I am a classical singer and artist-researcher with a wide background as soloist. The winner of International Solo Voice Competition ‘Seghizzi’ in 2007 (Gorizia, Italy) in the Category ‘George Gershwin,’ I performed in concert halls and theatres in Europe, USA, Canada.
I am currently (2019-2022) the Director of Performance and an Assistant Professor in Music and Performance at Maynooth University, where I have also lectured in Performance and Musicology between 2014 and 2017. In February 2020, I was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship at University of Huddersfield, where I will be based between 2022 and 2024, working on an my funded practice-based research project on Performance and Music Theatre (1960s-80s).
Between 2015 and 2017 I was an artistic research fellow at Maynooth University, where I led my project “En-gendering Monodrama: Artistic Research and Experimental Production”, fully funded by the Irish Research Council. I presented and performed my original staged productions of monodramas (Monodrama I, La Voix humaine, Neither (I nor Not I) (2012-) in Portugal, the UK, Ireland, while Lecture-recitals and presentations took place, among other venues, at Liverpool Hope University (Capstone Theatre), Orpheus Institute of Music (Ghent, BE), University of Cambridge (Concert Hall), Harvard University, and Bath Spa University.
I have authored articles and essays in international journals and books, and I am co-editor of Cathy Berberian Pioneer of Contemporary Vocalities (Ashgate, 2014).
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, I 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 I played Ottavia in the Coronation of Poppea. After moving back to Europe in 2008, I 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, I was inducted as a member of the American Honor Society PKL for Outstanding Achievements in Music in 2007. I also have 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 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.
I studied opera and voice 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, and participated to numerous summer programmes after selection, such as the Guildhall London Summer Masterclasses and the Academia Tibor Varga in Sion.
During my time at the University of Southampton, where I obtained my PhD in 2013, I collaborated with early music ensembles led by internationally established performers Liz Kenny and Erin Headley. I was involved in numerous projects as a soloist, and 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.
Francesca is a proud native of Caulonia (Calabria, Italy), a sunny musical town by the Ionian sea.