Masterclass of Xavier Sabata at the Hungarian State Opera

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Xavier Sabata is one of the most outstanding contra tenors of 21st century. The Catalan singer first performed at the Hungarian State Opera in the season of 2014/15 in Vivaldi’s Farnace. He is going to hold his master class between 7 and 10 December in the Bertalan Székely Hall in the Hungarian State Opera. 

The two main topics of the course will be as follows:

1. Theory and practice of the dramatic music of the 17th century (mainly Italian repertoire, from “Canzonette”  to operatic works -“recitar cantando”-: C. Monteverdi, F.Cavalli, S.Landi, Conti, Frescobaldi, Caccini. “Primo la parola e dopo la musica” working on the style, based on the rhetoric of this music, understanding that the text leads the performance and the concept of “coloring the words” always from a healthy vocal emission.  

2. Theory and practice of the dramatic music of the 18th century (until ca.1750) from "cantata Italiana” to opera: Bononcini, Scarlatti, Handel, Porpora, Hasse… “Florid singing” is what is behind the virtuoso style and how to use ornamentation dramatically. Also the contrast between the recit and the aria, how to organize the drama between these 2 opposite music structures.

Applicants are advised to bring 2 pieces of each category including recits (for the pieces of the 18th century).

Information for applicants

The language of the masterclass is English, upon request also German, Italian, French or Spanish.

For active participants

Applications should include a CV and a sound file or a YouTube video (not older than 1 year). The deadline for application is 23rd November 2015. Applications can be sent to the following e-mail address:

Based on the materials, 12 active participants will be chosen. Results and schedule of the master class will be announced by 25th November 2015, which you will be able to check on the website of the Opera. 

Classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. each day, active participants will therefore have 2 lessons during the course.

The closing concert will be on 12th December at 11 a.m. in the Bertalan Székely hall of the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, where the 4-day course will be held as well. The cost of travelling, lodging and accommodation is the responsibility of the applicants. Participation in the course is free of charge.


Topic 1: works by e.g. Monteverdi, Cavalli, Landi, Conti, Frescobaldi and Caccini
Topic 2: works by e.g. Bononcini, Scarlatti, Händel, Porpora, Hasse and Gluck

For passive participants:

We are asking you kindly to write us an e-mail if you wish to come as a passive participant (the same e-mail address as given above for applications), because the number of seats is limited. There is no application deadline for passive participation. In order not to disturb the classes, we ask you to enter / leave the hall between arias, not while someone is singing. Taking photos or audio recordings is forbidden.

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