Early Music Workshop – Cremona Baroque Residency

Monteverdi Festival 2020

Residenza Cremona Barocca

Workshop di perfezionamento di musica antica

with Ottavio Dantone, Monica Piccinini and Alessandro Tampieri
a collaboration with Accademia Bizantina
Cremona, May 15 – 28 2020


The Foundation Amilcare Ponchielli of Cremona organizes an Early Music Residency within the next edition of the Monteverdi Festival, in order to offer a deeper understanding and training on the XVII and XVIII century Italian repertoire, based on an historical informed performance practice.

Ottavio Dantone (harpsichord and continuo), Monica Piccinini (Baroque singing) and Alessandro Tampieri (strings) will lead the workshop on Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas.

The workshop will end with two final performances on the 27th and 28th of May 2020, conducted by Alessandro Tampieri and programmed within the Monteverdi Festival. The staging will be created by the puppets of the Compagnia marionettistica Carlo Colla & Figli.

Where and when

The workshop will take place at the Ponchielli Theatre, according to the following schedule:


  • May 15-24, Lessons from 10.00 am to 6:30 pm
  • May 25-26, Full Rehearsals
  • May 27-28, Performances


  • May 21-24, Lessons from 10.00 am to 6:30 pm
  • May 25-26, Full Rehearsals
  • May 27-28, Performances

(Timetables are approximate and may change.)

Who is the workshop intended to

The workshop is open to young singers, age range 18-30 years old, for the following vocal ranges and roles:

  • Dido (soprano)
  • Belinda (soprano)
  • Second Lady / First Witch (soprano)
  • Second Witch / Spirit (mezzo-soprano)
  • Sorceress (contralto or baritone)
  • Aenaes (tenor)
  • Sailor (tenor)
  • Bass (chorus)

and to young musicians, age range 18-30 years old, for the following instruments:

  • 6 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1 viola da gamba, 1 violone
  • Continuo Section: 1 harpsichord, 1 lute/theorbo and 1 harp

For the workshop, participants should use the baroque bow and instruments with gut strings; the pitch will be A=415 Hz.

The workshop will investigate also historical treatises, period instruments, continuo technique and textual criticism.



Singers will be selected in two stages: the first selection will be through an audio or video recording (no longer than 10 minutes) and the cv.

Singers who pass the first selection will be auditioned on the roles of the opera. During the performances, all the soloists must sing also the chorus parts.

The audition will be held at Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona on 27th March 2020. Singers should present a programme consisting in:

  1. A significant piece of the opera Dido & Aeneas
  2. One aria chosen by the candidate from the Baroque repertoire

Programme should be sung in the original language.

For the role of Bass (Choir), the audition consists in two arias chosen by the candidate from the Baroque repertoire.

Musicians (Strings and Continuo

The selection of the musicians will be through an audio or video recording no longer than 10 minutes and through the cv.

All applicants of both sections must attached a detailed profile (cv) to the application form, to be sent electronically by 28th February 2020 to: festivalmonteverdi@teatroponchielli.it

The singers admitted to the audition will be announced by email by 9th March 2020.

The candidates (singers and musicians) chosen for the workshop will be announced by e-mail by 31st March 2020.

Listeners can attend the workshop, prior permission granted by the Theatre.


Participation is free (no fee is due) but attendance is compulsory. Candidates admitted to the workshop should guarantee their participation for the entire workshop and the final performances.

Participants will not receive a fee for the final performances on 27th and 28th May 2020.

Participants may require free accommodation provided in a premises chosen by the Theatre, from 15th to 28th May, for 14 nights, twin room accommodation (Singers) and from 21st  to 28th May, for 8 nights, twin room accommodation (Strings and Continuo).

For further information: