Nashville Bel Canto Foundation Launches New Program Mentoring Young Opera Performers

The Nashville Bel Canto Foundation is a nonprofit Young Artist Program that was created to teach the tools to be a professional in the competitive world of opera.

The young artists enrolled in the program will be involved in the production of a fully staged opera with orchestra, under the supervision of established professionals. Operatic teachers will show them how to learn a role, engage in teamwork with their colleagues and become a competent and operatic artist.

The instructors, coaches and advisors of the Nashville Bel Canto Foundation are professionals with thriving careers. They have learned and refined their craft through years of schooling (Juilliard School of Music, The Curtis Institute, The Metropolitan Opera) and working in productions all over the world. 

Stefano Baldasseroni, the Nashville Bel Canto Foundation President and Executive Director, said, “I have spent many years teaching at conservatories and working with young artist programs. During this time, I have observed that curriculums are mostly based on the development of the voice, which is, of course, a very important part of being a singer. However, vocal training only covers about 60 percent of what the student needs to know in order to become a professional opera singer.” 

Baldasseroni was born and raised in Rome and is a very active diction coach and teacher. He is in the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera and in the faculty of the Julliard School in New York City and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. 

About the Nashville Bel Canto Foundation:

The Nashville Bel Canto’s mission is to help young singers develop and refine their skills in Italian opera. Preparing a role for a fully staged opera can be compared to the training required to run a marathon. The fast-paced environment of an opera production can be very intimidating. The singer must know how to be expressive by using the nuances of the language, how to act in character and how to coordinate with an orchestra all while remaining consistent with their vocal technique. They also have to learn how to handle themselves while constantly receiving notes from the director, conductor, coaches and choreographer. All that pressure can be destabilizing and can ruin a promising career before it has the chance to step off the ground!

The Bel Canto program is designed to let young singers experience all the organized chaos of a production in a protected and safe environment. They can learn the unwritten rules that will aid them in becoming fully grown artists, helping them become more mature, experienced performers, thus greatly enhancing their potential to have a thriving career in opera.

About the Nashville Bel Canto Program:

The foundation’s 30-day program is intended for talented young artists with a gift for expressivity and stage presence. It is designed to address both the physical and emotional aspects of this career, and is divided into two separate phases:

1) The Warmup – 10 days

The singers will work closely with coaches and lecturers. Student participants will be guided through the rules for Italian diction, development of acting skills and role preparation. During this phase, lecturers will give masterclasses on the art of Italian opera, stage psychology and practical career advice. The goal is to provide a group of performing artists with a professional level of knowledge, which will form the foundation of the following step.

2) Action! – 20 days

The singers will prepare to perform in a fully staged opera with orchestra. They will participate in staging and musical rehearsals led by a stage director and conductor, both of whom will be hired by the foundation for that specific production. At the end of this phase, the opera will be performed for the public in a venue in Nashville.

To learn more or donate to the Nashville Bel Canto Foundation, visit:

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