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Immerse yourself in Bel Canto Technique

September 9th to 16th, 2023
Lucca, Italy

Goulnara Norkina, Soprano

As a young singer, it's difficult to find coaches you can trust with your voice. It is all the more important to have the opportunity to work with wonderful singers like Ferdinand von Bothmer. Working with Ferdinand von Bothmer, I not only developed vocally, but also technically and musically. During the intensive work, you grow beyond your limits and gain security and self-confidence, which helps a lot in the singing profession. Of course, not only the work in the institute is unforgettable. The ambience all around inspires and enchants musicians.
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We invite you to come on a journey-- a time that you create to make time for yourself and your voice.  Away from the demands and distractions of our busy lives and performing schedules.  Come join us in September 2023 for a Bel Canto Vocal Intensive Retreat at Il monastero dell’angelo in the hills outside Lucca, Italy.

Here, you will have the time and space to focus on your craft. During these two weeks, we will be presenting daily vocal masterclasses to refine and calibrate your vocal technique with the principles of Bel Canto, with special attention regarding posture, appoggio, portamento, legato, messa di voce, registration and vowel balance. The aim is to refine the use of the singing voice naturally and economically, and to acquire the ability to harmonize a secure singing technique with one's own artistic expression. In addition, we will be tying all our technical work together and harmonizing our minds, hearts, and bodies, to deliver our purest artistic intentions.

  • If you’re mid-career and noticing that things are not working easily in your voice the way they always have.

  • If you’re making a fach change and are encountering new technical hurdles.

  • If you feel stuck vocally, and haven’t been able to break through that next level.

  • If things are working well enough vocally, but you just *know* you are capable of more.

NOW is the time to take ownership of your TECHNIQUE and refine the TOOLS to achieve your vocal goals -- creating exhilarating performances full of artistic integrity, delivering great auditions, feeling ease and confidence in your instrument at all times.  Our wish for you is that you can stand facing yourself in the mirror and know that you are not playing small, playing to your limitations, but you are challenging yourself everyday to become better.

Come join us, and be a part of this special journey.


Julia & Ferdinand


A Day in the Life

The Lucca Bel Canto Institute is a sanctuary away from the demands of daily life. For one week, we come together as a family- singing, learning, eating, communing and working together. We wake up in the morning in the beautiful hills of Lucca, and join our colleagues for a lovely breakfast and fellowship. Then we all congregate for a group warm-up, led by either Ferdinand or Julia. After breakfast, we commence with our masterclasses. These masterclass sessions will be divided into both technique and repertoire sessions, which are open, private voice lessons, but intended for every participant to be present. During these sessions, we will focus on what the individual needs to refine their technique in the most significant way. Each approach is tailor-made, yet deeply-rooted in the principles of Bel Canto vocal technique. In this way, we learn not only by doing, but by watching and immersing ourselves in problem-solving and strategy. By supporting our colleagues, we learn to a greater extent, and vice-versa.   

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In the midst of the busy masterclass schedule, there will be times for individual coachings as well where musical elements & style will be addressed. We will also hold in depth discussions which will include everything from vocal technique to mindset as we navigate our way through life as a singing artist. During our evening dinners, we will have impromptu concerts, which is a way of sharing and collaborating with each other during this restorative time. We hope to build a supportive community during this week that will invigorate the mind, body, and spirit and provide renewed direction as you move towards your musical goals.

Topics to be discussed


The optimal handling of the body in space for ideal sound production. Alignment of the head, neck, shoulders, and spine will be assessed for each individual.


The leaning or “supporting” of the voice, and the appropriate use of the body muscles in assisting this process.  This form of breath support stems directly from Bel Canto technique.


 The coordination of the vocal cords towards optimum closure and function. Proper onset and offset techniques will be analyzed and refined.


The building and balancing of the registers of the voice as well as the navigation throughout the range of the instrument. Accompanying this topic will be the practice and refinement of the messa di voce.


