The Foundation is named in honour of Paolo Grassi, a very notable Martina Franca citizen, whose experience has made him one of the most important representative of the Italian performing arts culture and organization in the twentieth-century. In the Italian theatre world, Paolo Grassi has been the most convinced supporter of the importance of the theatre as a public way of approach all type of audience with high-level repertories. In 1947 Paolo Grassi founded and managed, with Giorgio Strehler, the Piccolo Teatro of Milan, the first prose theatre board in Italy. In 1972 he has been the executive of Teatro alla Scala di Milano and from 1977 to 1980 the chairman of RAI (Italian television).
The Foundation was set in 1994, it is a no-profit organization and works to support, to develop and to spread the theatre and musical culture in Apulia. Our
THE MULTIMEDIA LIBRARY
The Foundation has a multimedia Library composed by 15.000 books, archive funds and 10.000 among CDs, DVDs and records. The heritage comprises the Paolo Grassi and his wife Nina Vinchi personal Library; the Rodolfo Celletti personal Library, who has been the artistic director of the Festival of Valle d’Itria for many years, and a notable scholar of opera voices and important musicology book writer; the great records and CDs collection has been donated by M° Fabio Luisi from Vienna, one of the most esteemed Italian orchestra conductor in the world; the famous
violinist Gioconda De Vito private archive; the Raguso private records collection; the M° Giacinto Caramia donation, he was originally from Martina Franca, and he has been the first cellist in the RAI Orchestra of Naples for many years and in the Strings Italian Trio (with Franco Gulli and Bruno Giuranna) and in Virtuosi of Rome, now he has donated us many antique music sheets; and last but not least, Franco Chieco, Stefania Bonfadelli e Paola Calvetti Fund, totally dedicated to ballet.
ACCADEMIA DEL BELCANTO
The Accademia del Belcanto “Rodolfo Celletti”’ is promoted and organised by the Fondazione Paolo Grassi, in collaboration with the Festival della Valle d'Itria. It was set up in 2010 to provide young lyrical singers with a highly specific training on the various aspects of vocal technique and performance of the Italian Belcanto repertoire, comprising of analysis and practice of the various styles of Western musical theatre, including many expressions of modernity. The course also includes various practical workshops, applied to specific Belcanto techniques and aesthetics. Starting from 2013, the Academy’s academic scheme also includes a section
specialising in an in-depth analysis of Baroque Belcanto, with prestigious master-classes and valuable one-to-one lessons for young performers with a particular interest in, and inclination towards, this kind of repertoire. This specific, personalised course is enriched with opportunities for practical work experiences during the the Festival. Alberto Triola, the artistic director of the Festival della Valle d’Itria and of the ‘Accademia del Belcanto’, coordinates the activities of internationally renowned teachers and artists.
INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASSES FOR STRINGS
“Gioconda De Vito”
Since 2010, the Foundation organizes in September the master classes for string instruments (violin, viola, cello) dedicated to the violinist originally from Martina Franca, Gioconda De Vito. The courses are open to young musicians from all over the world and is overseen by internationally renowned teachers such as Ulrike Danhofer, Bruno Giuranna, Raphael Wallfish and Johannes Goritzki.
programme tries to motivate the research promoting plans and grants related to the cultural, artistic, historical, natural heritage in Apulia and in the Mediterranean area; to promote the young talent formative growth; to try influencing the audience; to emphasize the multicultural dimension of the theatre and musical sector in Apulia and, in relation with this, to improve the culture of our territory with its historical and artistic asset. The Foundation keeps supporting, every year, the Festival of Valle d’Itria production, a well known International Festival that discovers and performs unpublished or rarely played lyrical operas, most of all preparing the audience. During the year there are numerous workshops and laboratories for children and young people for deepening the culture of theater and music.