Register your interest for the Online Italian Lyric Diction Masterclass

Lyric Diction – Book

Italian & English Lyric Diction Coaching

I am Christiana Aloneftis – a trained opera singer with a Master’s degree in Linguistics and Interpreting/Translation Studies. My postgraduate studies as a singer and linguist and my varied work experience across Europe and Australia have equipped me to teach with the latest, innovative intercultural and pedagogical approaches.

The fusion of language and music is something that is very close to my heart. My active professional life, both as a young opera singer and as a linguist, renders my coaching all the more relevant and effective. I recognise the importance of accurate lyric diction in my specialist languages and its undeniable connection to effortless, effective and beautiful singing. This is why I coach lyric diction – Coaching FROM the industry FOR the industry.

What is Lyric Diction?

Lyric Diction is the mastering of a language in its sung form – It is, essentially, the rendition of words in singing, paying particular attention to pronunciation, enunciation, linguistic prosody and expression. These elements are interdependent and combine to render an authentic sung interpretation of the libretto or sung text in question. 

Pronunciation is the appropriate choice of speech element whilst enunciation deals with how these sounds are produced, vocally. 

Prosody is the study of the patterns of stress, intonation and rhythm in a language and is vital in achieving native speaker flow. These key elements ensure a profound reading and interpretation of the text which is the most useful vessel of character portrayal, second only to the composer’s music. A sound knowledge, study and acquisition of lyric diction is necessary for all aspiring and experienced singers, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, planning or already engaged in a career.

Lyric Diction and a solid knowledge of its principles supports the important work of répétiteurs, stage directors, dramaturgists and other creatives working with singers.

Reviews

Karen von Sachsen GessapheMember of the Bayerische Staatsoper Chorus
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“I got to know and appreciate Christiana Aloneftis as a Lyric Diction Coach during our work on the Snow Queen at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera). As she is a singer herself, it was interesting to see how she balanced the ideal sung English pronunciation and singer-specific technical consideration required for our performance. I very much hope that Ms. Aloneftis will continue to support us in other productions in the future!"
Magdalini Papadopoulou(Bachelor of Music - Vocal Performance) student at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
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“Christiana Aloneftis is a very capable coach – methodical, inspiring and committed!”
Alexandra FloodAustralian, Europe-based coloratura soprano and former YSP Salzburg Young Artist
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“Christiana Aloneftis has helped me so much with role preparation. Her coaching style is considered and patient and her adaptability and creativity enable her to adjust to the singer’s independent approach”.
Rebecca RashleighMaltese-Australian Soprano, 2018 Herald Sun Singing Competition Winner
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“Christiana Aloneftis is more than a Lyric Diction coach; she is an educator, supporter of singers and active member of the international arts industry. Since commencing my professional collaboration with Christiana not only have, I noticed an improved authenticity in my sung diction, but also in my overall vocal technique.”
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Online Italian Lyric Diction Masterclass

I created this monthly online Masterclass Series in Italian Lyric Diction Techniques to support singers, répétiteurs and other stage creatives; both emerging talent and professionals, to learn what lyric diction is and how it can vastly improve the efficiency of their singing and/or textual understanding, from a thorough linguistic approach.

Operatic creatives require an excellent command of the main operatic languages, especially Italian, to reach their full potential. In my role as Lyric Diction Coach, I empower long-term artistic independence by teaching an efficient methodology and set of techniques, specific to the Italian language, that deepen interpretation and promote authentic performance.

Italian lyric diction is underpinned by the 7 Italian pure vowel formats (tecnica vocalica). A mastery of these 7 vowel formats and their position in every note of a singer’s registration (tessitura) will ensure efficient, effortless and beautiful legato singing. This course, combining small group lectures and private consultation, offers insight into the intensive linguistic study required to prepare music thoroughly. It will support participants in transitioning from declamatory to sung textual expression and help resolve technical glitches and/or misunderstandings from a linguistic approach.