The technique that allows the freedom of the tongue, jaw, facial muscles and lips to produce the requisite sounds of singing both in consonant production and vowels.


The art of combining technique, musicality, and dramatic intent to create a riveting, unique performance suited to each individual.

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Julia Radosz

Master Teacher

Along with her career as an opera singer, Julia has been teaching voice for over 15 years. 
Her clients have performed with companies such as Deutsche Oper, The Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, Salzburger Festspiele, Theater an der Wien, Finnish National Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Chautauqua Opera and more. They have been seen in National Tours of Musicals including Phantom of the Opera and have been signed to record labels and music management. In addition, they have received many honors including advancements at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, final selections for NBC's The Voice, Miss America pageants, Classical Singer competitions, and Vocal Scholarships for conservatories and universities. In addition, Julia has pioneered several areas in vocal technique, specifically including work with tongue-ties and myofunctional ability in singers, as well as respiratory training in singers. 

Julia has been praised for her “illustrious and flowing voice” (Kansas City Metropolis). Recent engagements include a debut with Hrvatsko Narodno Kazalište Split (National Croatian Theater of Split) as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, a La Boheme tour (Musetta) throughout theaters in Spain and France, a debut with National Moravian-Silesian Theater in Czech Republic as Marietta/Marie in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (cancelled due to Covid), Madama Butterfly (Raylynmor Opera), Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (Staller Center for the Arts), Musetta (La Bohème) with Wichita Grand Opera (opposite Sam Ramey), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with Opera Orlando. On the concert stage, she performed a Puccini concert with Rhode Island Philharmonic led by Marie Jacquot, and concert performances with the Metropolitny Orchester Bratislava.   .
Previous performances include Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffman) and Fiordiligi (Cosí fan tutte) with Tri-Cities Opera where she received much praise for her “Spinning top ... impressive chest register” and “pliable, rich soprano” (Broome Arts Mirror), Violetta in La traviata  with North Dutchess Symphony Orchestra, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Cape Cod Opera, Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) with North Shore Music Festival, Raylynmor Opera, and Opera Southeast, Helena (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Magnolia Hawks (Showboat) with Opera Naples, Berenice in  L'occasione fa il ladro with Little OPERA Theatre of NY, and Rose-Marie with Light Opera of New York.  Ms. Radosz has also sung Susannah, the Governess in Turn of the Screw,  and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Austin. Concert performances include works of Verdi and Leoncavallo with Annapolis Opera, excerpts from Verdi operas with Gulfshore Opera under the baton of Maestro Paul Nadler, and recitals based on the repertoire of Jenny Lind and Marcella Sembrich, which were featured at the Bijou Theatre in Connecticut, and The Sembrich Museum, respectively.
She has won a few competitions, including The Jenny Lind Competition, Connecticut Concert Opera Competition, and The Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Competition. Additionally, she was the 2nd prize winner of the Kosciuszko Foundation Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Young Artist Awards, 3rd prize winner of the New Jersey State Opera Competition,  as well as a grant recipient from CareerBridges Foundation.  

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Ferdinand von Bothmer

Master Teacher

Ferdinand Bothmer was born in Munich. While a student of German philology and philosophy in Munich and later in Vienna, he worked both as assistant director and as extra at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and at festival productions in Bregenz and Salzburg. In 1992 he enrolled in music theatre direction at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, receiving his Master of Arts there in 1997. In addition he studied voice from 1995 to 1999 and attended complementary studies in Lied and Oratorio with Charles Spencer in 1997 - 2002, but did not complete either course of studies, choosing instead to pursue professional engagements. Following this, Ferdinand Bothmer began private vocal studies with Nicolai Gedda, Michael Pabst, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Vincenzo Bello. From 1999 to 2007 the artist was an ensemble member of the Wiener Volksoper, appearing in roles such as Szymon (Der Bettelstudent), Camille (Die Lustige Witwe), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tito (La Clemenza 

