We are proud to bring you this elite group of professionals who, while diverse in their expertise and experience, are motivated to guide you on this highly specialized journey and gently urge you to see past your limitations, break your barriers, and see yourself achieve your Operavision Academy Busseto, 2017.
Welcome these accomplished and wonderful people for our trinity year in Busseto, Italy…..
Stay Tuned for Upcoming Announcements of NEW faculty and Maestri, amazing Special Guests, and agency visits.
Theater and Broadway legend, Michael Bush joins us this year…. we cannot be more thrilled!
More announcements to follow……
STAFF AND MASTER CLASS 2015
Operavision Academy Inaugural Year 2015
Because everyone is human, discussion panels and their honored participants are subject to change.
Special and Honoured Guests for Operavision Academy’s
“Discussions in the Round”
Dr.ssa Simonetta Puccini
Granddaughter of Maestro Giacomo Puccini, Head of the Associazione degli Amici delle Case di Giacomo Puccini and Villa Museo Puccini (Torre del Lago),
Mme. Aprile Millo
Legendary Operatic Soprano
Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere
Italian Opera Specialist, Musicologist
Mo. Nicola Martinucci
Legendary International Tenor
Mo. Silvano Carroli
Legendary International Baritone
Mr. Robert Lombardo
Esteemed International Agent
Mr. Enrico Castiglione
Esteemed International Opera Director and Impresario
Mo. Enrico Stinchelli
Italian Opera Specialist, Musicologist
Mo. Victor Callegari
Metropolitan Opera Head of Make-Up and Lecturer
In Filmed Special Presentations:
Maestro Franco Zeffirelli*
Internationally renowned and legendary director of film and opera
(*in specially filmed discussions for Operavision Academy )
Mo. Randolph Mickelson
Italian Opera Specialist, Musicologist and Historical Reconstruction
Dr. Noa Kageyama, M.M., Ph.D.
Mr. Patrick Qualgliano
Stella Adler Studio, New York and Film and stage Director
Other special guests will be announced on the website via new posts! Stay tuned!
Musical Staff Biographies
Aprile Millo, soprano
The beloved soprano has for over twenty five years been a beacon of style, authentic Verdi sound and idiomatic phrasing; the genuine article lirico-spinto soprano del agilità. Millo has been thrilling audiences as the leading soprano of the Italian Wing at the historic Metropolitan Opera. Her voice, ruby rich and velvet has been compared with some of the greatest voices who have ever lived, like legendary sopranos, Renata Tebaldi, Zinka Milanov, Rosa Ponselle and Claudia Muzio and Maria Caniglia. Aprile Millo made a Cinderella like debut at the Metropolitan Opera on Dec. 3, 1984 and literally caused a sensation. The papers next day heralded the birth of a “New Verdi Star!” and 27 years later Millo is still winning praise from objective critics and frenzied ovations from an adoring public. They hear in her that rare mix of power and lyricism that is the Voce Verdiane.
She has sung over 180 performances of 15 different roles at her artistic home- the Metropolitan Opera. Outside New York, Mme. Millo has triumphed in the theaters of Frankfurt, Barcelona, Parma, Rome, Bologna, Torino, the Arena of Verona, The Baths of Caracalla, San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Paris, Orange, Moscow, Seville, Bilbao, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Santiago, Colon – Buenos Aires and of course, La Scala, Milan. Millo made it imperative to search out the very greatest and learn from them, counting among her mentors the divine Renata Tebaldi, Zinka Milanov, Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, Magda Olivero, Licia Albanese and Maestro’s Von Karajan, Levine, Patane’ and it would Maestro Muti who gave her Scala debut at age 24.
She went on to collaborate with these great conductors as Herbert von Karajan and Riccardo Muti at La Scala, her great friend and mentor, James Levine, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Argeo Quadri, Bruno Bartoletti, Nello Santi, and made a highly aclaimed recording debut for EMI with Italian great, Giuseppe Patane’; she has sung in productions by the greatest stage directors, including “Liu” in TURANDOT, collaborating with legendary stage and film director, Franco Zeffirelli, Luca Ronconi, Piero Faggioni, Nicholas Joel, and Richard Carsen. She was also chosen by Maestro Zeffirelli to be the voice of Elizabeth Taylor for the film, “Young Toscanini”. Recording with James Levine a critically acclaimed Verdi series for Sony Classical, which includes AIDA, IL TROVATORE, LUISA MILLER and DON CARLO on disc and with DG a highly acclaimed DVD/Video of “Un Ballo in Maschera” with Levine, the Metropolitan Opera and legendary tenor and great friend, Luciano Pavarotti. For her performance of AIDA also fro DG, her production was awarded an EMMY and released in DVD with the Metropolitan Opera, James Levine and famed tenor and great colleague, Placido Domingo. The winner of numerous awards, Millo won by unanimous consent the Primo Premio-First Prize at the Voci Verdiane Concorso in Busetto, Italy, the Montserrat Caballe-Bernabe’Merti Special Verdi Prize Francisco Vinas, The Voce D’Oro, The Richard Tucker Foundation Award, and the Maria Callas Foundation Award, to name a few. Millo is a rare throwback to another age of singing. A voice of quality and extension able to sing Bel Canto and Verdian styles and the demanding rigors of the Puccini and Verismo school, Millo remains committed to the “authentic” message and tradition and is a champion research and performances of the many unknown operas she has brought to light. She continues to win audiences over to the world of opera and keep the “faith” with all the long time fans. In 2014 she returned to her beloved Italy where she won ovations and critical acclaim for her role debut in the role of Giorgetta for the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa with Donato Renzetti on the podium. Signora Simonetta Puccini graciously was in attendance. Recitals in New York, and Toronto closed 2014 in triumph.
