This September I visited Sanremo in order to do a masterclass with Italian soprano, Antonella Banaudi. Masterclasses are a very useful tool for singers, it is a means to discover various tricks of the trade from successful musicians. Different singers have different ways of passing on their knowledge and experiences, and I find that there is always something new that can be learned. A masterclass is a good place to learn by observing others, and if it is an intense masterclass and one spends enough time with the other singers, for making friends J Doing masterclasses in a different country helps me to observe the way other singers work in that country, and since singers often have to travel all over the world to sing, this is a very safe environment to learn how to adapt.
Antonella Banaudi has studied with the great tenors Carlo Bergonzi and Pavarotti. She is a kind and generous woman, and she teaches with passion and is inspiring. She shared stories of her encounters with Bergonzi and Pavarotti, and I felt so humbled by her openness and humility. The masterclasses took place in a small village near San Remo called Porto Maurizio, in Oratorio San Pietro, a beautiful little church overlooking the harbour. We constantly had passing tourists come in to see what was going on.
Throughout the masterclasses, Antonella focused on a strong body and high placement, very much emphasising and supporting the work I have been doing with my teacher Yvonne Kenny. I find that the wonderful thing about masterclasses is that it really helps clarify and strengthen singing technique. Antonella’s Mediterranean directness made sure that I didn’t let my body get lazy, and after a very restful summer, I felt much stronger and physically confident to start on the second year Guildhall opera course!