José Carreras International Singing Masterclass at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro - VI edition

Last week the Rossini Conservatory of Music in Pesaro, Italy, hosted the 6th edition of the José Carreras International Singing Masterclass.

Photo: Intercontact Srl (Facebook)

For the first time in early autumn, legendary tenor Josep Carreras spent a whole week nurturing young singers from different countries, listening to them daily and wisely advising in order to improve their technical and performing abilities, thanks to his 50-year experience and unique art.

Since 2016, every year Carreras exclusively chooses the Rossini Conservatory for his Masterclass due to his professional relationship and close friendship with Lorenzo Bavaj, Piano professor of the Conservatory, and his pianist since 1989. Besides that, he does not like the word "Masterclass". According to him, it's too pompous, a fact that gives you a clue about his incredible humility.

For this 6th edition, which took place from 4 to 9 October, 25 singers came to Pesaro from Spain, China, Russia, Poland, Spain, GermanyTurkey, and of course Italy. Furthermore, the class was completed by a few internal students of the Conservatory selected by a special commission chaired by director Fabio Masini

At the end of the course, Carreras and Bavaj selected the 11 most prepared students for the final concert, which for the first time took place at the Teatro Sperimentale last Saturday, 9 October, 6pm.

Singers were composed of 5 sopranos, 4 tenors1 baritone and 1 bass. Each one, beautifully accompanied by pianists Carolina Benedettini and Alessandro Uva, sang the aria the maestros had suggested them among the three ones they had studied in depth during the classes.

The program included popular arias by Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Bellini, Bizet and Borodin. The general level of the performance appeared even higher in comparison to the previous editions.

At the end of the concert, Josep Carreras joined the stage for his speech, upon invitation of the Director of the Conservatory, Fabio Masini.

Warmly acclaimed, Josep Carreras expressed his joy for the opportunity he has had once again to spend a week with young students and feel their love for opera, still so vivid despite the hard times the whole world is experiencing. 

As he said, he really hopes for further occasions to come to hold this "course" in such a special and familiar setting which is the Rossini Conservatory, in which everyone is respectful to each others. He defines his hope as egoistic, as he said that he is the one who enjoys it most. A real gift he has received by the Conservatory,  Lorenzo Bavaj, his family and his friends for six years.

According to him, what the Rossini Conservatory offers is not only a real pride both in Italy and abroad, but also says it all about how people from Pesaro are.

After that he was joined by Lorenzo Bavaj and they handed over the attending certificate to all students, one by one. Josep Carreras was asked to sing, and he generously accepted.  
As he was going to sing two Neapolitan songs, he referred to something he had said also during the live interview he offered that very morning to TV program Uno Mattina (Rai1) (approx. 0:48),  about his passion for Neapolitan songs. "The great tenors from the past used to sing them, and I join them due to my age, but I am not a great tenor, I just love them so much... and I hope you will appreciate". 

Accompanied on piano by Lorenzo Bavaj and devotedly surrounded by his students, Carreras chose as extra encores Passione and Dicitencello vuje, both rewarded with thunderous ovations and bravos.

The President of the ConservatorySalvatore Giordano, who had honored him with a special introduction right before the beginning of the concert, gave him a gift as a sign of gratitude from the Rossini's Conservatory at the end. Carreras warmly greeted and congratulated all his students once again.


"Maestro, I just want to thank you once again... you have taught me so much. I will treasure this experience forever, and will always remember you, thank you!"- this is what one of his students privately told him after the concert. May the future generations of singers really learn from his art and attitude.