Since 2010, Mme. Millo is keenly aware of the importance of passing on the traditions of this art form and has been sharing her unparalleled understanding of voice and technique with aspiring singers in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In 2012, she accepted an invitation to form the Millo-Vetere Summer Intensive Program with Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere. The program was held for three consecutive years in the Niagara Region (Canada) and in 2015 after many International requests, Mme. Millo and Dr. Vetere have accepted to bring this program to Urbania forming an international base as “Operavision: L’Academia Millo-Vetere (Istituto Internazionale d’Opera Lirica).” Mme. Millo welcomes aspiring singers from every country to come and join her in her in the histroic Le Marche region of Italy, in the unique Urbania, where she hopes to inspire a new generation of artists to embrace the best of the past, traditions and style intact, and encourage the most individual and full of personality presentations possible, with voice and text always front and center and complete respect for the composers sublime requests.
Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere, PhD
Canadian-Italian soprano, Mary-Lou Vetere retains a multifaceted and high profile career as a performer, historian and educator. Although singing has remained her most fervent aspect she is also a pianist, and accordionist, and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and international recognition. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, having studied voice with Sylvia Dimiziani and later with Canadian pedagogue, Patricia Kern, has performed as a soloist in Italy, Canada, and the United States,
Since all aspects of opera impassioned her, not just singing, Vetere took a hiatus from singing in order to complete a Master of Arts in Musicology, specializing in the operas of Giacomo Puccini, and in 2010, she obtained the prestigious PhD in Historical Musicology with high distinction. After obtaining two prestigious grants allotting her to conduct primary research in Italy, Vetere compiled previously unfound information that alters the current scope of Italian Opera development between Verdi and Puccini. The culmination of this research was her groundbreaking dissertation, entitled: “Italian Opera From Verdi to Verismo: Boito and La Scapigliatura,” which is currently being turned into a book and addresses topics that reflect the development of Italian opera between 1850 and 1924. She has presented her work in lectures in Canada and the United States, and for the 2011 Meeting of the American Musicological Society at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Vetere is a highly sought after pianist and accordionist, which she began playing at the age of 5. Her vocal studies began at 17 years of age as a mezzo-soprano. She performed the roles of Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri), Serse (Serse), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Sesto (Giulio Cesare), and Othniel (Joshua) while studying at SUNY Buffalo and in Italy, but after completing her PhD in 2009 Dr. Vetere began collaborating with international and Metropolitan Opera Star Soprano, Aprile Millo, and with Millo’s guidance, made the change to her true vocal fach as a soprano. From Millo, Vetere garnered the necessary skills and technical prowess to excel in the study of Verismo, Puccinianian cantilena, Bel Canto, and Verdian performance practice and stylization. While Vetere devoted herself to mastering this technique and repertory she was excited to pass this on to her large and highly recognized studio of singers, The Vetere Studio (with locations in Niagara Falls, Toronto, and New York City). Vetere is a full lirico-soprano d’agilità con accenti drammatici, and possesses an old-school approach to singing in the vein of her idols Mafalda Favero, Renata Tebaldi, Rosa Ponselle, Zinka Milanov, and Aprile Millo. She finds herself most comfortable in the Verdian and Puccinian lyric repertoire, and is specializing the roles of Mimì (La Bohème), Liù (Turandot), Violetta ( La Traviata), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Manon (Massenet), Giselda (I Lombardi), and Elena (Mefistofele).
