To learn or not to learn?
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Here is what you may consider if you are an opera singer:
Librettos. The huge part of the opera culture, this literature is actually more important than you may think. And you need to understand perfectly what you are talking about, not only from the general comprehension point of view. The devil is in the details. Know what is that “tutti bramano” in Italiana in Algeri, where was Mimi before coming to Rodolfo in the IV Act of La Bohème, and why Nemorino’s aria is actually joyful. This will make the better singer from you, wherever you are.
Score and phrasing. Italians have monopolized the music language for a very long time. Many articulation and dynamic marks together with ornaments are much easier to understand when you actually know the meaning of the Italian word. For example, legato comes from Italian “legare” - “to tie”. Quite simple to understand the concept.
Technique. The masterclasses with good Italian coaches are spectacular. The good old Italian technique motto is “canta come parla” - “sing like you talk”. Respect towards Italian pronunciation brings you to the whole new level of the voice clarity and, moreover, is a must, if you want to be a professional.
Learning Italian spares you the time: once you have a good pronunciation, you will make a treasure of it for the rest of your singing career, at least.
If you want to study and sing in Italy, I strongly recommend you learning Italian language. This will not only enhance your experience, but will help you with your singing career wherever you are.