This summer Wichita State University students are packing their suitcases and embarking on a month long journey to Lucca, Italy. Canta in Italia (Sing in Italy), offers students the privilege of attending Italian instructional courses at the Koine Center language school, daily vocal lessons and coaching, and the opportunity to participate in weekly master classes with renowned opera singers. Students also have the rare opportunity to perform scenes from Italian operas for a native audience.
In a addition to the opportunity to perform and study the Italian language, participants have the pleasure of touring museums, churches and historic sites. On the weekends students take trips to Verona and Florence. They even have to privilege of attending a live opera performance. This unique program gives WSU students a new perspective on the world and a rigorous musical experience.
Danielle Herrington, summer 2013 participate and recent Master of Music graduate, asserts that her experience in Italy solidified her passion for opera:
The knowledge I gained from the Italian coaches, collaborative accompanists, musicologists and university professors deepened my sense of musicianship, historical context, and bel canto style. I'm so grateful to have received so many new perspectives.
Kevin Mitchell, another summer 2013 participant and recent MM grad, describes his experience with Canta in Italia as "life changing.” For many students like Kevin, this is their first time to travel overseas:
[Canta in Italia] opened my eyes to a completely different way of living and that can never be taken away from me. I grew so much as a performer and as a person [...] I also learned to not keep my emotions bottled up; Italians tend to be very verbal with everything they feel and I am so grateful that some of that rubbed off on me!
These students are just two of many who have benefited from summer study in Italy. Canta in Italia continues to help WSU students thrive as performers and people. This summer marks the 9th year of the WSU study abroad program.