del Grappa. Bassano is a beautiful, historic town at the foothills of the Alps in the Veneto region and takes its name from nearby Monte Grappa.

The historic centre of Bassano is just a 5-10 minute scenic riverside walk from our venue. It is pretty and compact with many bars, restaurants and boutiques. The architecture is a blend of typical Venetian arcaded streets and piazzas, and Austrian alpine wooden balconies.

The town is well known for its Ponte Vecchio, a historic wooden bridge designed by Palladio which crosses the river Brenta, locally-produced ceramics and grappa liqueur.

Bassano is within easy reach of Venice Marco Polo, Treviso and Verona airports. There are also direct trains from Venice, Vicenza and Padova. Parking is available at our venue if required.





Matteo Dalle Fratte discusses the Melofonetica Method and how our sung Italian coaching benefits participants.



Images from our previous summer schools including our Aria and Song weeks and Staged Scenes programme