Italian opera star, 70, moves student to tears in viral masterclass video

9 February 2020, 12:14

When the great Salvatore Fisichella gave tenor Andrew Owens a masterclass...

This opera masterclass video between a great Italian tenor and a young, up-and-coming American star is just incredibly special to watch.

Salvatore Fisichella, known particularly for his interpretation of Bellini operas, is one of the teachers in the Mediterranean Opera Studio & Festival’s intensive six-week summer training programmes for opera singers.

In the video above (filmed back in 2013), he gives a masterclass for American tenor Andrew Owens, who chooses to work with the great tenor aria ‘Che gelida manina’ (from Puccini’s opera La Bohème).

One of the greatest moments – replicated a couple of times during the video – is at 1:20, when Fisichella takes over a long, projected note from Owens, fills the entire room and gets his student all misty-eyed.

After nine minutes of being subjected to Fisichella’s ‘widening’ technique (“punta e allarga,” he says – “aim and widen”), Owens is a whole new singer.

Oh, and listen out for Fisichella’s eye-wateringly magnificent note at 6:44. Just extraordinary.

Fisichella is now 76 years old, and still teaches bel canto singing at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival.