Besides the usual groups of passionate opera lovers who are crowding the Pesaro theatres, this year the Rof has been visited by two strong delegations of American and Chinese music students, who have seen performances of Armida. The former consisted of 35 singing students from the Classic Lyric Arts of New York, in Italy as part of the summer programme ‘La lingua della lirica’ [the language of opera] organized at Novafeltria by the association Voci nel Montefeltro. The American students come from some of the best music schools in the country: the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes School of Music.
“The students’ reactions have been very positive”, explains Professor Ubaldo Fabbri, who has collaborated with the Rossini Opera Festival for a long time. “For them it has been an unforgettable experience to see a performance in such an important Festival, well-known all over the world.”
The second delegation consisted of about forty Chinese teachers and students from the Conservatories of Pekin and Tianjin, who were in Italy for a month taking part in a linguistic-musical programme, ‘Lirica Italiana per la Cina’ [Italian Opera for China]. The programme, in its sixth year, is conducted by Professor Song Yi, head of opera studies at the Conservatory of Pekin, and realized by the Centro Studi Italiani of Urbania, a school of Italian language and culture that for thirty years has attracted foreigners from all over the world to study our language and further their studies of Italian operatic repertoire. “We have never heard Rossini done like this in China”, commented Professor Song Yi at the end of the performance. “Everyone in the group has been agreeably struck by the voices and by the extraordinary stage direction.”
Italian Opera is increasingly successful in China, thanks also to the presence of Giuseppe Cuccia as artistic consultant to the national centre for the performing arts of Pekin. Chinese students and artists are increasingly present in our country. In recent years the Rof itself has seen the success of artists like the tenor Yije Shi and the conductor Yi-chen Lin, the first woman to conduct at the Festival, both of whom are graduates of the Accademia Rossiniana directed by Alberto Zedda. The Accademia Rossiniana has also produced the baritone Yunpeng Wang, who this year has sung the rôle of Don Profondo in Il viaggio a Reims.