Alongside her performing and research, Dr. Vetere maintains an international career as a highly sought after voice teacher and adjudicator and her singers have performed in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In 2012, she initiated an Opera/Bel Canto Intensive Program for amateur and professional opera singers with Aprile Millo. The program ran for three consecutive years in the Niagara Region and in 2015 accepted at the invitation of the Centro Studi Italiani to form a program for Urbania Italy. There she co-founded with Aprile Millo The Operavision Academy- L’Academia Millo-Vetere (Istituto Internazionale d’Opera Lirica) where the technique, stylistic aspects, and high performance practice of Aprile Millo and her predecessors can be shared with aspiring singers the world over.
Sig. Giovanni Pasotto
Giovanni Pasotto holds the position of General Manager of Centro Studi Italiani, one of the most respected Italian language and cultural centers in Italy. Based in Urbania, in the heart of the Marche region, the company was founded in 1986 by his parents and hosts an average of 500 students per year coming from over 180 different countries throughout the world.
Prior to joining Centro Studi Italiani, Giovanni built his career in Milan where for four years he served as a consultant for a consortium of arts/cultural organizations and fashion companies. Before this, he spent a year in London working in the Marketing Department of the English National Ballet.
Giovanni, both an Italian and UK national, holds a BS in Marketing (Music minor) from Millikin University, U.S.A. (2004).
During his free time Giovanni enjoys swimming and traveling.
Maestra Silvia Gasperini
Silvia Gasperini si è diplomata con il massimo dei voti in pianoforte e in clavicembalo. Successivamente ha frequentato un corso triennale di perfezionamento clavicembalistico con il Maestro A. Fedi e pianistico con il Maestro A. Delle Vigne. Ha inoltre seguito master in direzione corale con il Maestro S. Visconti e frequentato un corso biennale di direzione d’orchestra con il Maestro P. Bellugi.
La sua predilezione per la musica cameristica la vede interprete di numerosi concerti ( il primo all’età di 16 anni) in formazioni dal duo al quintetto. Dal ’97 al 2007 è stata pianista e clavicembalista dell’orchestra “Città Lirica”, attiva presso i teatri di Livorno, Pisa , Lucca. Successivamente ha lavorato come maestro collaboratore di sala e palcoscenico per i Teatri di Mantova, Novara, Bologna, Genova e per l’Arena di Verona. Attualmente è direttore musicale di palcoscenico del Festival Pucciniano di Torre del Lago (Lu), fondazione lirica per cui ha effettuato in qualità di pianista accompagnatore recital lirici a Londra, Parigi, Bruxelles e produzioni liriche in Nicaragua, Emirati Arabi,Cina. Da sempre molto legata alle attività culturali della sua città, è membro del consiglio direttivo dell’associazione “Etruria Classica” e maestro del coro della corale “P.Mascagni”.
(Silvia Gasparini received her degree in piano and harpsichord with the highest distinction. Successively, she pursued further training with a specialization in harpsichord with Maestro A. Fedi and pianistically with Maestro A. Delle Vigne. She pursued a Masters in Choral Direction with Maestro S. Visconti and a course in orchestral direction with Maestro P. Bellugi.Her predilection for chamber music has seen to her interpretations in many concerts (in the first she was only 16 years old) in the formations of duos to quintets. From 1997-2007, she was the pianist and harpsichordist of the “Città Lirica” Orchestra, active in the theatres in Livorno, Pisa, and Lucca. Successively, she worked as the Maestra of collaboration of hall and stage for the opera theatres of Mantova, Novara, Genoa, and L’Arena di Verona. At present, she is the musical director of the Festival Pucciniano di Torre del Lago (Lu). fondazione Lirica for which she acted as pianist, accompanist, and recitalist in London, Paris, Brussels, and opera productions in Nicaragua, the Arab Emirates, and Cina. She is always linked to cultural activities in her city and is a member of the directive council of the “Etruria Classica” Association and the Maestra of the Pietro Mascagni chorale chorus.)
Mr. Scott Barnes
SCOTT BARNES was trained at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as the musical theater kid who knew all the soprano operatic rep. (When he was a freshman, Kathleen Battle, Barbara Daniels, and Deborah Polaski were doctoral students.) Scott went on to perform on and off Broadway and around the country, sing on six of the Disney animated films (including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas), “act” in forty television commercials between 1977 and 1990, twice win the MAC award for NYC cabaret director of the year (five nominations), and create acts for Bette Midler, Kathie Lee Gifford, Rita Moreno and scores of other wonderful singers. He has produced and/or artistic-directed twenty-six CDs, and for four glorious years directed, managed, and publicized the late, legendary cabaret singer Nancy LaMott. During the last ten years Scott has written several features for Opera News, including seven cover articles. He rejoices that he is now friendly with the very singers he has admired for decades. After years in “showbiz”, Scott has found his unique ability to help opera singers strategize for (and enjoy) auditions, and to broaden their actors’ imaginations to better inhabit songs, arias, and roles. He has taught audition and interpretation master classes at home and abroad/ Scott judges several of opera’s top singing competitions. He is a charter board member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He shares his life with biographer and Opera News Features Editor, Brian Kellow.
