Legendary Italian coach Ubaldo Gardini and leading opera artists on the approach to a convincing vocal performance

Preparing an Operatic Role offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at the coaching process for singers, and especially what it takes for non-Italians to sing some of the world’s best-known operas convincingly. The main focus is on Ubaldo Gardini, who, though unknown to audiences, for nearly twenty years from the late 1960s was Italian coach at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, the Met and for prominent recording labels – after which he moved to Japan where he now lives and works. A detailed portrait of this language coach at work is created through interviews with more than thirty of his ‘protégés’ – most of them world-ranking artists
who refer to him affectionately as ‘Ubaldo’.

The list of these protégés reads like a Who’s Who of international opera: José Carreras, Dame Janet Baker, Sir Thomas Allen, Hildegard Behrens, Frederika von Stade, Jessye Norman, Renée Fleming, Ruggero Raimondi, et al. Other influential collaborators include conductors Sir Mark Elder and Sir Colin Davis.

‘My favorite coach, Ubaldo Gardini… gave me some advice that I follow to this day: “Sing in the mirror. If it looks funny, it’s wrong.”’
Renée Fleming, The Inner Voice: the Making of a Singer

‘Ubaldo succeeded in getting foreign artists to sound truly Italian – a rare gift attributable to his musicianship and artistry.’
Luciano Pavarotti

Why is this book unique?
• Preparing an Operatic Role is the first book to combine the secrets of opera coaching with interviews with top, internationally-known singers and conductors.

Who would love this book?

• Opera-goers – both new and established – curious to know the behind-the-scenes details of staging an opera.
• Aspiring opera singers and students looking for the secrets of
singing well and how to prepare their roles.
• Record collectors who will enjoy browsing through the discography and reading interviews with the big stars from the ‘golden age of opera recordings’.