Why Mascarade?

Vision + Mission

VISION

Mascarade Emerging Artists aspires to be the leading independent training and performance programme for singers and répétiteurs in the world. Working with an international network of opera houses and festivals, with Teatro La Fenice, our principal artistic partner, at its core, we aim to redefine the formation and promotion of young artists for the future. 

MISSION

To establish Mascarade Emerging Artists as a world-class institution for opera training.

To establish Mascarade Emerging Artists as the key provider of young talent to theatres and festivals all over the world.

To prepare young and exceptionally talented opera singers and répétiteurs for major careers in opera, through our centre for excellence in performance science and our international network of partners and collaborators.

To weave Mascarade Emerging Artists firmly into the cultural fabric of Florence and its region by providing first-class, high-quality musical entertainment and to increase accessibility and inclusion via its enrichment programme.

FOUNDING PRINCIPLES

  • We are totally independent with each emerging artist receiving a truly individualised experience that is entirely designed around their specific needs.
  • We have a unique project-based performance programme, linked and led by our ongoing training.
  • We are research-led, working at the cutting edge of performance and training practices, and are world leaders in performance psychology training.
  • In line with recent insights in the area of skill acquisition, we employ a variety of training and coaching styles and techniques, avoiding a dependence on prestigious masterclasses alone.
  • We are rooted in the future of opera, working with our networks to define what an artist in the 21st century looks like.

What our independence means:

As an independent institution, we make artistic decisions based on the needs of our emerging artists  and in close collaboration with our partner institutions, including Teatro La Fenice. As such, we can integrate practice and performance in a way that ensures our emerging artists’ systematic and structured growth.

What is project-based performance?

Project-based performance means that artistic development of our artists is structured around key projects including mainstage roles and covers at our collaborating institutions, which serve as goal posts for measuring overall artistic progress. Seen as an integral part of the artistic team, emerging artists are encouraged to collaborate with the Mascarade artistic team and visiting staff on these projects, thereby taking ownership of the artistic process and output.

What research-led means:

Research-led means that all our artistic activities are informed by contemporary insights in training and performance science and pedagogy. We strongly believe that performance success is the result of creating an elite training and performance environment which allows artists to explore and expand their skill set in a systematic, controlled and structured manner.

What our innovative training framework is:

Our training framework is based on insights from performance psychology research in a variety of domains such as sports, business, health and education. As a multi-layered, integrative training framework with internal follow-up systems, it comprises and connects a number of theories and models in the areas of coaching, practice and performance.

Why join Mascarade?

Mascarade is a perfect post-Masters opportunity for singers looking to make a secure and exciting start to their careers. Mascarade accepts applications from those aged 26 and under on the day that they apply. We understand that certain voice types take longer to mature and we encourage those aged 27-30 in these voice categories to apply. We also recognise that people follow a variety of paths to a classical singing career, however it is rare that we would consider applications from artists over the age of 30.

OUR STORY

The New Generation Festival (NGF) was founded in 2017 by Maximilian Fane, Frankie Parham and Roger Granville with the aim to promote emerging young artists from around the world. The NGF presented the finest talents in opera, music, theatre and across the Arts with a programme that ran throughout the year in spectacular locations, ranging from the Swiss mountains of Andermatt to its flagship summer festival in Florence. Inspired by the achievements of the Italian Renaissance, The NGF celebrated creativity and stimulated it through the connection of art forms, cultures and generations. In August 2020, The NGF staged The ReGeneration Festival in partnership with The Uffizi Galleries at the landmark Boboli Gardens to demonstrate the paramount importance of sustaining culture in times of crisis. It was an unprecedented manifestation of the restorative power of the Arts and magnificent proof of what is possible through cooperation.

With a deepened awareness of the need for sustainability and longevity, the Mascarade Opera Studio was developed by the NGF team to build on the success of the NGF Summer School, which provided young talented singers with the opportunity to receive training in opera and to be part of the NGF’s chorus. In the very city where the art form was born and where the Renaissance blossomed and flourished, the aim of the Mascarade Opera Studio’s nine-month programme was to re-evaluate opera training and the function of opera in society. Situated in the ground floor of the Palazzo Corsini al Prato, the Mascarade Opera Studio opened its doors in September 2020 to eight singers and two répétiteurs from renowned conservatoire and opera training programmes. With its concentration on the development of psychological performance skills, including resilience, assertiveness training and personal evaluation as well as career coaching, it differed radically from traditional programmes.

In line with its aspiration to become the gold standard for opera training, by September 2022 the Mascarade Opera Studio will expand into a new two-year high-ability training and performance programme: Mascarade Emerging Artists. True to the spirit of The New Generation Festival, it is run in collaboration with Teatro La Fenice and other opera houses, providing its artists with performance opportunities throughout Europe.

OUR PARTNERS

Teatro La Fenice

Teatro La Fenice (“The Phoenix”) was first opened on 16 May 1792 on the occasion of La Festa della Sensa. It has since risen twice from its ashes. Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Britten, Nono, Maderna and in recent times Kagel, Guarnieri, Mosca, Ambrosini and Perocco have all composed numerous works that were performed here for the first time. World premières have included Semiramide, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Rigoletto, La traviata, The Turn of the Screw and The Rake’s Progress.

