Riccardo Zanellato, Masterclass in Cluj-Napoca

How was it born? It’s a long beautiful story, I would say… Attending the 2019 edition of the Enescu Festival as a press member, I was fortunate to meet one of the most important international first-class musicians that I’ve been admiring since forever. I had the chance to talk to them about vocal techniques and the classical music industry nowadays, to exchange opinions about certain musical pieces over lunch and to gather up all these conversations and share them with you through my blog, but also through a special edition of our magazine, dedicated to the previous edition of the Festival. Stay tuned!

I consider each of these revealing moments to be true blessings: each of these amazing artists taught me something, changed my perspective, made me better in some way, because they are, beyond their profession, inspiring human beings. Every human interaction leaves you a special feeling of itself, which is never the same, “un scambio emotivo”, as Riccardo himself described it in a little part of the interview we had for OPERA Charm Magazine’s 1st number. I couldn’t say it better! Something beyond the cerebral point of view, just like a different kind of intuition, but also the acknowledgement of his kind and humble way of being, which made me choose this wonderful artist, but most of all, human being, to be the one invited to hold a Masterclass in Interpretation & Vocal Technique in Cluj. I consider myself gifted with the ability of seeing the true nature of people, a gift that is most of the time, unfortunately, “turned off” by my deep desire to see the best in people. Well, this time, my 6th sense worked perfectly. The fact that, despite the truly sad events happening nowadays around the world and mostly in Italy, which affect the culture, the theatres and not in the least the artists in an unexpected way, Riccardo Zanellato landed in Romania looking forward to meeting his future students and to finding more about our country. However, all our positive thoughts and our prayers go to those who suffer because of this situation.

His schedule has been, just as any other artist’s performing in Italy and not only, messed up and, of course, the government’s decisions regarding this subject that have been changing daily made every person involved in this event feel like walking on water for at least a week and a half. I think this Masterclass is the ultimate proof that if you truly want to accomplish something, you will do it no matter what. Of course, of very much help was also the determination of our 7 enrolled participants and their support during that period of hard decisions. I hope you, my dears, were as proud of being part of this Masterclass as we were to have you. From another point of view, you may think that organizing a masterclass with such a big name, the winner of the 2019 Oscar della Lirica for the best bass, was easy, a piece of cake. Well, unfortunately, no, not at all… As I discovered lately, we live in the world of the unwritten and unsigned exclusivity contracts between singers and their teachers, the latter being too selfish and insecure about themselves to let their students go find some answers to their questions in other places or to be given a different opinion, even when we are talking about an international star that performed on the biggest stages of the world, alongside with legends such as Placido Domingo, in performance conducted by Muti or Roberto Abbado. This is is sad and very unfortunate on so many levels and this is why I truly want to congratulate those who took advantage of this opportunity, who followed their instinct on the right path of their artistic evolution, not thinking about others’ preconceptions, but my congratulations also go to the teachers that are kind and wise enough to be glad and supportive with their students in this particular situation. We were, are and will always be about quality, instead of quantity, so I declare myself extremely happy for the 7 young singers that participated in the Masterclass and I couldn’t wait to introduce them to Riccardo. These are:

Diana Mioara Gheorghe (25, soprano), graduate of Master degree studies in Opera & Vocal Performance at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca.

Sandra Eliza Bărănescu (19, soprano), Bachelor degree student in Opera & Vocal Performance at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca.

Lăcrămioara Crihană (36, mezzosoprano), PhD student of the Musical Performance department at the “George Enescu” University, Iași, & soloist of the “Nae Leonard” Opera & Operetta Theatre, Galați.

Kiss Anna Ildikó (35, mezzosoprano), lyric artist of the “Transylvania” Philharmonique choir, Cluj-Napoca.

Alexandru Suciu (25, baritone), PhD assistant teacher in Opera & Vocal Performance at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca.

Molnar Zoltan-Otto (27, bass), graduate of Bachelor degree student in Opera & Vocal Performance at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca. lyric artist of the Romanian National Opera House’s choir, Cluj-Napoca.

Köpeczi Sandor-Attila, (30, bass), soloist of the Hungarian Opera House in Cluj-Napoca, guest artist of the Opera House in Budapest, lyric artist of the “Transylvania” Philharmonique choir, Cluj-Napoca, and winner of the “Best verdian interpretation” prize at the 2020 edition of Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest in Barcelona.

To be honest, I was quite skeptical about a “next time” because of all the obstacles that appeared on my path during the organization process, but now, almost a month after this event, I admit that my excitement and enthusiasm go beyond anything, so yes, “the next time” is a promise I will certainly keep. In the end, I would like to thank Riccardo again for his kindness and for his friendly way of being, and, of course, for the wonderfully inspiring interview you offered our readers. I am sure that having you on the cover of our first number will be a lucky Charm for us! Also, during the organization process, those who helped me the most and are always by my side are the baritone PhD. dr. Marian Pop, owner and founder of AteLiDra- Lyric & Dramatic Studio, and his awesome sister Nicoleta. You can find more about what they are up to on their Facebook place, but also in the first number of our Magazine. What I can assure you and no other advertisement can show is that Atelidra is a project with a soul, more than a business, more about giving than about receiving and certainly about taking care of the next generation of singers with true dedication. Last but not least, I will introduce our two very young, but very talented pianists, Bogdan Bohuș (PhD student of the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy) and Adelina Sabău (Master degree student of the ”Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy).

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