Dear Friends of the Accademia,
What a pleasure it is to be writing to you today from Italy as we mark yet another milestone at the Accademia. Today is the first day of our inaugural alumni course! Though we are beginning this new initiative only with singers, our plan is to eventually offer alumni from both of our courses the chance to return to the GSA to continue to hone their skills and prepare for professional engagements. For years our alumni have said over and over how much they wish to return to the Accademia, and I am so thrilled that we are able to make that happen this year.
Of course, though we are happy to be here we are misty-eyed as we recall our time with Corradina Caporello - the legendary Italian lyric diction coach, faculty member of the Accademia, and friend to us all who passed away a few weeks ago. Jonathan Papp wrote a beautiful remembrance of her which you can read by clicking here.
It's been a busy start to our 2023 season with a very successful repetiteur course at our beloved Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. We are so unbelievably grateful to be able to hold this project in such a magical and inspirational place. Led as always by Jonathan Papp as principal tutor for the course, our core faculty included Rodrigo de Vera (GSA alumnus and repetiteur/conductor at the Liceu in Barcelona), James Vaughan (Head Music Coach at La Scala), Tony Legge (Vocal Coach/Conductor, Royal Opera House), and of course the venerable Richard Bonynge. Richard is a true legend who, at 94, can teach us a thing or two not just about music, but about life in general! Richard returns as well this summer for our Bel Canto Course, as does Barbara Frittoli, Leo Nucci, Freddie De Tommaso, Stefano Baldasseroni, and Jonathan Lakeland. As always, our artistic director Jonathan Papp leads the training and teaching on the course.
As many of you know, 2024 will be the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Accademia. It's hard to believe that 20 years ago Jonathan Papp, Lady Solti, and myself descended upon Castiglione to try out this little experiment. I can hardly believe how much the Accademia has grown since then, and how many extraordinary musicians have passed through our programmes both as students and faculty. To commemorate this anniversary, we will have a spate of special projects and events for you to attend which we look forward to sharing with you over the next couple of months.
That said, we couldn't have made it to our 20th anniversary without the generous support of our many friends. In particular, I'd like to thank our core supporter for the Bel Canto Course - the Rolex Institute in Geneva, as well as the core supporters for our Repetiteur Course - Dentons' Law Firm (Budapest), the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, the Mascarade Opera Foundation, and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. I'd like to also thank all of you that give so generously as individuals - your financial support and passion is integral to the continuity of the Accademia. Finally, I'd also like to extend a special welcome to our newly created American Friends of the GSA, and especially to Kera Jewett who, apart from being a key founding member and supporter, is also helping raise the profile of the Solti Accademia in the USA and elsewhere among potential donors. We are most grateful for this support.
I look forward to seeing many of you in a few weeks at our final concerts in Castiglione della Pescaia! As always, be sure to watch our social media pages on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates so you can see how your support directly improves the artistry of this brilliant bunch of young musicians.
Executive Director, The Georg Solti Accademia