"As an American singer, traveling to the UK to sing transformed me as an artist. The young artist culture in England is different from anything I have experienced in the United States. It is difficult to describe, but I will try to sum it up in a few paragraphs. Above all, the unique and creative way Ensemble OrQuesta trains musicians nurtured my personal innovation
as a singer and performer
What initially drew me to this academy was the repertoire: La Calisto by Cavalli, Hippolyte et Aricie by Rameau, and Armide by Lully. The level of training for each production was world-class, and attention was given to every detail of style, diction, ornamentation, and expression. I left with a deeper knowledge of the nuance of each style, three new roles on my
CV, and positive reviews from professional critics of the productions and of my own performances. Since returning to the States, I have been able to apply the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired to chamber and operatic performances.
Also, the intimacy of each setting, and the organic way each production is presented to viewers, makes connecting with the audience possible in a way I had also never experienced. Making eye contact with someone a few feet away in a candle-lit, converted opera house-barn on
a country estate while singing the title role of Aricie was an experience I will never forget. After these experiences, I am changed as an artist – I feel that I now connect to my audiences in a more sincere and grounded way.
I will also always cherish the connections and friendships I made with fellow musicians from around the world. The camaraderie and fellowship, grabbing a pint with everyone after rehearsal, seeing London and other parts of England and sharing it with other singers, was a beautiful experience that will always be in my heart.
Marcio, a singer himself, understands the needs of the young artist, and delivers in a way that makes his academies a worthy investment and brilliant experience. He knows we need to sing with orchestra, get reviewed, and sing roles that suit our voices. After these three
productions spent under his baton, I trust him completely, and highly recommend him to any singer who desires to advance their artistry and career."
Ashley Adams (USA) - Diana in La Calisto (04/2017), Title role in Hippolyte et Aricie (06/2017) and Sidonie in Armide (08/2017)
"To me, Ensemble orQuesta Baroque Opera Academy might deserve its own category in the realm of Young Artist Program.
The working style of the course's instructors creates an experience that is at once incredibly intense in instructional detail, yet relaxed and collaborative in atmosphere.
As a student, I wouldn't come looking for manicured schedules and a defined list of topics to be structurally addressed. The course, and through it, the opera, assembles organically. There are limitless opportunities to learn from the instructors' expertise, (as well as from your colleagues' work), and to explore your own abilities, if you come with an open mind, and look for chances to probe.
Above all, doing Armide was a uniquely fun week of living not just in the music, but in the people I was surrounded by."
Fiona Gillespie (USA) - Tittle role in Armide (02/2016)
"This course enabled my debut as a haute contre tenor in a french baroque opera, I loved every minute of the process and would highly recommend it to like minded people. The level of tutoring was astonishing, both coaches are superb musicians and accomplished a huge feat of putting on an opera in 5 days. The response from the public was hugely positive and the review from the last night couldn't have been more positive."
Kieran White (UK) - Renaud in Armide (02/2016)
After great success with La Calisto, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Dido and Aeneas, Acis and Galatea and Xerse in 2017 and 2018, Ensemble OrQuesta will again take their opera academy to the John McIntosh Arts Centre in London. This year's second production will be a new production of Handel's Alcina.
The academy will happen from 18th to 28th July in London at the John McIntosh Arts Centre with performances on 27th and 28th July.
Each participant will perform at least one performance of a role in a fully staged production of the opera in original language with the accompaniment of the Ensemble OrQuesta Baroque and harpsichord.
The course will be ministered by Marcio da Silva and specialist Stephanie Gurga. Singers will be coached on style, technique, pronunciation, acting and movement. Professional pictures will be taken from both dress rehearsals.
Course price: £600 (Does not include accommodation)
Applications are now open for all roles. Roles will be allocated continuously upon receipt of suitable applications.
Application requirements: CV and recording to:
Soprano: Alcina, Moragna, Oberto
Mezzo-Soprano: Ruggiero, Bradamante