“The spanish word for student, alumno, leads us to the Latin verb alere, which means to nourish, to foster, to feed, to develop. Every student who treasures the desire to become a singing artist craves to find a person who will guide him on his path, who will nurture him and help him unfold to his full potential. In the current state of the teaching and learning of singing, Luca D’Annunzio holds a number of extraordinary characteristics which make him earn rightly and with ease his title of Maestro. Above all else, his unparalleled knowledge of the mechanisms of voice education allows him to guide singers through a path of rigorous care, development and growth in vocal technique.
From the first lesson a world of aspects that had never been so clear and consistent was revealed to me; I found myself in front of a teacher capable of making music in an admirable way and who considered to be of paramount importance things that most people disdain: the studying of dramatic art, dramaturgy, vocal hygiene and, even more surprising for me, of the history of singing, of the evolution and foundations of the school that produced so many great artists. Two things of different sort became the essential pillars of my training from then on: the aesthetic models that he discovered for me in the singers of the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth and the utmost respect for the order of studies and, therefore, of each unique and personal vocal process.
For the first time, after years of pursuing uncertain studies, vocal technique did not depend on the search for “sensations,” let alone “images” or other confusing illusions. The guide is the sound itself, whose information I am progressively learning to identify and which my teacher fully dominates. By inextricably educating my muscles and my auditory sensibility I feel confident and secure, I do not pursue something internal and extremely subjective, but the informative manifestation through sound of the invisible mechanisms of the voice. I observe in all my classmates the gradual consolidation of a unique sound. On this crystallization of personal sound depends the possibility of building not only one’s own vocal personality –a voice one can recognize among the others– but, fundamentally, the core of artistic personality.
On this path, in contact with the reality of the plenitude of vocal sound, I am deeply grateful to receive from my maestro the tools that allow me to approach the understanding of the testimonies of the past, expressed through words and mainly through music. The current state of hyperspecialization and the distancing from the sources, which affects with particular cruelty the art of singing, make twice as estimable his theoretical research, which includes the revision and translation of treatises and methods of singing published throughout five centuries of our history, and his inexhaustible eagerness for knowledge that leads him, and us along with him, in an endless path of development.
I arrived to Maestro D’Annunzio with the intention of being educated as a singer. With him I have embarked on a path of self-knowledge. I learn that the art of singing requires the singing artist to offer his whole life. That the patient construction of our instrument, which is only possible on the basis of care and respect for a countless number of issues, most of them extremely subtle, builds ourselves as people in art and gives us the possibility of being, together with nature, masters of our voices. It has grown within me the conviction that it is possible to put the voice back in the place of importance that gave birth to so many masterpieces –I hold this conviction on account of the unquestionable proofs of our sound, which are nothing more than the bridge between the unfading fruits of the past and the living possibilities of the present.”
Belén Baptista, Uruguayan soprano.