Discover the unsung art of the répétiteur – live from Venice tonight7:40, 11th September 2020
The art of the répétiteur is a complex one and remains little understood by the opera-going public, even though it requires some of the highest levels of all-round musical skills in the opera world. Répétiteurs remain the unsung heroes of the day-to-day workings of an opera company. They comprise the team of pianists, vocal coaches and conductors who assist in the smooth running of every aspect of an opera house’s musical life, ensuring that the ensemble and principal artists are able to deliver their very best on stage.
To see the extraordinary skills of répétiteurs in action, be sure to watch the Georg Solti Accademia’s live-stream of the final concert of its Solti-Peretti Répétiteurs Course at the Auditorium Lo Squero, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice. The concert will be available to stream from this evening (11 September) at 6pm (European time; 5pm in the UK): follow the link here . The programme includes a selection of aria featuring the pianists and singers on this year’s course, as well as a performance of the Act I Finale from Mozart’s Così fan Tutte.
Founded in 2009, the Solti-Peretti Répétiteur Course was one of the first of its kind to emphasise the importance of training répétiteurs, preparing musicians for the diverse demands of the job and the opera industry in general.
Following a global audition process each year, six young pianists, all at the early stages of training as conductors and répétiteurs, are invited to join the course at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the Isola San Giorgio, just across from St Mark’s Square in Venice. This year’s intake is drawn from the UK, Germany, Poland and South Korea. Participants spend eight days working alongside six singers, all of whom are alumni of the Georg Solti Accademia’s Bel Canto Course for Singers, an immersive series of masterclasses that takes place each summer in Castiglione della Pescaia, on the southern Tuscan coast.
The young musicians are mentored by distinguished opera conductors, vocal coaches, and répétiteurs. This year’s faculty includes Jonathan Papp (artistic director of the Solti Accademia), James Vaughan (head coach, Teatro alla Scala, Milan), and Rodrigo de Vera (conductor/coach at Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona). Thanks to the support of the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, the Mascarade Opera Studio, and Dentons Law Firm (Budapest), participants are not required to pay for the GSA’s courses, ensuring that socio-economic barriers are minimised.
The 2020 course was originally scheduled for March/April, but was postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic. After months of planning and preparation with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, the Accademia’s institutional partner in Venice, the Accademia was able to reschedule the course, which finishes on 12 September. Much work was put into devising a system that ensures the faculty, staff, and students of the Accademia will be kept as safe as possible. This includes wearing masks, daily temperature checks, and other protocols.
You can learn more about the tonight’s concert, the répétiteurs, singers and the Accademia here.