The 12-Week Role Preparation course begins with coaching in mid-January. Class with Ms. Arroyo starts the following week, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Liederkranz Foundation (6 East 87th Street, New York City). The focus of the curriculum is to explore and develop the character of a complete role through the historic and musical setting of the work, understanding recitative, and analyzing your translation of the text. There is no teaching of vocal technique. The program also includes one hour-long private coaching per week and concludes in early April, with a public recital at the Liederkranz Foundation.
Choosing appropriate roles that have been approved by their voice teachers, the singers will:
- Prepare their own word-by-word translations
- Research the literary and historical backgrounds of the operas and their characters in detail
- Explore their character's psychological motivations and inner lives
- Develop the physicality and dramatic style appropriate to their role
- Refine their grasp of the specific musical style of the opera
Unique to this curriculum is the time spent in coaching, both in group and one-hour individual sessions with the assigned pianist/coach, who is chosen and employed by the Foundation. During the formal group classes, Ms. Arroyo, with the assistance of the coaches, discusses the roles with the singers, and works through their excerpts selected for each respective session.
An important benefit is the interaction of the singers with each other. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between two or more characters, the background of the drama, the historical perspective, and the psychological motivations of the characters. Special attention is also given to the interpretation of the text and musical style.
At the end of each semester, each student performs selected excerpts from the opera they have studied for an audience in a formal concert. The excerpts include individual arias, ensembles, and recitatives (where applicable). The purpose is to provide the singers with an opportunity to perform before an audience at the conclusion of their study.
The classes and recital are held at the Liederkranz Foundation at 6 East 87th Street in New York City. Coachings are held at the studios of the coaching staff.