Over the last century, the theatre’s repertoire has been broadened by symphony concerts and collaborations with renowned soloists, including Mstislav Rostropovich, Aldo Ferraresi and Arthur Rubinstein. The theatre’s orchestra has been conducted by the world’s leading conductors and composers, such as Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Pietro Mascagni, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Eliahu Inbal, Seiji Ozawa and Lorin Maazel.

www.teatrolafenice.it

Georg Solti Accademia

The Georg Solti Accademia, founded in the memory of the late maestro Sir Georg Solti, exists to help train the next generation of outstanding opera singers and répétiteurs/coaches. Both the course for singers and the course for pianists are fully-funded, and each selected participant receives a full-tuition scholarship to study at the Accademia. Both courses take place in Italy, and provide students with unique educational and artistic experiences that help to further their development as young musicians about to enter the career.

On the “bel canto” course, the Accademia offers up to twelve young singers a fully-funded, three-week immersion in Italian opera singing, with a focus on language, style, and technique in the 19th and early 20th century Italian repertoire. The course takes place in June/July each year in the beautiful Castiglione della Pescaia, Tuscany, a stone’s throw from the Solti summer villa. Course faculty members have included Artistic Director Jonathan Papp, Barbara Frittoli, Richard Bonynge, Violeta Urmana, Stefano Baldasseroni, and a number of other outstanding professionals in the opera field.

For répétiteurs/coaches, the Accademia offers the Solti-Peretti répétiteur course in Venice, Italy in April. This course, led by Artistic Director Jonathan Papp and Maestro Richard Bonynge, aims to help six outstanding young répétiteurs from all around the world develop their skills by giving them an intense period of study with some of the finest répétiteurs, vocal coaches, and conductors of our day.

www.georgsoltiaccademia.org

Musica con le Ali

Cultural Association Musica con le Ali was established in Milan in December 2016 on the initiative of Carlo Hruby, the current President, together with his wife and their children. The idea of creating this Association was born from the awareness that music, and in particular classical music, constitutes one of the most important cultural heritages of Italy, as well as an instrument of personal and collective growth of extraordinary value.

The purpose of the Association, which is not-for-profit and pursues objectives of social value, is first and foremost to support and enhance musical initiatives, with special attention to young people and classical music. To achieve its goals, Musica con le Ali (“Music with Wings”) promotes young talents, supporting them in their training and helping them to establish themselves in their profession – and therefore to “take flight” – through different wide-ranging initiatives organised in collaboration with the major conservatoires and the main cultural and musical institutions.

The activities of Musica con le Ali include concerts, masterclasses and exhibitions that feature the best and most talented musicians, as well as the creation of interesting professional opportunities and the enhancement of their abilities through a variety of media. An integral part of the Association’s activities is also represented by prestigious editorial projects that aim to deal with specific topics that allow us to reconstruct part of our musical history and to better understand the contemporary one. At the same time, the Association’s activities also include initiatives aimed at the dissemination, understanding and knowledge of classical music by the next generation.

www.musicaconleali.it

Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is the oldest conservatoire in the UK, founded nearly 200 years ago in 1822. Famous academy alumni include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox. The Royal Academy provides undergraduate and postgraduate training across instrumental performance, composition, jazz, musical theatre and opera, and recruits musicians from around the world, with a student community representing more than 50 nationalities.

In 2018, the Royal Academy announced the introduction of 40 new Bicentenary Scholarships and a partnership with Linn Records thanks to the largest donation for scholarships ever received by the Royal Academy. The partnership with Linn Records has provided scholars with industry-level experience, as well as offering consultancy on the technological and business aspects of recording. The Royal Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, said of the new scholarship programme: “We are extremely grateful for the generous donation which will help nurture some of the most talented young musicians from all over the world, and, along with the new partnership with Linn Records, give them an opportunity to bridge conservatoire and professional life…The Royal Academy of Music is a household name for training some of the world’s greatest artists and this new initiative reinforces our commitment to providing the best possible experience for students as we move towards our bicentenary in 2022.”

Former Bicentenary Scholars have included Anna Geniushene (piano), Ariel Lanyi (piano), Emily Nebel (violin), Roberts Balanas (violin), Charlie Lovell-Jones (violin), Julie Park (viola), Yoanna Prodanova (cello), Margarita Balanas (cello), Camilla Goldsborough (soprano), Liam Bonthrone (tenor), Ossian Huskinson (bass-baritone), Claudia Lucia Lamanna (harp) and James Orford (organ).

www.ram.ac.uk

Concorso Lirico Internazionale Portofino

Founded in 2015, the Portofino International Opera Competition (CLIP) has, within a matter of a few years, attracted singers from over 70 different countries to the beautiful Ligurian village and gained a positive reputation within the opera world.

The jury comprises the directors and managers of the singing companies of the main opera houses, including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Opéra National de Paris, the Monnaie in Brussels, the Seattle Opera, the Dutch National Opera, the An der Wien, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa. CLIP represents a concrete and particularly effective bridge between the competition and the professional worlds. All the winners and finalists of CLIP go on to have brilliant careers and carry in their hearts the experience of a competition where quality, professionalism, familiarity, beauty and respect for singers are paramount.

www.portofinoclip.it