Monday, July 23, 2012



I arrived at JFK airport at 7:30 Sunday evening to a warm welcome from my brother Billy, his daughter Kyla, son Chasen, wife Jennie and my parents!
Have five weeks really passed??
The last you heard from me it was the morning of my Pesaro concert.
4 days later let me tell you what an outrageously fantastic time was had that night!
We arrived in Pesaro at the Conservatory of Music, Gioachino Rossini. It's a music school that has produced such names as Tebaldi, Del Monaco and Corelli.

While the La Musica Lirica team was waiting downstairs at the entrance to the school...

I ran upstairs to take a look at our venue:

Not too shabby if you ask me!
It was a glorious night in the Salone Pedrotti. This is what the Conservatory webstie has to say regarding the Salone Pedrotti:
"All'interno del Palazzo Olivieri è collocato l'Auditorium Pedrotti, elegante e capiente sala da concerti costruita ed attivata nel 1892, dieci anni dopo l'inizio dei corsi dell'Istituto.
L'Auditorium Pedrotti, con pavimentazione in legno, dotato di pianoforte gran coda Steinway e grande organo a canne a tre tastiere, è caratterizzato da un'acustica eccellente"
[At the interior of the Olivieri Palace is located the Pedrotti Auditorium, an elegante and capacious concert hall constructed and opened in 1892, ten years aftern the Institute began classes. The Pedrotti Auditorium, with wooden floors, furnished with a Steinway grand and a great 3 manual reed organ, is characteristc of acoustic excellence.]
Sadly, only one of my 3 Boheme performances was video recorded. Fortunately, the recording was at this very special venue. Aside from being the theatre for the Rossini Conservatory, The Salone Pedrotti is home to Pesaro's Rossini Opera Festival. The Rossini Opera Festival is a very important annual summer opera seriers which presents some of the best singers in the world.
It was a dream come true. At this point in my life, having performed Boheme in 2 different productions with 3 different casts in 5 different theatres/locations, I am proud and confident to say that this was the best venue by far. To sing Rodolfo in Italian, in Italy, for an Italian audience, in Rossini's home town, with an Italian orchestra, in a theatre designed exactly for that purpose is INCREDIBLE! The acoustics were amazing, the setting was perfect. Every element was in place for our cast, crew and orchestra to do their best and it was a successful night.
After the show Maestro Rescigno congratulated me, all of my friends and collegues expressed that they thought it was the best we had done. They were all so proud. If the excitement and support from my La Musica Lirica team wasn't enough for me to be  myself I was stopped in the streets by several of the orchestra members who not only congratulated me but asked me if I would come back next year. They demanded that I return next year! What an honour! One of the orchestra members, Matteo, had tears in his eyes and told me that it was a pleasure to work together and I had done such a great job, that the performance made him very emotional. While on a high from those compliments I strutted down the street with my chest high and a smile wide from ear to ear. I couldn't go very far without being stopped by audience members strolling down the cobble stone streets of Pesaro screaming Bravo, Bravo BRAVI!
I even received a few "Bravo"s after my aria!!!!!!

Friday was a relaxing day. My friend Giulia, violinist from Milano, come to see the show and we spent the afternoon in Rimini.

We had out final meeting on Friday where I received my certificate of completion of the Italian Course. I scored the highest grade on the most advanced level (the highest level they offered) B1, 95 out of 100. I picked up some of the enormous posters:

We left at sunrise Saturday morning for Rome.

A phot of Maestro Joeffry Price and me in Rome, Italy

And good bye Italy!

And so the adventure of a life time has come to an end. These amazing experiences, people and places are a part of my life because of you all who helped me emotionally and financially. I hope that these updates brought you some insight into the opera world and my world.

I plan to update with some more recollections and photos from the different concerts as they become available. In the meantime, thank you again and please keep your comments comming!!!

With gratidude,
Joe Brent

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Io speriamo che me la cavi

Buongiorno a tutti,

It is a luminous and warm Thursday morning here on the 19th of July, in the Valmarecchia's Novafeltria, Italy.

Tonight, in Pesaro - at the Rossini conservatory - will be the final operatic performance of La Musica Lirica's 2012 season. The Red Cast, seen in the photos from San Marino in the previous post - which includes me - will round out the 5th week immersion with one last Boheme. We will perform the opera at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica G. Rossini in the Salone Pedrotti (constructed in 1892).

Wish me luck. It has been a thoroughly enriching program. Tomorrow morning we will have our farewell meeting, "graduation" from the 4 week italian course and goodbyes.

