About the life of Nicolo Vaccaj Niccolo Vaccaj was born in Tolentino, northeast of Rome, during the early hours of a night in March. His father was a medical doctor from Tuscany. His mother came from Frosinone. Nicolo was the youngest of three sons. Nicolo showed interest in literature, for example works by Metastasio, at an early age. When still a teenager, he wrote plays in verse form.
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About the life of Nicolo Vaccaj Niccolo Vaccaj was born in Tolentino, northeast of Rome, during the early hours of a night in March.
His father was a medical doctor from Tuscany. His mother came from Frosinone. Nicolo was the youngest of three sons. Nicolo showed interest in literature, for example works by Metastasio, at an early age. When still a teenager, he wrote plays in verse form. He was gifted in music and began to write music. His father finally allowed him to study music. He frequented the opera and church concerts to hear works by Cimarosa, Farinelli, Paisiello, Pergolesi, and Zingarelli.
He conducted full-time studies at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he especially enjoyed vocal studies and studies in counterpoint, necessary for composing. He continued his studies with Giovanni Paisiello in Naples for almost three years and became thoroughly acquainted with different voice types and skills.
He was commissioned to write the opera I Solitari di Scozia in 40 days. His voice was clear and spontaneous with an excellent, continuous flow; his breathing was calm and unnoticed.
His legato and portamento were faultless; his portamento did not drag. His head register was perfect. His phrasing was as polished as his diction. He never lapsed to exaggeration or mannerisms. The result was a powerful, pure, and classic style with lively, vivid, and expressive accentuation. He conducted his own composition Tantum ergo on the feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. He began to give voice lessons to avoid asking his father for money.
On his father as a singer and a vocal coach, Giulio Vaccaj commented later: "Everyone in Venice knew that he was an excellent singer, even if his voice was not impeccable.
Thus, there is reason to believe that after having heard my father sing, Venetians expected him to start giving voice lessons.
He soon became a skilled voice teacher and his excellent school earned him long-standing respect. With his thorough knowledge about the physiology of the human voice, he left the boundaries of the art intact and taught a method which made his students sing and reveal their souls. According to his son Giulio, he was not only skilled in his own field but also civilized, sociable, and amiable.
After five years in Venice, he was looking for a change. He accepted an invitation to start working as a music teacher in Trieste. Pupils were queuing for his tuition and he enjoyed life.
He fell passionately in love with a pupil named Anna Corradini. He travelled Europe extensively, visiting cities such as Vienna. He tried to establish himself as an opera composer, and now with more success. He was hailed for both his operas Pietro il Grande and La pastorella feudataria.
The role of Zadi was sung by Anna. He soon decided to compose a series of vocal exercises with a suitable melody to reduce the difficulties of and boredom caused by the rules of singing. This decision resulted in the Metodo pratico. In a letter to Francesco Bennati, a good friend of his, Vaccaj wrote about the idea of a new voice school like this: "My objectives for the practical method I believe I have stated clearly in the preface. To serve a great number of different voices, I have kept to the most common vocal range.
One of the most serious difficulties in the vocal art is how to combine the two different registers if it does not happen naturally. If a teacher forbade eager students to sing until they have reached a perfect balance of registers, they would lose their interest in singing before they even started. Therefore it is better to define them in a lighter and more pleasant way. Those that have a natural gift for combining the registers may follow these rules for the total range of their voice.
Most vocal school consist of a single type of exercises for different types of voices. I believe there must be variation for varied talents.
That is why everybody needs to believe that lessons with a frame are an opportunity for all. As the examples show, sometimes it is enough to please the audience with just one ornament. In order to help foreign students divide the syllables correctly when singing, I aim to show how to combine them in a way different from the way Italian teachers teach for spoken Italian.
You see, I have noticed that foreigners stress the words in a peculiar manner if they pronounce them in the way their Italian teacher has told them to. That is why I have not prepared a pronunciation dictionary. This, in short, is the reason for not being more specific with the fifteen lessons of Metodo pratico.
He was hopeful for being able to show how theory and practice can be combined best. Unfortunately, this idea never materialized. He gave voice lessons in Edinburgh and Dublin to fulfil his desire to travel to Scotland and Ireland.
After the Handel Festival, he started planning his return to Italy. He wrote three operas, of which Giovanna Gray with Maria Malibran in the title role was a great success. He had a supplement printed to his method 12 vocal exercises and 25 cadenzas during his trip to England.
According to Giulio Vaccaj, the opera was an undivided success. Employment by the conservatory in Rome resulted in several improvements in the operations of the institution. Source Forshufvud, G. Con lieve fiato.
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