Voices of Palace
In collaboration with the Conservatory Niccolo Paganini and National Gallery of Fine Arts Spinola Palace
The project was born in collaboration between the vocal class of Professor Gloria Scalchi, pianist, vice-director of the conservatory Tiziana Kanfori, National Gallery of Fine Arts Spinola Palace and the artist Denys Savchenko.
We gave several meanings to the project title “Voices of Palace”:
• Voices of singers who took part in the project;
• Voices of the Palace residents (Palace has the status of a historic residence, everything in it, including the kitchen, remains as it was in the 18th century);
• Translated from the Italian "voice" has a meaning of echoes of something happening in the palace.
The project had as its goal creation of a series of meetings / concerts / events in the halls of the palace. Each concert had as a theme the works of one composer or composers of one Historical Epoch. Each concert was enriched by costumes and stage items created by children. Considering that I was the one who carried out the work with children, I would like to tell a little more about this part of the project.
I organized the project not in a deductive way but as a kind of cooperation. I started by explaining the children how the project will work and what is expected from them (more than 100 children aged 3 to 10 participated in the project).
The first concert was dedicated to the works of W. A. Mozart. Once I familiarized children with the arias and characters from the operas to be heard during the concert, we discussed with them costumes and decorations that we could do. Of course we also discussed it with the singers as they had put them in the show. Thus the idea for the catalogue of Leporello ("Don Giovanni") was born, together with paper birds for Papageno and stellar cloak for Queen of Night ("The Magic Flute"), a cup of chocolate for Despina ("Cosi fan tutte") and plated watch for Count Almaviva ...
Of course the project was also educative, children learned the operas of Mozart (most kids unfortunately were not familiar with the works), met real singers, tried some art materials they could never possibly see (for watch, crowns and ornaments on Count’s vest I brought imitation of gold leaf, for the suit of Cherubino children used beads and precious stones, the same stones we used to create necklaces for female characters, not to mention the various tissues used for the suits).
So when I said that the project was also educative, what I meant was that I tried to make children understand that they work as well as the singers to create the final concert events.
As for the concert, eventually we had to make two... Originally it was planned to do a concert and to invite to it children, their parents and "ordinary" audience, but from anticipated reservation, we realized that all will not fit. So we had had to organize one concert for children with parents and another one open to all. Some children actually visited both.
I continuously explain to people that football and cartoons are not the limit of interests of children. Organize an event well and explain it to children and you will see that their enthusiasm far exceeds enthusiasm of adults.
Returning to the concert I have to say that one of the most satisfying moments was the reaction of parents - for them, this event was something completely unexpected. In the end I do not know who was more excited: Parents seeing the work done by their children; children who met real singers; teachers when they saw so many parents coming to the concert... probably it was the staff of the gallery who was the most impressed, when they saw so many educated children who had come to the concert of classical music, had had a walk around the museum and... had broken nothing.