“Rodolfo Celletti” Belcanto Academy: 2021 enrollment

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Accademia del Belcanto “Rodolfo Celletti”

Enrollment open for 2021

Registrations are now open for the “Rodolfo Celletti” Belcanto Academy 2021 in Martina Franca, promoted and organized by Fondazione Paolo Grassi in collaboration with Festival della Valle d’Itria, and born in 2010 to give young opera singers a highly specific education in several aspects of technique, style and interpretation of Belcanto.

The Academy will accept up to fifteen students between 18 and 35 years old, who will be selected in two different phases: the first one on the bases of titles and registrations sent no lather than 31st May 2021 (h. 12.00 pm CEST), while the second phase will be set aside for those candidates who will be considered suitable, with live auditions in June and July 2021 in Berlin and Salzburg (dates to be determined) and on 26th and 27th July in Martina Franca, during the 47th edition of the Festival della Valle d’Itria. Three different places to simplify the participation of candidates of different provenances, thanks to significative synergies with some artistic structures of international significance.

The list of the suitable candidates will be published on the website of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi by the end of July 2021.

Participation to the courses is free for all admitted students


Would you like to apply for the auditions?

“Rodolfo Celletti” Belcanto Academy

In 2019 the Academy was recognized by the General Direction of Libraries and Culture Institutes of MiC as “School of national excellence, operating in the field of high musical education” together with other eight institutions. The “Rodolfo Celletti” Academy offers to the admitted students the opportunity to join workshop of performance practice and artistic hands-on experiences with the support of illustrious teachers, artists and conductors, in addition to specific deepening sessions dedicated not only to Belcanto but also to Baroque repertoire, ‘600 and ‘700 Neapolitan school and Lieder repertoire.

Alberto Triola and Fabio Luisi, Artistic director and Music director of Belcanto Academy and Festival della Valle d’Itria, will coordinate the activity together with world-famous teachers and artists: Stefania Bonfadelli, Sandro Cappelletto, Nicolai Cok, Domenico Colaianni, Luca Gorla, Liubov Gromoglasova, Paoletta Marrocu, Chris Merrit, Sara Mingardo, Carmen Santoro, Giorgio Sangati, Sarah Wedl-Wilson.


Structure and objectives of the course

The programme includes several performance practice workshops, combined with technical and aesthetic belcanto specificities: from seventeenth-century “recitar cantando” to expressions of the Apulian/Neapolitan School; from the technique of coloratura to the art of early nineteenth-century variation.

Students may benefit from hands-on practical artistic experiences, trained by established coaches, performers and musicians. The curriculum of the Academy also boasts sections for further study dedicated to Baroque belcanto, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Neapolitan school, and the Lieder repertoire, with specific master-classes and one-to-one lessons with teachers and artists of international fame.

Maestros Alberto Triola and Fabio Luisi, respectively Artistic and Music Directors of the Accademia del Belcanto and of the Festival della Valle d’Itria, will coordinate the teaching plan.


40 days of study, divided in two sessions, are planned for year 2021:

Session one: from 4 to 19 September;

Session two: from 22 October to 14 November.

To these days of study will be added others of work-experience between november and december, during which students will be involved in concerts and musical productions, receiving a cooperation contract and compensation commisurate with the commitment.

Teachers and study subjects

Paola Bigatto – Elements of verse analysis in relation to dramaturgy
Stefania Bonfadelli – Art and technique of belcanto coloratura
Sandro Cappelletto – History and performance practice of Italian opera
Nicolai Cok – Basics of belcanto
Domenico Colaianni – Performance master-class
Sara Gamarro – Lyrical diction
Luca Gorla – Style and technique of belcanto
Antonio Greco – Art and technique of seventeenth-century vocality
Brenda Hurley – Opera coaching
Liubov Gromoglasova – Vocal coach and score analysis
Renata Lamanda – Performance master-class
Sherman Lowe – Vocal technique
Paoletta Marrocu – Performance master-class
Gerardo Martino – Body awareness, posture, vocality and body language
Chris Merritt – Performance master-class
Giorgio Sangati – Acting technique and recitation workshop
Sara Mingardo – Performance master-class in Baroque belcanto
Ettore Papadia – Vocal coach and score analysis
Vincenzo Rana – Vocal coach and score analysis
Carmen Santoro – Art and performance of belcanto
Sarah Wedl-Wilson – Master-class: Career Training
Markus Werba – Performance master-class in lieder repertoire

Entry requirements for the preliminary selection

The courses of the Accademia del Belcanto “Rodolfo Celletti” have limited enrolment. The selection is open to candidates who have turned 18 by the date of the audition and who are born after 31 December 1985. There are fifteen seats available for academic year 2021.
To access the courses, students must pass a preliminary pre-selection test on the basis of qualifications and video recordings. A live audition test is reserved exclusively for those candidates who have passed the pre-selection test. The Board of Directors of the Academy has the right to admit to the course those singers who, on the occasion of music productions, contests, or ex-tempore auditions, have received recognitions for their artistic merits, and show a special penchant for the belcanto repertoire.
Non-EU candidates must conform to the current norms and regulations to access the selection process.
Candidates will be at an advantage if they are in possession of:
– a Conservatoire diploma or equivalent qualification;
– professional experiences in the field of opera, through participation in operatic performances or concerts the commission consider artistically valuable.


