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This compendium is intended for students of opera singing from around the world who, having already studied Italian, need to revise globally the various aspects of this language: this not a grammar book but a rational instrument of review and consolidation of those linguistic aspects that affect closely the reading and understanding of Italian lyrics and librettos. The various topics are presented in their essential features, with very few rules and many practical examples.

Its innovative approach lies in the strictly authentic linguistic material ranging from the 15th century to the first half of the 20th century, which offers a choice of famous and less famous lyrics and parts of librettos which are analysed through specific exercises to practice both written and speaking skills. At the end there is a grid that reviews the main points to be considered in order to get a thorough understanding of the texts for a conscious and convincing performance.

How to use the book

To use this book, it is necessary to have some familiarity with the Italian language. The minimum linguistic requirement is B2 level as described by the Common European Framework of Reference For Languages Skills, since the language of the various literary texts set to music differs remarkably in complexity and choice of words from modern Italian, which nonetheless it recalls in the basic linguistic structures.

The book consists of four parts. The first is dedicated to grammar, the second presents the historical changes of poetic language, the third presents a short account of literary history, the fourth consists of a grid called “Analisi di un testo da cantare” ("Analysis of a text to be sung") for the understanding of a given music text. After each topic there are various exercises from selected texts, all accompanied by explanatory notes where necessary.

As far as exercises are concerned, activities are of three types. The first is “Grammatica” ( "Grammar"), focused on the grammar aspects and is text oriented. This part can be carried out alone or under the guidance of a teacher.
The second is “Discussione” ("Discussion"), offering discussion topics related to the text; requires the presence of other people because it aims at practising Italian speaking skills in order to make oral expression as smooth and natural as possible. The guidance of a teacher is very appropriate.
The third is “Approfondimento” (“In depth analysis”), which suggests some questions and pathways for cultural insights across literature, history and music; it requires printed or online material and possibly the presence of other people when the results of the analysis are presented and hopefully discussed. The guidance of a teacher is appropriate.
At the end of the book, singers may use the grid independently from the book, whenever they need to deepen the linguistic aspects of their repertoire. At least initially, the guidance of a teacher is appropriate.

Online or live courses

To offer a complete service to the singers who need a thorough study of the Italian language, the author offers the possibility to attend online courses with fee via Skype or via G + Hangout or live courses with fees at the universities or conservatives that require them. The languages of the course is Italian - English is used if necessary. Please use the contact form on this website or the email mentioned in the acknowledgments page at the end of the book.

The book

Paperback book of 252 pages published in October 2015, price 32 eu.


At present the book exists only in Italian but in the future it may be translated into English in the descriptive parts. This is an actual book, there is no ebook available, firstly because it is conceived specifically as an exercise-book to be filled according to the written directions, secondly because the absolute originality of the text must be protected from computer prowlers.

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