di Tito), Mazal (The Excursions of Mr. Broucek), and Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola). In 2008 he gave an acclaimed performance as Almaviva in a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Moreover, the tenor was invited to Innsbruck, Leipzig, and the Seefestspiele Mörbisch 2002, where he played the role of Edwin (Die Csárdásfürstin). In the 2002/03 season he sang Jaquino (Fidelio) at the Washington Opera and later recreated the same role at La Scala with Riccardo Muti. He débuted as Tamino in 2003 at the Zürich opera under Adam Fischer, and also in 2005 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. In the same year he gave Almaviva at the Tokyo Opera. In 2006 he appeared as Châteauneuf (Zar und Zimmermann) in Düsseldorf and Hamburg. During the same season he gave his début as Idomeneo at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden (cond. Marc Piollet). At the Rossini Festival in Pesaro in 2006, he appeared in Mozart's Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and returned the following year in the title role of Rossini's Otello, followed by Pilade (Ermione) under the direction of Roberto Abbado. In November of 2008, Ferdinand Bothmer toured Japan with the Pesaro production of Otello. In the same year, he débuted as Léopold (La Juive) in a new production at the Stuttgart opera; with this role he also performed in the season opening at the Wiener Staatsoper, meeting with great success. Shortly afterwards he also sang Almaviva in Vienna. In 2009 Ferdinand Bothmer could be heard as Tamino in Stuttgart, interpreting Schubert's Winterreise in Klagenfurt and as Narraboth, a role he created for the first time at the Festival di Canarias. In 2010 he sang in the world premiere of Luigi Cherubini's Koukourgi at the Klagenfurt theatre and appeared as Giasone in Johann Simon Mayr's Medea in Corinto at the Bavarian State Opera with Ivor Bolton conducting. He returned to Stuttgart in 2011 as Max (Der Freischütz) and Erik (Der Fliegende Holländer). Ferdinand Bothmer toured Spain in 2012 singing Pollione in Norma with conductor Fabio Biondi and his Baroque ensemble Europa Galante, with whom he also performed Pergolesi's Il transito di San Giuseppe at the Festival Misteria Paschalia in Cracow. In 2013 the artists reunited for Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Haydn's Philomenis und Baucis in Monte Carlo. The tenor sang in Leo Fall's Die Dollarprinzessin with Ulf Schirmer conducting the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, as well as in Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich. Moreover, 2013 saw him as Lohengrin in Vilnius and Bratislava, in the world premiere of Stefan Pfeiffer's Das Ende der Unschuld in Hamburg, and back at the Gärtnerplatztheater as Jupiter in Händel's Semele. In 2014 Ferdinand Bothmer expanded his repertoire with Gunther (Die Feen) in Leipzig, Manrico at the Latvian National Opera and Harald, the leading tenor role in Dvořák's early opera Alfred, which was performed for the first time since 1938 at the Dvořák Festival in Prague. In 2015 he was cast as Paul (Die tote Stadt) at the Staatsoper Hamburg and Assad (Die Königin von Saba) in Freiburg. Since 2009, the tenor has worked closely with the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl and its artistic director Gustav Kuhn. At this festival, he gave his début in several roles by Wagner (Erik, Lohengrin, Walther von der Vogelweide) and Verdi (Manrico, Alfredo, Zamoro in Alzira). In the festival's Mozart/da Ponte cycle he appeared as Don Ottavio and Don Basilio. In the 2014 summer festival season he sang both Loge and Froh in Das Rheingold, followed by Ferrando (Così fan tutte) in the winter festival. In 2015 he débuted in Erl as Walther von Stolzing. He was invited to sing the title role in Berlioz' Benvenuto Cellini and Archangel Michael in Walter Braunfels' Jeanne d'Arc at the Cologne opera in 2016. In the same year, he returned to Bratislava as Lohengrin and débuted as Arnold in Guglielmo Tell at the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl, where he also gave Lohengrin in 2017. Most recently, Ferdinand Bothmer has appeared as Renaud in Gluck's Armide at the Staatstheater Mainz. In 2018 he made his debut of the title role of Wagner’s Parsifal and as Pirro of Rossini’s Ermione at the Tiroler Festspiel Erl and sang the part of Offizier in Hindemith’s Cardillac at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the baton of Fabio Luisi. In 2019 he made his debut as Hagenbach in Catalani’s La Wally at the theatre of Bolzano. In summer 2019 he sang Parsifal, Radames (Aida) and Stolzing (Wagner „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl. In 2020 he sang the part of Stolzing (Wagner „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) for N2025 (Capital for culture in Europe) in Nürnberg. In 2021 he made his debut as Fidelio (Beethoven „Fidelio“) at the LechClassics- Festival/ Austria. He sang the part of Mime (Wagner“Das Rheingold) at the Swerdlowsk Philharmonic Orchestra Jekaterinburg/RUS) Upcoming events: - 2022 : Brahms „Rinaldo“ with The National Philharmonic Society of Lithuania 2022 November 25th in Kaunas and 26th in Vilnius. - 2024: Opera Oviedo: Hindemith „Cardillac“- Der Offizier. Ferdinand Bothmer regularly performs concert repertoire by composers such as Händel, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Bach and Mendelssohn and has collaborated with artists including Helmuth Rilling, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Andreas Spering, Ottavio Dantone, Thomas Hengelbrock, Alberto Zedda, Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante. In 2008, Naxos Records released as part of its Schubert Lied Edition a solo album featuring Ferdinand Bothmer, accompanied by Ulrich Eisenlohr. At present, the singer is responsible for the publication of a new complete edition of Liszt lieder, for which he has also recorded a CD with pianist Charles Spencer. His work on this project includes research for a new critical sheet music edition and the redaction of an accompanying book. The tenor has been teaching privately since 2008, as Head of the voice academy at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl and has a professorship for Classical Singing at the Gustav Mahler Privatuniversität Klagenfurt.

