San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto Opens At Casa De Europa in México Aspiring Mexican, American, and Asian Opera Singers Attending Program

Nadine Secunde traching a master class last year

Joseph McClain and Michael Sylvester

San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto Opens At Casa De Europa in México

Aspiring Mexican, American, and Asian Opera Singers Attending Program

By Alexis White

The wonderful aromas of chocolate and churros that waft over from Café San Agustín soon will be accompanied by the beautiful arias of Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, and many more when the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto (SMIBC) opens its third season next door. Thanks to the generous contribution of teaching, master class, and office facilities from Casa de Europa en México, S.C., the Institute will run from June 12 through July 8 at its headquarters, San Francisco 23. A series of public concerts, including two benefiting Casa de Europa, are planned. They will be announced next week.

Concert
“Opera Bel Canto”
By San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto
Mon, Jun 12 – Sat, Jul 8
Casa de Europa en México
San Francisco 23
Info 154 9837

The extraordinarily intense SMIBC program is welcoming more than 20 promising young singers who, by audition, were selected for their potential to achieve major professional careers in opera. Hailing from Mexico, the United States, and Asia the multi-cultural group will be trained and directed by an international faculty comprising renowned voice teachers, conductors, and coaches as well as experts in stage training, body work, and life coaching. Four talented Mexican and American stage directing and accompanist/vocal coach interns will assist the faculty.

The SMIBC faculty has a long history of performing and coaching at the world’s leading opera houses. Its newest member is Lenore Rosenberg, associate artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, who will teach audition skills. Among the returning members are vocal instructor Nadine Secunde, whose triumphant debut at the Bayreuth festival was followed by many acclaimed leading roles in Europe’s great theaters under the batons of Zubin Mehta, Seji Ozawa, and Sirs Georg Solti and Antonio “Tony” Pappano, to name a few. Ted Taylor is returning for his third season. An accompanist for many opera luminaries as well as a conductor for the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, among other houses, Taylor is SMIBC’s music director. Also joining SMIBC this year as stage director is Ragnar Conde who is the general director of Escenia Ensemble in Mexico City. Conde’s credits include stage directing the world premier in Zurich, Switzerland of Viva Verdi, the bicentennial celebration of the composer’s birth.

Designed to encourage a transformative experience, the Institute provides an organic, holistic program for a manner of singing known as Bel Canto that focuses on natural, pure, and even-tone production throughout the vocal range. This vocal technique is accomplished by developing the voice’s agility and precision. The SMIBC faculty embodies the historic line of Bel Canto training that extends from the legendary Garcias of the late 17th century, through the work of Anna Schoen-Rene in the first half of the 20th century, to the important teaching of Margaret Harshaw in the latter half of that century.

The San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto was founded and is co-directed by Joseph McClain and Michael Sylvester. McClain, who teaches acting in the SMIBC program, is the founder and former general director of Austin Lyric Opera as well as the founder and artistic director emeritus of Ópera de San Miguel. Sylvester, a SMIBC vocal instructor, has sung leading roles in the major opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala. During the 1990s, Sylvester sang more performances at the Metropolitan Opera of Radames in Verdi’s opera AIDA than any other tenor. A 1989 article in USA Today named Sylvester as one of the two most important tenors of his generation.

Casa de Europa en México, S.C. aims to strengthen multicultural ties between Mexico and the European Union through cultural, academic, economic, scientific and artistic activities as well as through tourism and other programs.

 

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