Thanks to the contributions of numerous internationally recognized instructors, such as Renato Bruson, Luciana D’Intino and Luciana Serra, the Academy provides young singers with solid vocal and musical training for professional careers, improving participants’ technical and interpretative skills in a two-year course. In addition, a number of masterclasses have been held with instructors like Luis Alva, Teresa Berganza, Enzo Dara, Mirella Freni, Christa Ludwig, Leo Nucci, Renata Scotto and Shirley Verrett. Daily study is interwoven with student participation in Scala productions, where soloists work alongside performers, conductors and directors of international fame.
Particular importance is also given to concert performances in Italy and abroad, as well as participation in opera productions, such as the “Academy Project“, a show created entirely by students and which is included in the regular Scala season program.
Many works have been performed at the Scala and at other major Italian opera houses: among the latest productions were operas from the Mozart collection, including Ascanio in Alba (2006), Così fan tutte (2007), The Marriage of Figaro (2008), Die Zauberflöte (2016) as well as Donizetti’s Le convenienze e inconvenienze teatrali (2009) and Don Pasquale (2012) and Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro (2010), L’italiana in Algeri (2011) and La scala di seta (2013). In 2017 the Project staged Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck and, in 2018, Cherubini’s Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In 2019 two titles: Rigoletto by Verdi and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
An important initiative was introduced in the 2014-2015 season when Teatro alla Scala inaugurated its “Big Shows for Little People” with Rossini’s Cenerentola per bambini, directed by Ulrich Peter with Maxime Pascal conducting the orchestra. The program acquaints a younger audience with opera by presenting some of the most famous titles in the repertoire, performed by Academy musicians and soloists, specially adapted to a school-age audience. In 2015-2016, the children were enthralled by Il flauto magico, directed by Ulrich Peter with Min Chung and Paolo Spadaro taking turns on the podium. In 2016-2017 they were treated to Il ratto dal serraglio [The Abduction from the Seraglio] directed by Johannes Schmid and conducted by Michele Gamba. The titles featured during the 2017-2018 season were Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, both directed by Grischa Asagaroff with Pietro Mianiti conducting the orchestra. Donizetti’s opera was staged again during the 2018-2019 season, while La Cenerentola per bambini was chosen again for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.
Academy soloists have taken the stage in preeminent theatres all over the world, delighting audiences in Austria, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Korea, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
The stages of prestigious theatres in Italy and the world are now graced by the talents of former Academy students, including the sopranos Serena Farnocchia, Carmen Giannattasio, Anja Kampe, Irina Lungu, Nino Machaidze, Sae Kyung Rim, Pretty Yende, Federica Lombardi, and Fatma Said; the mezzosopranos Ketevan Kemoklidze, Anita Rachvelishvili, Nino Surguladze, and Aya Wakizono; the contralto Sonia Prina; the tenors Giuseppe Filianoti, Leonardo Cortellazzi, Azer Zada, and Giovanni Sala; the baritones Elia Fabbian, Fabio Capitanucci, Massimo Cavalletti, Christian Senn, Vincenzo Taormina, Filippo Fontana, Filippo Polinelli, and Mikheil Kiria; and the basses Simon Lim and Jong Min Park.