Randolph Mickelson–Curriculum Vitae
Randolph Mickelson has for many years been consulted by the world’s greatest singers on questions of repertoire and performance style as well as vocal technique. It is enough to name only five: Maria Callas, Montserrat Caballe, Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne and Luciano Pavarotti.
He has also been the Musical director of The Music Society of New York, which presented great artists in unusual and little known operas. Among which, all three being American premieres:
Refice Cecilia-Scotto, Theyard, Dale: Lincoln Center
Massenet: Marie Magdalene-Regine Crespin, Roney, Nadler: Lincoln Center
Meyerbeer Il Crociato in Egitto-Rockwell Blake (Debut), Yvonne Kenny (Debut) Carnegie Hall
in addition Mr. Mickelson suceeded in bringing Boris Christoff to NY after an absence of more than 20 years for a Recital in Carnegie Hall.
In the course of these activities he has been called upon to make historical reconstructions-new editions of a number of works which ave been heard in some of the most important arenas, both live and on disk. These remain unpublished except for L’Assedio di Corinto-Boosey.
Recordings of his historical reconstructions of earlier music include:
Graun: Montezuma: Sutherland, Bonynge Decca [London] records
Bonocini: Griselda: Sutherland, Bonynge Decca [London] records
Shield: Rosina-Bonynge Decca [London] records “Best of year in Great Britain”
Handel: Jeptha-Vanguard records
A. Scarlatti: Su le sponde del Tebro-cantata Deutsche gramophon Archiv records
Rossini: Il cambiale di matrimonio-Vanguard records
Rossini Rarities: Caballe “Grand Prix Du Disque” RCA
Cimarosa AriasAmanda Roocroft EMI records
Rossini Barbiere di Siviglia City Opera NY
Rossini l’Assedio di Corinto; La Scala, Milan; Metropolitan opera NY; Sills, Horne, Verrett, Diaz. “le ormai mitiche rappresntazioni scaligere”. [The by now mythical performances at La Scala- Rodolfo Celetti
L’Assedio in Mickelson’s edition has also been recorded by EMI.
Rossini: Mose in Egitto-1st modern performance of the original Naples version Carnegie Hall
Donizetti Anna Bolena Verrett-La Scala and others
Haydn: Orfeo: Edinburgh festival: Sutherland, Gedda
Handel: Giulio Cesare-Caballe Carnegie hall
Handel: Giulio Cesare- Bumbry several theaters
Handel: Semele Carnegie Hall –Marilyn Horne, Kathleen Battle, Rockwell Blake and Samuel Ramey. “…the most important and exciting event of the Handel Bicentenary.” –New York Times
Reconstrution of Missa in Giorno di San Marco-G. Gabrieli, G. Croce, A. Willaert Basilica di San Marco, Venezia
Reconstrution of Missa per lincoronazione dalla Dogaressa-G. Gabrieli, G. Croce, A. Willaert Basilica di San Marco, Venezia
Mr. Mickelson’s research into the manner of performing renaissance music has led to the performances of two masses by Gabrielli in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice. “The mass…has left the public with a profoundly moving memory…at the end of the performance tremendous applause.”–La Nuova di Venezia
Monteverde: Orfeo: Inauguration of Megalon Concert Hall-Athens
Orfeo: Israel Vocal Arts-Tel Aviv
The principal music critic of Israel wrote
“This is an unprecedented event for us…the Opera Workshop has made history. Monteverde stood on the stage last night. He seemed to have arrived in our midst. He spoke, and all this thanks to the brilliant reconstruction by Randolph Mickelson and the ingenuity of the orchestration. This was in the style of Monteverde, more authentic than authentic….”
Handel Rinaldo: Israel Vocal Arts-Tel Aviv
“While still enjoying the beauty of one aria which fills the hall-already another-more beautiful follows…deeply moving” Tel Aviv critic
Vauxhall gardens in the 18th century-Bavarian broadcasting company-Television
As a teacher and coach of the technique and style of Bel Canto singing his pupils include
Joan Sutherland Marlyn Horne, Montserrat Caballe, Shirly Verrett, Grace Bumbry
Reri Grist, Evelyn Lear, Fredrica Von Stade, Giacomo Aragal, Justino Diaz, Raul Ximenez, Margarita Zimmerman Patricia Welting-Metropolitan Opera, Anne Elgar-Lead Soprano NY City Opera Patricia Brooks-Lead Soprano NY City Opera, Manfred Hemm-Vienna, Met, Paris, Scala, Fenice, Berlin, etc.