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.
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.
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.
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
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