FIO Americas is a four week opera intensive program located in the town of Campinas, Brazil. The four week festival takes place during the month of July every summer and will have its inaugural season in the summer of 2013. The Festival of International Opera of the Americas was created to enable participants to experience Brazil through a mutual love of opera. Sidnei Alferes, Executive Director, along with Kathryn Hartgrove, Artistic Director and Adriana Kayama, Festival coordinator, developed a training program and opera touring festival that brings North and South America together through the world of opera.
Paramount to the Festival is its emphasis on acting for singers, movement, Alexander Technique, Period Styles, diction, coachings, voice lessons, and performance opportunities. The Festival produces and presents three main stage operas, all with live orchestra, costumes, sets, and lighting. The operas are scheduled to be performed in some of São Paulo State’s most prestigious theaters with a professional orchestra from the region. Other significant aspects of the Festival include its extensive scenes programs, as well as its presentation of weekly concerts. The festival is dedicated to expanding into new venues, developing future opera stars and bringing excellence in opera to Brazil.
The experience and depth of the faculty from the United States, Canada and Brazil is unique to FIO Americas. The wealth of knowledge both as international performers and pedagogues and the commitment to the students’ development is the main focus of the Festival. Each participant has access to this outstanding faculty on a daily basis in lessons, coachings and rehearsals, and outside in the relaxed atmosphere of Brazil. The faculty includes Ted Baerg, Irena Welhasch Baerg, Kay Paschal, Carroll Freeman, William Florescu,Thomas Young, Gail Dubinbaum, John Massaro, Ben Smolder, Susan Eichhorn Young, Valerie Trujillo, Michael Borowitz, Copeland Woodruff, Kathryn Hartgrove, Christie Lee, Steven Morris, Gabriel Rebolla, Rolando Salazar, Dennis Jesse, and Sidnei Alferes.
FIO Americas production staff is noted for its ability to create an professional atmosphere on and off the stage through their high level of expertise in their respective fields. Design aesthetic, craftsmanship and collaborative elements all coincide to make each opera production unique and creative. The staff includes costume designer, Jonathan Knipscher; Scenic Designer, Jason Fogarty; Production Manager and Props Designer, Christy Fogarty, and Production Stage Manager, Emily Duffin.
The Festival has three Divisions for the varying levels of participant:
OPERA DIVISION This division is for advanced singers that are ready to begin or have already started a professional opera career. The rehearsals are run on a professional level. During the four weeks each participant receives eight half-hour coachings with resident Festival coaches. They also receive eight forty-five minute voice lessons and participate in Master Classes with the resident faculty. The operas are fully staged performances with the Campinas Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Michael Borowitz, and will be double cast when possible.
YOUNG ARTIST DIVISION This division is for advanced singers that are ready to begin or have already started a professional career as opera singer and performer. They perform in the weekly concerts with a possibility of additional concerts. Participants of the Young Artist Division present a significant opera scenes program. During the four weeks each participant receives eight half-hour coachings with our resident Festival coaches. They also receive eight forty-five minute voice lessons. and participate in Master Classes with the resident faculty. Each participant may be asked to sing in the chorus of one of the main stage operas. This is not mandatory.
STUDIO DIVISION This division is for singers that are still developing their vocal and stage technique and are ready for a very challenging experience to further aid them in their development as singing actors and performers. They perform in the weekly concerts with a possibility of additional concerts. During the four weeks each participant receives eight half-hour coachings with our resident Festival coaches. They also receive eight forty-five minute voice lessons and participate in Master Classes with the resident faculty. Participants are cast in a scene or scenes and will sing in one or more of the choruses for the operas.
External links (FIO Americas Official Website) website www.fioamericas.com.
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