|For immediate release – Teatro Nuovo today announced the release of Bel Canto in Thirty Minutes, premiering September 15th at 7:30 p.m. on YouTube Live. The new video production features the first-ever complete recording of Nicola Vaccai’s Practical Method of Italian Singing, a delicious collection of miniature arias that has been a cornerstone of Bel Canto training for nearly two centuries.
Twenty-two singers, among them Lawrence Brownlee, Georgia Jarman, Angela Meade, Lisette Oropesa, Jennifer Rowley, and Michael Spyres, join TN Artistic Director Will Crutchfield in remotely-recorded performances of this classic compendium of Bel Canto style, designed by the composer to be “short, amusing, and useful.” Crutchfield and selected soloists will be on line for a live chat during the premiere.
“This is the moment when the world heads back to school for the fall, and when rehearsals should be underway for opera seasons everywhere,” said Crutchfield in introducing the program. “Since all of that has been disrupted by the pandemic, I thought we should share some great music meant to be sung at home, and written for study and practice. As students have known since 1832, it’s also quite catchy, and as much fun as it is educational.”
All singers have donated their services, and Bel Canto in Thirty Minutes is offered to the opera public completely free of charge. It will remain permanently available on YouTube after the premiere, and can also be accessed through teatronuovo.org. There, it is accompanied by an article on Vaccai and his times, a piece-by-piece explanation of the arias, and complete texts and translations (summary translations are embedded in the video).
“The book ranges from folksong simplicity to poignant reflection and high virtuosity,” says Crutchfield. “It starts easy and finishes hard,” he adds, “but even a fully developed singer can keep in shape by returning to the easy pieces, and even a student can at least make a start on the difficult ones. Best of all, it’s beautiful music from beginning to end. I think every opera fan should know it.”
Bel Canto in Thirty Minutes: Complete vocal roster in alphabetical order: Santiago Ballerini, Lawrence Brownlee, Teresa Castillo, Junhan Choi, Georgia Jarman, Alisa Jordheim, Hannah Ludwig, Christine Lyons, Megan Marino, Dorian McCall, Madison Marie McIntosh, Angela Meade, Tamara Mumford, Lisette Oropesa, Daniel Mobbs, Jennifer Rowley, Nicholas Simpson, Michael Spyres, Derrek Stark, Alina Tamborini, Hans Tashjian, Meigui Zhang.