Attainable Skills

  • Welcome and course structure overview
  • Mind over matter – The connection between thought and the vocal apparatus
  • Top 3 markings from your Lyric Diction Coach
  • Metric accent
  • Atonic and tonic positioning – Weak and strong syllables
  • Phonetics – What to open and close
  • Latin etymology
  • Narrow and wide vowel groups
  • Vocalic Technique – 7 vowel formats
  • Schwah & Legato
  • Important Italian Bel Canto technical terms and how they relate to lyric diction
  • Abstract & Interpretative Diction
  • Breathing Apparatus
  • The concept of support in diction (appoggio vs. sostegno)
  • Vocal onset and chordal approximation
  • Prosody
  • Consonant treatment – Lingual, labial, dental, palatal, guttural
  • Unvoiced and voiced consonants
  • Syllable subdivison
  • The rolled /r/ in Italian Lyric Diction
  • Doubling and syntactic doubling (raddoppiamento fonosintattico)
  • Verdian principle – La parola scenica (dramaturgy)
  • Libretto subtext – Il filo del discorso (Stanislavski principle)
  • Text declamation:
    • Text
    • Rhythm and dynamics
    • Melody
  • Practical online resources, apps and dictionaries for self-study

Register your interest and receive your free information booklet today

TIMON OF ATHENS – LUCA FRANCESCONI 

World Premiere: 29 November 2020

Musikalische Leitung / Conductor: Kent Nagano

Inszenierungs / Production: Andreas Kriegenburg

Based on the Shakespearian play with Toby Spence in the title role

THE SNOW QUEEN – HANS ABRAHAMSEN

World Premiere: 21 December 2019

Musikalische Leitung / Conductor: Leo Hussain

Inszenierungs / Production: Andreas Kriegenburg

Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen

About me

Aside from her young performing career, Christiana Aloneftis, is fast-establishing herself in Europe as a highly-sought-after Lyric Diction Coach for both Italian and English. Her current experience as a performing artist, combined with her continued professional training and interest in the fusion of word and music, ensure that her techniques and method are the most practical, accessible and efficient product for opera singers today. 

Christiana Aloneftis graduated from both Monash University and the University of Melbourne in Australia with a Master of Interpreting & Translation Studies (EN-GK-IT) and Bachelor of Music (Performance: Classical Voice) / Diploma of Languages (Advanced Italian), respectively. She has worked as a freelance professionally-accredited interpreter, translator and language trainer primarily in business and music across Germany, France, Italy and Australia. 

The young creative first collaborated in 2019 with the Bayerische Staatsoper Chorus in their linguistic preparation for Hans Abrahamsen’s acclaimed international premiere of the Snow Queen in English, featuring Barbara Hannigan among other fine singers. She has been invited to curate the language for the premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Timon in Athens in the new 2020/2021 season at the Bayerische Staatsoper. 

Christiana Aloneftis was to embark on an Italian Lyric Diction Coaching internship at the Staatsoper. Unfortunately, this internship has been postponed due to the decision of the Bavarian State Government (COVID-19) to end the current season 2019/20 with immediate effect. She has, however, been re-contracted for the 2020/21 season for the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Timon of Athens

While Christiana Aloneftis is on internship at the Bayerische Staatsoper, she will be guided through the Italian repertoire by Chiara Gerini, a very experienced Italian lyric diction coach in the German-speaking theatre world. She has worked on myriad productions at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Salzburg Landestheater, the Mozarteum Salzburg International Summer Academy and the Young Singers’ Project at the Salzburg Festival.

“I recognise Christiana Aloneftis as a very talented and ambitious artist and lyric diction coach. She is committed to serving the arts with all her remarkable qualities, including her five-language fluency.” – Dr. C. Gerini

Data protection
Christiana Aloneftis Opera, Owner: Christiana Aloneftis (Registered business address: Germany), processes personal data only to the extent strictly necessary for the operation of this website. All details in the privacy policy.
Data protection
Christiana Aloneftis Opera, Owner: Christiana Aloneftis (Registered business address: Germany), processes personal data only to the extent strictly necessary for the operation of this website. All details in the privacy policy.