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"Si parla, si canta" Testimonials

Kathryn Lewek, sopranoAn international singing career takes much more than talent alone. It takes loads of hard work and dedication to crafting an artistry that is personally unique, and also authentically rooted in tradition and study. Maestro Hess’s “Si parla, si canta” in the beautiful little Italian town of Urbania is a place perfectly suited to getting lost in the romance of the Italian language - really tasting the nuance of the words and grasping a real sense for the rhythm of it’s sentences.

With expert guidance from the Maestro and his amazing and supportive staff of coaches and visiting artists, students have a very special opportunity to really broaden that studied authenticity in their Italian operatic repertoire, while creating a personal love for the language and Italian culture with memories that will be cherished for life. I loved every moment of my time studying in Urbania, and have felt it’s positive effects in my life and career ever since!

- Kathryn Lewek
  Metropolitan Opera
  SPSC Alum 2011


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Donovan Singletary, baritoneBenton Hess and “Si parla, si canta” provided me with a one of a kind musical and educational experience that I’ll never forget and will always cherish. Being in Urbania and being immersed in the Italian language and culture helped me tremendously in being able to further my career.

Benton gave me the wonderful opportunity to sing Don Giovanni at “Si parla, si canta,” and with his guidance and the help of his colleagues, I was able to gain tools and techniques that I still use today in preparing my roles. I had an amazing time and I made lasting friendships.

Thank you for everything and happy 10th anniversary!

- Donovan Singletary
  Metropolitan Opera
  SPSC Alum 2009


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Jennifer Johnson Cano, soprano"Si parla, si canta" provides a unique educational experience for students to immerse themselves in the world of Italian language, music and culture. The opportunity to learn from world-class faculty in the classroom and studio, combined with the practical application of those lessons in daily activities and on the concert stage, deepened my understanding and bolstered my confidence.

I returned from the program feeling empowered, which is the greatest gift any program can share with its participants."

- Jennifer Johnson Cano
  Metropolitan Opera
  SPSC Alum 2010


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I went on this trip with certain expectations, but I was surprised to see how fully they were met and surpassed…[I] was constantly presented with opportunities, whether on the stage or in the street, to demonstrate my new knowledge…I was afforded a wealth of opportunities which will continue to impact me in ways which I cannot yet fathom. ~~ Hyery H., soprano/pianist (Conservatory Doctoral candidate, '07)

“Si parla, si canta”‘ is an amazing program. If you're interested in learning Italian and getting top notch opera coaching in the middle of the picturesque Marche region of Italy, do not hesitate to sign up. I personally enjoyed working and learning with singers of all different skill levels. ~~ Jim, baritone (University graduate student, '10)

[It was] an experience I will never forget…Although I had studied Italian before, I learned so much more about the language than I expected in such a small amount of time. The way Centro Studi sets up their program is really fantastic. It was great for me because I felt challenged, but didn’t feel like I was in over my head. ~~ Lauren I., mezzo-soprano (Conservatory sophomore, '07)

I can’t think of a better career investment for a serious student of opera than ‘Si parla, si canta.’ The linguistically driven program provides the student with a solid foundation in spoken, written and sung Italian. The teaching staff at Centro Studi is extremely talented and supportive. The program is also bolstered by a world-renowned coaching staff that seeks to bring out the best in each voice. I am very glad that I was able to participate in the summer 2010 program. ~~ Joshua, tenor (University graduate student '10)

I couldn't think of a better way to experience Italy for the first time. ‘Si parla, si canta’ is an ideal fusion of language, music, and culture. The marriage of the Italian language and music was an especially inspiring aspect of the program, well-balanced with opportunities to explore charming Urbania and other gorgeous cities in the surrounding area. Between the delicious food, incredibly friendly folks, and quality music-making, I will always cherish my experience at SPSC!~~ Christina, pianist (University graduate student '10)

Click here to read more testimonials.

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