Music and Opera


Course based on a musical itinerary To gether the segrets of the "arts and crafts" of another country, the curiosity to listen and learn, has been the spark that set of the desire in men of culture to undertake enormous travels, although difficult and fraught with danger. Italy, the land of artists and navigators, has been and remains the mecca, for all those who would like to come in contact with the most important masters , representing their particular craft. Why shouldn't we also depart on our voyage through Italian music, listening to concerts, assisting in the best performances on stage and following the path of the most renowned musical sites, both current and from the past. We will visit museums dedicated to music and musicans, laboratories of ancient stringed musical instruments, schools of "Belcanto" which have made this particular ly Italian genre of music , famous all over the world. We will be accompanied throughout the stay, by a teacher of "Canto", who will guide us through, preparing us for the performances, lecture us on the composers and their works, helping us to understand and appreciate in greater detail this art form. After much "listening" and much "seeing", why don't we participate, also? For those who enjoy and love music, singing is an essential! So, between one performance another...lets all learn "Canto", taking advantage of our specialized teacher; finding it impossible not to be an extraordinarily enjoyable experience also. The tour is of 14 days/ lessons, with each location dealing with a diverse musical subject.

1st day/lesson: Rome and music in the ancient world. After arrival and check-in; we will meet our "music guide", within the milieu of Italian music. We begin our tour of performance sites in Ancient Rome and the Etruscan world: Circo Massimo and the Colosseum.

2nd day/lesson: Gregorian and "Oratorio" Rome. In the morning we visit the Museum of Musical Instuments, where we see samples from every musical epoch. In the afternoon, we go to the Opera House and the birthplace of the "Oratorio" and Sacred music- the Vallicella, St. Filippo Neri's masterpiece in the City of the Popes and where this art form reached its apogee.

3rd day/lesson: Napoli and Light Opera. Morning departure for the birthplace of playful and distracting Opera, which began here in the 18th century, based on ancient myths. We see San Carlo Theater, one of the most famous and well-known in Italy.

4th day/lesson: Florence and the birth of the Melodrama. Leaving Naples and entering Florence, we enjoy a lesson on the birth of Italian melodramatic theater, which began around the 1500's, during the Renaissance of all art forms, based on the Greek tragedies.

5th day/ lesson: Renaissance Music and Instruments. An important Museum, dedicated to musical instruments, allows us to comprehend the development of Renaissance Music and those that follow. We see the places which consecrate music at the court of Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence.

6th day/lesson: A day in Villa Puccini. A great jump in the history of music occured in the 1800's, and so it is impossible not to visit Lucca, birthplace of Maestro Puccini and Torre di Lago, birthplace of the most famous works of this great personality. We see the Museum dedicated to him! Return to Florence.

7th day/lesson: Bologna and Musical Bibliography. Music has its own script and language. we visit the Bibliographic Museum, seeing rare and precious manuscripts, understanding how each era used diverse modes, styles and scripts. The musical "notations" were completely different, and these are a treasure house of indices for the study of the evolution of musical script.

8th day/ lesson: Parma and Verdi. The entire day is spent in Busseto, birthplace of this Maestro; and Parma, where we see the Museum of Loggione Theater, the most passionate and demanding in Italy.

9th day/lesson: Cremona and Stringed Instuments. Leaving Bologna, for Milan, we stop in Cremona to see the Stradivari Museum, dedicated to the most famous violins in the world. They hold ancient techniques and secrets, hidden in the wood and the magnificent sounds which continue to enthrall us to this day. Arrival in Milan.

10th day/lesson: Milan and the Scala; the Triumph of Opera. We visit the La Scala Museum, which has documents from the most creative period of Italian Opera. Sumptuous productions, an enthusiastic public; but also flops and clamorous collapse are all here in the presence of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini,etc. It is Ricordi's grandiose moment, becoming their publisher and remaining tied to their name.

11th day/lesson: Verona and Staging.. With the advent of Giovanni Zenatello, early this century, we see the growth and development of the most spectacular Grand Opera performances staged in this Roman Amphitheater, continuing to this day.

12th day/lesson: Mantua and Court Music. This stop in our musical journey brings us back to the 1600's, finding it impossible to forget that Mantua is the birthplace of Italian Court Music and Monteverdi's Opera.

13th day/lesson: Venice and the Baroque "Concert". Vivaldi, the first conservatories, each and every thing in Venice speaks of music. We visit the most important music schools and the Fenice Theater, not forgetting St. Mark's Basilica, with its wonderful acoustics, thanks to the double nave and chorus. These gave birth to the "Concert" and allowed for its maximum enjoyment.

14th day/lesson: Rossinian Pesaro and the Spheristerion at Macerata. On our way back to Rome we stop in Pesaro, visiting Rossini's birthplace and the Museum dedicated to him; not forgetting to see the Spheristerion at Macerata, which was initially built as a wrist-ball court, but is now one of the most famous Opera music stages in Italy. Our tour of Italian Music ends here, but we hope that the passion it has sparked will bring you back soon.

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