Verdi and La Traviata

This Summer School offers students a full immersion into 19th-century Italian operatic repertoire, with a particular focus on Verdi, and an opportunity for collaboration between singers, conductors and accompanists.

Palazzo Francica Nava
Open to All
Team Taught
Summer 2019
Where better to study Italian Opera than in Italy itself?

If you are a singer, accompanist or conductor, this is the perfect course for you.

Students of conducting will concentrate on aspects of practical operatic conducting, which are very different from symphonic conducting; the course will provide the necessary tools and know  how for putting together an opera.

Singers will receive vocal coaching, lessons in Italian diction, acting, vocal and practical techniques.

Accompanists will gain valuable experience working with the singers and the tutors  during the rehearsals, lessons and the recital on 24th August 2019, thus getting professional experience.

At the end of the Summer School,  on Sunday 25th August, there will be a semi-staged performance of La Traviata in a local open-air theatre, with the collaboration of the Exedra Ensemble.

  • Singers
  • Pianists/Accompanists
  • Conductors


Francesco Attardi Conductor, teaches at the ‘Scuola Civica di Musica Claudio Abbado’ in Milan.


Prof.ssa Elisa De Luigi  Pianist, teaches operatic repertoire and vocal coaching at the Conservatorio G.Verdi in Milan.

Prof.ssa Sonia Grandis  Actor and director, teaches performing arts at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan.

Lessons will be held from Monday 19th – Saturday 24th August 2019 (10-13/ 16-19 every day except Sunday) – they will be single and group lessons for duets, trios, quartets etc.

The lessons will be held in Italian and English at Palazzo Francica Nava, home to the Exedra Associazione Culturale, via S. Landolina 5, Siracusa, at the heart of beautiful Ortigia. This gothic palazzo, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake in baroque style, has large rooms for classes and workshops, a small library and wifi in all teaching areas..

During their free time, participants will have an opportunity to experience Italian culture as well as enjoying the local cuisine and lifestyle.

Entry requirements

Singers and pianists are required to provide a 10-minute video of their performance, together with the application form.
A video of the conductors would also be appreciated but is not mandatory.

M° Francesco Attardi Conductor

Francesco Attardi studied piano, composition, and conducting at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan achieving his Master degree with the highest of votes. Furthermore he received his degree in musicology in the Bologna State University, then specialized in Orchestral Conducting with Pierre Dervaux at the Academie Internationale de Nice (France), with Leopold Hager at the Salzburg Mozarteum (Austria).
Born to an American mother from Boston, Mr. Attardi also studied in the U.S., at the Aspen Music School and he was the Assistant to Romano Gandolfi at the Gran Teatro del Liceu of Barcelona (Spain) and to Giuseppe Patanè at the Staatsoper in Munich (Germany).
While in Munich with Wolfgang Sawallisch he studied in depth Mozart’s repertoire and perfected his knowledge of the German repertoire of Richard Strauss and Wagner. He has more than 40 operas in repertoire.
In summer 2011 he conducted Verdi’s Requiem at the Teatro Antico of Taormina (Festival Taormina Arte) and in 2011 and 2012 concerts for ‘Palermo Classica’ with great pianists like Bruno Canino, Huseyn Sermet, Paul Badura-Skoda, Valentina Lisitsa.
On New Year’s Day in 2012 he conducted a highly acclaimed New Year’s Concert in Palermo with the famous coloratur soprano Desirée Rancatore. Among his latest performances are a series of operas with Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Milan Castello Sforzesco (Milan Sforza Castle); Verdi’s La Traviata and Rigoletto (Schaffhausen, Friedrichshafen, Lugano – Switzerland); The Merry Widow in Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, La Bohème and Madame Butterfly at the Gran Teatro Nacional di Avana (Cuba).

Prof.ssa Elisa De Luigi Pianist

Elisa De Luigi, born in Mantua, completed her musical studies at the Conservatory of Verona, where she obtained the Piano diplomas with Laura Palmieri and Canto with Iolanda Torriani. She made her young debut in a piano recital at the Bibiena Academic Theater in Mantua and has carried out an intense concert activity both as a soloist and chamber music in the main Italian cities and abroad. Specializing in the accompaniment of singers with particular reference to the lieder repertoire and theatrical repertoire in the Course for Master Collaborator and Vocal Coach in the Lyric Singing Courses at the ‘G. Verdi Conservatory’ of Milan. She has performed in numerous recitals and singing concerts at prestigious musical institutions in Italy and abroad, such as the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, the Milanese ‘Serate Musicali’, the Cantelli Orchestra, the Wagneriana Association of Milan, the Manzoni Theater , the Teatro Dal Verme, the Gioventù Musicale, the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo, the Teatro Verdi in Busseto, the Spanish Academy in Rome, the Literature Festival in Mantua, Sala Belcanto Kitasenzoku Otaku in Tokyo, the Teatro Lirico Nazionale de Havana (Cuba).

Prof.ssa Sonia Grandis Actor and director

After getting her diploma at a classics secondary school. SONIA GRANDIS graduated from the Università Cattolica in Milan in History of Theatre, with a thesis on Baroque spectacle during the Spanish domination, which earned a special mention at the Ludovico Zorzi Prize of the Olivetti Foundation in 1987.
At the same time, she graduated in acting with Ernesto Calindri from the Accademia dei Filodrammatici and was awarded with a gold medal and prize.
She works as an actor in theatre, television and radio, and with groups of contemporary music for performances and melodramas. She collaborates with the journalist Valeria Palumbo in readings on historic and feminine themes in various festivals and for the Touring Club Italiano.
Teacher of Theory and Technique of Stage Interpretation at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, she is responsible for the laboratory of music theatre CANTARINSCENA, that specialises in the search for and rediscovery of less well-known Italian repertoire, and she recently directed Billy Budd by Giorgio Federico Ghedini with a libretto by the Nobel prize-winner Salvatore Quasimodo and Suor Angelica by G. Puccini.
In the summer of 2018, she played Queen Cristina of Sweden in the documentary film “La Corda Spezzata” dedicated to the composer Alessandro Stradella, directed by Francesco Leprino.
Together with the psychotherapist Annapaola Giannelli, she founded the Festival MITOMANIA, conversations and artistic interpretations of myth, dedicated in 2018 to the myth of Hades and the Dark Knight in the towns of Ragusa, Siracusa and Messina.

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