The deadline for application requests (complete with a full-figure photograph, CV, and video recordings) is12 pm CEST of the 31 May 2021. Students must complete and submit the application available here.
Printed applications, fax, or postal submissions will not be accepted.
The Fondazione Paolo Grassi declines all responsibility towards potential technical and/or web issues which may impede the correct submission of applications.


For the pre-selection test, candidates must submit a video recording of a piece of their choice from their repertoire (please note: audio recordings with no video will not be accepted).
The file of the video recording can be sent:
a) via the dedicated online subscription module (indicating, where available, the links to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
b) via WeTransfer to the following email address: accademia@fondazionepaolograssi.it
In the WeTransfer message the candidate must specify name and surname, and the wording “Preselezione Accademia Belcanto 2021”. 

Pre-selections do not require a participation fee.

Participation to the preliminary pre-selection does not guarantee the candidate’s access to the courses of the Accademia del Belcanto. Access to the courses is subject to the successful passing of the audition, judged by the Board whose opinion is final.

Eligibility to take the audition will be communicated by e-mail within a week of receiving the video attached to the registration form.


Auditions for Academic year 2021 are planned on in June and July in Berlin and Salzburg (dates to be defined) and on 26 and 27 July during the 47th Festival della Valle d’Itria.

Auditions for Academic year 2021 are open exclusively to candidates who have successfully passed the pre-selection test; they will be notified via e-mail and invited to indicate a preference for the date and place of the audition. The details of the call for the audition will be communicated to the candidates directly via e-mail at the address supplied in the application form. Each candidate can sit the audition for academic year 2021 once only, in one of the three available dates, in conformity with the date selected in the application form.

All candidates must prepare three arias for the audition, complete with recitative and cabaletta (where available) in the original key. The arias must come from the Italian, French, German, or English repertoires, 1600-1840. At least one of the arias must be nineteenth-century Italian belcanto. A seventeenth-century aria is optional. The examining Board may choose to listen to all or part of the programme indicated in the application form. The Board may also require first-sight reading of a medium-difficulty score. During the auditions, the candidates will have an assistant conductor on the piano available for them. Participants may decide to be accompanied on the piano by his/her own assistant conductor, whose expenses they must provide for themselves.

Should the admin office require it, candidates may have to submit a copy of the score of the pieces selected for the audition by e-mail.

In order to participate to the auditions, all candidates must pay a participation fee of € 50,00 into the account of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi, at BANCA INTESA SANPAOLO, at the following details:

IBAN: IT 51 I 03069 09606 100000002715
Reason: “Audizione Accademia Belcanto 2021” 

All candidates must bring the receipt of the banker’s order on the day of the audition.
Candidates cannot sit the audition without having paid the enrolment fee.
The fee is non-refundable in case of no-show at the auditions.


The list of candidates admitted to the courses of the Accademia del Belcanto for academic year 2021 will be published on the website of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi by the end of July 2021.
Participation to the courses is free for all admitted students, but attendance is mandatory, that must be 70% of total hours of lessons expected.

Any absence for serious health reason must be backed by medical documentation and communicated immediately to the Director’s Office. Lack of attendance will result in exclusion from the course.

Course venue

Classes will take place at the Fondazione Paolo Grassi in Martina Franca.
The staff of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi and the Directors of the Accademia can provide information and support for accommodation at set prices.

Attendance certificate

At the end of the course, the Accademia del Belcanto will release a certificate to all attendees who have successfully completed their study programme.

Processing of personal data

In accordance with D.Lgs. 30 June 2003 n.196 (Regulation of personal data protection), all personal data provided by the candidates in the enrolment forms will be collected by the Fondazione Paolo Grassi for the management of the present selection procedure. Candidates may assert their rights in accordance with D.Lgs. 30 June 2003 n.196 against the holder of data treatment of the Fondazione Paolo Grassi.

Info and contacts

Accademia del Belcanto “Rodolfo Celletti”
c/o Fondazione Paolo Grassi Via Metastasio, 20
74015 – Martina Franca (TA), Italy
telephone: +39 080 4306763 / +39 334 6075833