La Cenerentola, Ramiro's Aria
La Cenerentola, Ramiro's Aria
In this masterclass for voice, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt helps Grégoire Mour work on building a connection with the piece Ramiro's Aria from Rossini's Cenerentola.
Produced by the Saline royale Academy
In this masterclass for voice, Professor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and student Grégoire Mour work together on the Ramiro's Aria from the Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.
Firstly, Mour is instructed to work on his Italian diction and focus on the details. The student is encouraged to relax and find more depth, in order to avoid straining his voice. Moreover, Fouchécourt advises him to work closely with the score, and to find more precision in the vocalizations. To achieve this, Mour is told to put less pressure on his notes and be as flexible as possible.
Maintaining one's energy while staying relaxed.
Finding more depth.
Working closely with the original score.
Avoid straining one’s voice.
Remaining connected to the piece.
Rossini wrote the opera La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo, which translates to “Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant,” in 1817. It was first performed in the Teatro Valle in Rome, following his monumental The Barber of Seville. While it was not initially well-received, it grew to become a highly popular production. It tells the classic story of Cinderella (in this libretto called Cenerentola), with some alterations - there is an evil stepfather rather than stepmother, no magical elements, and a glass bracelet instead of a glass slipper. In the opera, Prince Ramiro holds a ball to find his wife, but switches identities with his valet in order to find a partner who is not only after his wealth and position. Cenerentola, who has been forced to work as a maid to her stepfamily, disguises herself and attends the ball, falling in love with the valet, who is really Ramiro. She gives him one of two identical bracelets, hoping he will find and reunite with her. In the end, much to the chagrin of her stepfamily, she and the prince wed. In Ramiro’s famous aria, "Sì, ritrovarla io giuro," he has just received the bracelet from Cenerentola and vows to find her and reveal his identity. The aria is characterized by florid, decorated melodies and runs, high notes, and passion.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this masterclass for voice. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Jean-Paul Fouchécourt s feedback and comments.
He is now passing on his experience to the younger generation and has been directing the destiny of the Studio de l'Opéra de Lyon (SOL) since the 2010-2011 season.
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt has gained an international reputation by his portraits of Platté de Rameau and Arnalta (l’Incoronazione di Poppea) of Monteverdi, the 'character' roles, such as Offenbach's Four Valets (Offenbach's Tales), Chabrier's Phew (The Star), Ravel's Child and Spells and The Spanish Hour.
Beginning his musical journey as a classical saxophonist and conductor, Fouchécourt became a singer after singer Cathy Berberian encouraged him to work on his voice. He made his debut in 1993 at the Amsterdam Opera with L'Incoronazione di Poppea alongside Christophe Rousset.
In 1996, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt was hired to sing the roles of Poulenc's Mamelles de Tirésias 'Husband' directed by Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival, which marked his international debut and provided him access to major venues, including but not limited to London's Covent Garden, New York City Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Opera Bastille, etc. He has also appeared at festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, and more. He is a frequent guest of the Boston Symphonic, National of France, Vienna Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic. Furthermore, he has worked with prestigious conductors including Charles Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Yannick Nézet- Seguin, James Levine, Antonio Pappano, and Sir Simon Rattle.
With over a hundred recordings, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt has a broad repertoire. He is delighted to pass on his experience to the younger generation, and has been working at the Studio de l'Opéra de Lyon (SOL) since 2011. He is a Knight in the National Order of Merit.
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was an Italian composer known for his incredible output of successful operas. Born to a musical family, he showed talent from a young age. He studied composition, voice, and several instruments at the music conservatory in Bologna before moving to Venice to establish a career as an opera composer. He found success quickly through writing one-act comedic operas in Venice, as well as commissions for the Mombelli family. In 1813, he premiered his first serious opera, Tancredi, which was met with great acclaim. His operas became known for their colorful, florid melodies, large orchestration, and intense dynamics.
Due to his immense success in Venice, Rossini was offered a position as music director of the royal theaters in Naples in 1815. Over the course of the next eight years, Rossini would compose eighteen operas, including several collaborations with future wife, Soprano Isabella Colbran. In Rome in 1816, he premiered his masterpiece, Il barbiere di Siviglia. To this day, it remains one of the most successful and beloved comedic operas of all time. However, by 1823, the Naples audience had grown tired of Rossini’s works, and Colbran was no longer able to find as much work due to her failing voice. The couple ended their Italian opera career with the large-scale opera Semiramide (1823), and after a brief stint in London, settled in Paris.
Between 1824-29, Rossini composed numerous works for the Parisian stage. He adapted to the French style by incorporating more declamatory singing rather than ornate melodies, adding dance movements, and expanding the role of the chorus. His most enduring opera from this time was Guillame Tell. While the work was successful at the time, it has now risen to even more prominence. However, for unclear reasons, Rossini decided to retire from opera in 1829 at only thirty-seven years old.
While Rossini published a few pieces during his retirement, including Stabat Mater (1832) and Petite messe solennelle (1864), his output dwindled significantly. He separated from his wife in 1837, and after her death in 1845, married French courtesan Olympe Pélissier. They became important figures in Parisian social circles, hosting salons and dinner parties for important guests. Rossini composed for and performed at these gatherings, but most of these pieces were never released to the public. After a long and enjoyable retirement, Rossini died of cancer at the age of seventy-six in Paris. While he was initially mostly remembered for l barbiere di Siviglia and Guillame Tell, many of his other works have recently resurfaced, highlighting his remarkable talent and delightful music.