Last night the Green cast performed their last Boheme for the program in Alfonsine. If I did not express it earlier, the nights that I was not singing Rodolfo I was the silent waiter for the Bohemian's table at Cafe Momus. Needless to say BUT everyone enjoyed the nights I was fainting and swooning over Musetta. I'll see if there is any chance someone snapped some photos of those other evenings. Last night was fun because it was my last night as a waiter. Eating the food from the Bohemian's table, giving them their bill, flirting with Musetta. . . an aspect of the show I am glad that I was able to live.

I am off to grab a coffee, some breakfast and enjoy a masterclass as I relax and prepare my body for a very important Rodolfo!

The time seems to have flown and yet. . .

with gratitude and love,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Davanti l'ufficio postale

Warm greetings from Novafeltria,

At last, after 4 weeks of searching, I have found the hotspot! Courtesy of Manuel Castillo I am writing to you from the Tentazione Pizzera run by Fernando, sitting a few steps away from the Ufficio Postale. The signal is strong and we have the night off... I will try to fill you all in as best as possible by recounting my last few weeks.

The recap:

My first performance as a member of the La Musica Lirica team was 27th of June in San Marino for their television station. I uploaded the video in an earlier post but for those of you who haven't seen it: San Marino Terrazza Kursaal 3rd Act Quartet Boheme - San Marino TV (Terrazza Kursaal)

From left to right you should see Michael Roemer (Marcello), Yunnie Park (Mimi), Rose Mannino (Musetta) and Me.

La Musica Lirica broke us down into 4 casts: Red cast (the singers mentioned above), Green cast (Manuel Castillo - Rodolfo, Kristen Marchiafava - Mimi), Blue cast (Dalton Flake - Rodolfo, Erin McComber - Mimi), Orange (ME + Blue cast). The Red cast sang in San Marino and will sing thus Thursday in Pesaro. The Orange cast sang in Cesena last Thursday.

Yunnie and I, last Saturday, as I've mentioned previously, performed in San Marino again.  Follow this link Cara Emili: Joe sings for earthquake victims (scan to 2 hrs 36 min) and scan the video to 2 hrs and 36 min. You'll see and hear me sing La mia letizia infondere from I Lombardi and the off stage interjections in Sempre Libera from La Traviata. What a terrifying night that was!! Ubaldo Fabbri (the head of the Voci nel Montefeltro festival and the italian portion of La Musica Lirica) asked me Wednesday afternoon if I knew any Verdi. Of course after my summer last year, with Prof. Burchinal and the opera students at UGA, at the Greek Opera Studio/Festival of the Aegean (For a limited time the 2011 video are still up) I covered Alfredo, sang Gastone and performed a few excerpts from the Traviata. So I explained to Ubaldo that I could sing Alfredo. He insisted that I learn the Lombardi cavatina, and I reminded him that I was singing Rodolfo Wednesday night AND Thursday night... Maestro Fabbri insisted. I spent all day Friday trying to memorize the text and melody. Saturday arrived and we drove to San Marino, arrived at 5 - performed a sound check and tried to put up a poster of the music but to no success! As you can see in video it was an enormous studio. We put my music in a Voci nel Montefeltro folder and the rest was recorded history. Though we had to wait from 5:00 - 11:30 to sing. With just of 24 hours of preparation I think it was a success... for a live broadcast, all over italy and the world... I just wish I could have sang something that I already knew!!

I've been monopolizing Manuel's comupter for too long.

More soon, ENJOY!

Cari Amici

Cari Amici,

Vi ringrazio!! Grazie per leggendo, anche per il vostro pazienza.
Thank you all! Thank you for reading and also for your patience.

I have been judicious in my posts lately due primarily to the speed and effeciency of the technology in Novafeltria and secondarily to my schedule. I have also had reservations about updates because I have been taking so many photos and want so badly to include them into the posts along with the recolections.

I apologize for my reticence and beseech you for continued patience.

Italian classes have concluded, I have my final voice lesson today at 2 and my last Boheme on Thursday. I am tying up loose ends, preparing my things and cleaning my apartment.

Meastro Price and I are planning to have lunch at a fantastic resturante, Saffi.

I have found the link to Saturday night's benefit concert in San Marino. I will double check the link and post it by the end of the day (your mid day). I sing at 2 hours and 35 min into the show, I am followed by Yunnie Park - a South Korean soprano who is one of my Mimis.

Thought of the day:
Raddoppiamento Sintattico and "n" assimilations, what a beautiful aspect of spoken language:

with gratitude and warmth,

More very soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Morning After


Here is some information regarding last night's engagement.