Executive Producers

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Francesca Aguado and Michael J. Polo

Francesca Aguado and Michael Polo join our program as producing partners. Individually, and together, they have produced over 30 productions and specialize in producing educational music festivals within the realms of opera, classical music, musical theater and commercial music. Michael produces festivals such as, The Vienna Summer Music Festival, The London Summer Music Theatre Academy, The Sunshine Opera Festival and their new projects include; The Nashville New Music Festival and the Prometheus Arts Summit. Their hard work and determination has grown The Vienna Summer Music Festival into one of the largest festivals for aspiring classical musicians in the business. Together they look forward to bringing their industry knowledge and unique skill sets to the Lucca Bel Canto Institute.

Institute Details
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Institute Details

A program focused on Bel Canto in the birth city of Puccini

Admitted participants will have daily lessons and/or coachings, as well as perform regularly.


You are to arrive at Pisa Gal Galilei airport (PSA) on September 9th, 2023.  From there you will be transported to Convento dell'Angelo, Via Tramonte 2530, I-55100 Ponte a Moriano (LU).where you will be housed for the duration of your stay.  The program fee covers accommodation, all meals, transportation to and from the airport, coaching, masterclasses, staff pianists, and facilities.  There are no additional charges after you arrive in Lucca. 

Total cost of program is €3150 and due in full prior to your arrival in Lucca.  


Scholarships are available. If you are interested in the program, please apply, and we can determine together if it's a good fit for your goals and how to make the program accessible.

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Please complete the form below and we will be in contact with you from in order to set up a call. In this call, you will speak with a member our team  who will get to know you, answer your questions, and together you can determine if the program is a good fit for your needs. 

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Get to Know Us

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have.  We are available Monday through Friday, 10:00am - 4:00pm US-EST at +1.856.404.4743 or you can email us at:

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