🇮🇹Native Italian soprano🇮🇹
Instructor of voice & diction,
University of North Texas
▫️Italian Diction Coaching,
🎥The IPA-Video SHOP💯
In each video you will see how I articulate each word, together with the IPA transcription. First, I will read the lyrics at a normal pace, to give you a real taste of the inflection of the language, then at a slower pace, to show the articulation of each sound.
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Diction can be a powerful tool to enhance a performance, giving the artist the possibility to express authentically while remaining truthful to lyrics and music. While Italian is an easy language to approach, its nuances are often difficult to master. My goal is to help singers understand the characteristics of the speech patterns that make Italian a language conducive to singing. Listening to those sounds, recognizing how they are formed with a precise movement of the articulators, and comparing those movements to the ones that are innate in the singer’s native language, is key to fully benefit from singing in Italian.
While watching these videos, I encourage you to focus on the legato line, knowing that it is especially affected by how we articulate consonants. As for open and closed vowels, please note that the terminology open vs closed gives us a misleading idea of two sounds opposite to each other. However, when singing the two vowels sounds are very similar and they can be used as nuances. Based on voice type and range, the singer might need some adjustments for resonance tuning purposes. Knowing the sound of the spoken word, will help us feeling free to make those adjustments.
The symbol [‿] is used to connect the final vowel of a word with the initial vowel of the following word when the two sounds should be sung as a diphthong, with no interruption or glottal stop. When the second vowel is the same, I decided to transcribed the two words as one unique word, again to help singers not to add any glottal stops. The singer will see the word with two accent marks, deriving from the two separated words.
The diacritical mark [ː] is here used only to elongate a vowel in the case of diphthong. In order to keep the IPA transcription as functional and easy to follow as possible, I decided not to add [ː] after stressed open syllables (those that end in a vowel.) I trust the singers will not anticipate the single consonant, keep the preceding vowel as long as possible.
Double consonants are here indicated with double letters.
I agree, Italian is an easy language to approach. We can basically read it without going crazy with its spelling (did you know that in Italy we don’t have Spelling Bee?) There are only seven vowels and its articulatory setting is conducive to singing. However, Italian is a difficult language to master. There are many exceptions to the rules, but most of all there are nuances than even the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) cannot express. Italian is praised for the pure quality of its vowels, but how we articulate its consonants gives us the texture of the language and its legato. Each language has its own characteristics. It is important to know that when we approach a foreign language, we usually apply the sounds and patterns that are familiar to us – those coming from our own native language. Even hearing those differences might be a challenge. When singing Italian repertoire, there is an intrinsic connection to the words that requires a more detailed training. Italian legato and the richness in nuances can be achieved only through an accurate study of the language.
Yes, I love working with groups! Little adjustments in the pronunciation can result in an ease vocal production, improving the legato and the clarity of the words. If you are a conductor preparing a concert with Italian repertoire, contact me here.
I am from Padua, North-East of Italy, but I studied the standard Italian diction (dizione italiana). Although in Italy there are several dialects and accents, we do have a codified Italian. In Italy, singers, actors, and even good news anchors study how to speak and articulate with the correct accent and emphasis. When learning Italian repertoire, it is important to work with native Italians that have studied Italian diction too. To know more about Italian accents and Italian diction, read my article for CS Music
No, we will not address your vocal technique. As a voice teacher myself, I highly value and respect the relation between voice teachers and their students. My job as Italian diction coach is to teach you how to articulate the sounds in order to benefit from the characteristics of the language. In my sessions, I do speak about the articulators (especially tongue, teeth, and lips), but only in terms of speech patterns. Every vowel and consonant sound effects what comes after (coarticulation) and the movements required to create those speech patterns are different in each language.
How does an online lesson work?
If you are not familiar with online lessons, this is the easiest way to stay connected despite the distance. Here you can find a guide to set up your computer for a successful experience. If possible, make sure to have a good internet connection, which is key to the quality of online lessons.
Are you accepting new students?
Yes, I am currently accepting new students. You can schedule your free 20 minutes consultation to see how we can work together. Drop-in lessons are always available on a first come/first served basis. Click here to book your one-time session.
Do you teach other styles rather than classical music?
Yes, absolutely ! Together with being trained in Italy following the principle of Italian Bel canto, I also studied other styles, attending conferences and training programs. Over the years I have collaborated with singers of any style, as well as with actors and entertainers. Recently, I completed Levels I, II, III of Somatic VoiceworkTM The LoVetri Method, for Contemporary Commercial Music. I keep exploring different approaches to better understand how our body interacts with our voice. I believe that the principals of a functional and healthy vocal technique can be applied to any stile. Aiming for an holistic approach, I have taken classes of Alexander Technique, and I am an active Yoga practitioner (Vinyasa yoga.)
What happens during a voice lesson?
At the beginning of our lesson, we will generally start with a quick vocal warm-up. I always encourage students to arrive with a body ready to move freely. We will then start to work on vocal exercises, to build up your technique. In this section, we will prepare your voice for the repertoire and style you want to sing. In the second half of your lesson, we will sing the music you have prepared, working specifically on the style, words, stage presence/acting, and all the aspects of a performance. Lessons are tailored on students’ needs and goals. Each lesson depends on how your voice sounds in that moment. While we always work for a healthy vocal production, the results might change based on the condition of your voice that day, or the specific requirements of the repertoire you want to sing. This is the beauty of this journey: we explore all the possibilities of your instrument and how they fit in your repertoire.
What is your policy for cancellations?
I ask my students to cancel their lesson no later than 24-hours in advance to receive a make-up lesson. No-shows will not receive a make-up lesson. There are no refunds for missed or unused lessons. I try to accommodate illness or emergencies on a case-by case basis, and I will discuss these details during our first lesson. If you are late to your lesson, please know that we will still terminate at your scheduled time.
How can I pay for our lessons?
All tuition fees are paid in advance at the time of scheduling your session. You can use….
Do you offer drop-in lessons?
I do offer the possibility to schedule your lesson at a first come/first served basis. If you need to brush up your your singing, to coach a song, or simply you don’t have time to commit for a package, go ahead and book your session now.