Francesca Placanica, classical and contemporary singer, has a wide background as a soloist in diverse vocal and instrumental ensembles. Her wide vocal range and unique versatility allow her to interpret soprano and coloratura mezzo repertoires, with a growing inclination for en travesti roles. The winner of International Solo Voice Competition ‘Seghizzi’ in 2007 (Gorizia, Italy) in the Category ‘George Gershwin,’ Francesca Placanica has performed in concert halls and theatres in Europe, USA, Canada.
After debuting at the Teatro Rendano, Cosenza (Italy) in the principal roles of various Operas and musicals for children (I cantori di Brema [G. Panariello]), Chorus; Brundibàr ([H.Krása], Pepicék); Mangiaresti ([G. Giannini], Narratore), for the Meadows Opera Production Dallas, she played Jenny Diver in Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill at the Greer Garson Theatre (2006) and created the role of The Witch in 2007 world premiere of The Story of Rapunzel by Simon Sargon in the Margot Jones Theatre. In the same venue, in the programme A Night of Scenes she played Ottavia in the Coronation of Poppea. After moving back to Europe in 2008, she was cast as Despina in Così fan tutte at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton, and in June 2011 as Qen in the West End showcase Seventh Time Around, Soho Theatre, London.
A Master’s of Music graduate of Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX, in Voice Performance from Newcastle University (UK), and Conservatory of Music of Vibo Valentia (Italy) and University of Calabria, she was inducted as a member of the American Honor Society PKL for Outstanding Achievements in Music in 2007. Francesca Placanica has a long-time experience as a vocal technique teacher, coaching amateurs and professionals in private academies and choirs, in particular at the Meadows School of Arts, SMU Dallas (Assistant Lecturer for Italian Diction for Singers), the University Choir of University of Calabria and the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Choir in Dallas (Vocal Technique Coach), and lately as a diction and vocal consultant for the recording Atalante (Destino Classics), a project directed by Erin Headley, which won Recording of the Year 2011 on the MusicWeb International.
Francesca Placanica studied opera and classical vocal repertoires with Anna Vandi, Laura Sarti, Nelly Miricioiou, Dale Dietert, and Richard Wistreich and opera scene with Italo Nunziata, Maria Luisa Bigai, Marciem Bazell and Hank Hammett. She was selected as a participant of the Guildhall London Summer Masterclasses in 2009 and by Academia Tibor Varga in Sion in Summer 2010 and 2011.
A PhD graduate from University of Southampton (2013), during her time there, Francesca Placanica collaborated with early music ensembles led by internationally established performers Liz Kenny and Erin Headley. Involved in numerous projects as a soloist, she has performed recitals in major concert venues in the South of England, such as the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton City Art Gallery and St. Michael’s Church, and at the Lauderdale House in London in October 2011. In UK, previous work also includes: Soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, performed in St. Olave’s Church in York and St John’s Church in Newcastle upon Tyne with the Durham Castle Chapel Choir (2005); Soprano soloist in the New Vocal Ensemble of University of Newcastle upon Tyne for madrigals and duets by Monteverdi and Italian early Baroque composers under the direction of Richard Wistreich.
She was a Lecturer (cover) in Performance, Performance Studies and Musicology at Maynooth University between 2014 and 2015. She has authored articles and essays in international journals and books, and is co-editor of Cathy Berberian Pioneer of Contemporary Vocalities (Ashgate, 2014).
Francesca is currently an artistic research fellow at Maynooth University, where she is artistic director and project-leader of her “En-gendering Monodrama: Artistic Research and Experimental Production”. Lecture-recital presentations of her project on Monodrama were hosted in venues such as Liverpool Hope University (Capstone Theatre), Orpheus Institute of Music (Ghent, BE), University of Cambridge (Concert Hall), Bath Spa University.
Francesca is a proud native of Caulonia (RC, Italy), a small town by the Ionian sea full of sun, music, and traditions.