Now in its seventh year, AFSO (Academy of French Song and Opera) will give 6 talented singers and one trainee pianist an opportunity to study in depth a specific French role or recital repertoire during an intensive week of work. The week culminates in a public concert in front of a French audience.
DATES: 28th JUNE - 6th JULY 2019 - BURSARIES AVAILABLE
WHERE?: in the beautiful and unspoilt French countryside near the village of Roquecor north of Toulouse.
FOR WHOM? : 6 singers, who may be vocal students or young professionals, and one trainee pianist.
STAFF: Participants study with a professional language coach and two vocal coaches affiliated to the major opera houses in the UK and in Europe.
CONTENT: The course consists of in-depth one-to-one musical and linguistic work on French opera arias and mélodies, in addition to group sessions concentrating on the formation of French vowels for the purpose of singing, and on declamation.
The idea of creating AFSO was born out of passion and frustration.
Passion for the French repertoire, a strong desire to encourage singers to pursue less familiar paths, and the belief that singers should be trained with a system they can then apply to all their French repertoire without having to endlessly rely on coaches. AFSO aims to give singers the tools to do most of the linguistic and musical preparation on their own.
Our objective is to achieve not only accuracy of the delivery of text but also a specific rather than generic interpretation, and a deeper level of discovery. Ultimately we are working towards a more truthful and less superficial performance.
The frustration was born out of a lack of time in most institutions where we coach to work slowly, deeply, and in detail, with young singers. Frustration also from meeting many experienced and established singers in opera houses in the UK and in Europe still struggling with the French language for singing purposes, having very little idea of the formation of our 15 vowel sounds, and not really being able to use the French text efficiently to express the emotion of a song or role. A number of singers still rely on copying their coach or recordings in order to prepare a song or a role.
A dream followed: teaching in a relaxed non-competitive atmosphere, in a beautiful place away from noise and distraction, and dedicating seven days of work to six talented singers, with quiet time to learn, to focus, to share views and reactions, to digest information gained, and to grow. We are lucky to be based in France in breathtakingly beautiful and quiet surroundings. We are committed to maintaining a very small focused course, with a great deal of individual attention given to each singer.