Cara Emilia, ce la possiamo fare: diretta su San Marino Tv e in streaming
(Dear Emilia), there we can do it: live from San Marino TV and streaming on

Il 14 luglio alle 20.45, SMtv, in collaborazione con Eutelsat, Rai News, Rai Net dedicano alle popolazioni colpite dal terremoto una diretta di 150 minuti, condotta da Carmen Lasorella.
(14 of July at 8:45, San Marino tv, in collaboration with Eutelsat, Rai New, Rai Net dedicated to the people hit by the earthquake a 150 min live broadcast, hosted by Carmen Lasorella)

I am trying to find information in English for you all.
The event seemed to be a success...

It was a benefit evening for victims of the earth quakes in the Emilia region.
We didn't sing until 11:15 lastnight, six hours is a long time to wait for one aria and the interjections during Sempre Libera - but what a great opportunity!!!

Things are winding down here in Novafeltria at La Musica Lirica. I have one more Boheme and I will be on my way home a week from today.

When I get more information and a chance to post photos I'll give you all the dirty details, but as for now: enjoy your Sunday, eat some lasagne and wish me luck for the remainder of the program.

Stammi Bene!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sto per andare

Going to San Marino to sing tonight...

Wish me luck

Friday, July 13, 2012

L'ultimo giorno delle lezioni

benevenuti & saluti,

Readers, I am writing from the computer in the school. I just finished the italian exam. I had to complete reading, writing, listening and oral sections. It went very well; Rosaria - my italian teacher - was very complimentary and supportive... in fact, she just found me and I scored 95/100!!!!!!! IL MIGLIORE!

I was the only student taking the exam today, a special exception was made for me because I sang my first 2 Rodolfos back to back Wednesday in San Marino and Thursday in Cesena. What fantastic experiences!!! I sang with 2 different casts, they both did a great job - a huge BRAVI to all of the singers. Bravo to my Marcelli Michael and Alejandro, my Schaunard Nelson and Arthur, my Collini Matt and Dylan. Brava to my Mimi Yuni and Erin, my Musette Marina and Rose. Bravi tutti to the chorus, stage crew, costume crew and last but not least Maestro Rescigno. I received such beautiful compliments from so many people: from italians, from faculty, from students.

As for the venues, WOW! I am in the proccess of loading all of the photos of these 2 shows, they will be up as soon as possible. Your patience is appreciated.

Last piece of news to share is that Maestro Fabbri has invited me to sing for a world wide broadcast Saturday afternoon. I do not know all of the details but what I do know is this: it is a tribute or fundraiser for victims of the recent earthquakes in the Emiglia-Romagna region. The only reservation I have is that Maestro asked me to learn a new aria La Mia Letizia Infondere... from I Lombardi by Verdi. Between back to back Boheme and my Italian exam, I hope I can get it together. I am taking it easy today, but much study has to be done.

Wish me luck, send your love.
My time here is "sta per finire" about to end. It has been a brilliant 4 weeks on the brink of week 5.

Will write soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ciao a tutti,

Greetings from the beginning of week 4.

I am writing you all from the Hotel Magda (chi bel sogno... ) where several of the corsisti have been staying. Apparently their lasagna is great!!!

We had our final dress rehearsal for Boheme today. We will open Monday, for those in Italy you can see me as Rodolfo in San Marino on the 11th, Cesena on the 12th and Pesaro on the 19th.

Below is a photo from the prova [rehearsal]

More soon!! All is well!! 
I bought 1984 in Italian, let's see how well that goes!! Wish me luck.

Stammi bene!!!

With gratitude and love
Thank you

Monday, July 2, 2012

5 minutes before class

Buongiorno a tutti,

Writing to you from the beginning of week 3!

I arrived at school in anticipation of my class and thought that if I could use one of the faculty's computers I could send all of you a quick update.

First, please check out the photos page that I have added to the links section immediately to the right of this post. I have added, at this point, all of the photos that I have taken over the last 2 weeks. It has been a challenge trying to format these photos, please have patience with my fixing them. Eventually I will incorporate them into these posts, but I am handicapped by lack of time and capable computers\internet access.

Second, tonight is the zitsprobe for Boheme!!! We will be performing with an orchestra from Ravenna. For those of you in Italy, I am guaranteed performances in San Marino and Pesaro (see previous post for dates), and I will be covering some of the other performances. . .  the show goes up on the 9th, at that point it will be riding the wave and going with the flow.

I do not know if I reccounted to you all but I had to stand in Saturday night during the Faculty Gala Concert here in Novafeltria. I performend the 3rd act quartet again in an open air concert in the heart of downtown Novafeltria in front of their church. It was a beautiful evening with great singers and an excited italian audience.

I am working right now on the Liszt Petrach Sonnets, Rondine Al Nido, Lunge da  Lei... Dei Miei Bollenti and Boheme. I am going to try to get in some Mozart and more Verdi while I am here!!

I am now a few minutes late to class!! Yikes!!

Ci sentiamo a presto!!!