welcome to

"Si parla,
si canta!"

Summer 2024
Lake Maggiore

Arona, Italy

June 8 – June 29/July 13

If you are a talented young singer, “Si parla, si canta!” is the perfect program for you! 

Created by M° Benton Hess, this unique program will help you further your knowledge of Italian culture and the operatic repertoire, with a special focus on the language. 

The program takes place in the breathtakingly beautiful Lago Maggiore, where you will receive an intensive 36-60 hours of Italian language classes. What’s more, you will get the opportunity to work with an unrivaled voice faculty to take your singing skills to the next level. And with the help of our specialized physiotherapist, you can rest assured that your physical wellbeing is also taken care of.

But that’s not all! With “Si parla, si canta!” you will also get to participate in several public concerts in some of the most cherished venues in northern Italy, including the renowned Casa Verdi in Milano. So, what are you waiting for? Join “Si parla, si canta!” and take the first steps towards a successful singing career!

inspired by language
An inspirational perspective on the importance of language in opera singing can uplift your spirit and ignite your passion. Understanding language not only helps you overcome technical challenges but also allows you to express yourself fully. Embracing this concept can enhance your singing technique!
By immersing yourself in the language of opera, you can unlock your full potential as a singer and artist. SPSC is beloved by both students and their teachers for its focus on this transformative approach. With dedication and education, you can push past your boundaries and soar to new heights in your operatic journey. Allow your love for language to inspire you and elevate your singing to new levels.
experience excellence

OUR facultY


Imagine stepping onto the stage alongside some of the most prominent performers and educators in the world – that is exactly what you will experience at Si parla, si canta! 2024. This edition is set to feature a star-studded faculty, who will inspire you with their astonishing performances and expert knowledge. Being part of such an esteemed group of musicians and performers will undoubtedly inspire and challenge you to become the best version of yourself.



Si parla, si canta!” is the only program in which our already highly qualified Italian language teachers provided by the Dante Alighieri Society,  have also been specifically trained in diction for opera singers by former artistic director M° Benton Hess. 

The focus of the program will be on grammar and conversation skills, while maintaining a particular emphasis on diction for opera singers, which will be supervised by Hemdi Kfir, a language coach at the Metropolitan Opera of New York. 

The program will be an intensive 60-hour course designed to improve everyone’s Italian language proficiency. We invite all those interested to join us and benefit from this unique and valuable program.

our location

ARONA - Lake Maggiore

Oh, the memories that will be made at the stunning Lago Maggiore! The backdrop to all the SPSC activities is simply breathtaking. 

In the midst of all the hard work and study, it’s crucial to take a moment to soak in the beauty of the Piemonte and Lombardia regions, and appreciate the rich Italian culture that surrounds you.  And how amazing is it that we get to spend our time in Arona, right on the lake with a beach to boot! Being nestled between Milano and Switzerland, it’s the perfect location for embarking on unforgettable trips to Torino, Lake Como, Lugano, Bologna, Genova, Verona, and countless other enchanting destinations in northern Italy.

A few words About

M° Benton Hess

His motto is “the better you parla, the better you canta!

American conductor, composer, pianist, and pedagogue Benton Hess is the founder and former Artistic Director of “Si parla, si canta!”. He has conducted hundreds of performances encompassing a myriad of musical styles for dozens of opera companies, including Annapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lake George Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Minnesota Opera, Mobile Opera, New York Lyric Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Theatre of Rochester, Shreveport Opera, Tacoma Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Washington Summer Opera, among others. 

Widely acknowledged as one of America’s most respected vocal coaches and accompanists. He has served on the faculties of several prestigious institutions, including Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Rutgers University, Mannes College of Music, Hartt School of Music, and was the Covington Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for seven years and Distinguished Professor of Voice and Musical Director of the Opera Theatre at the Eastman School of Music.

Benton Hess is also a composer; he has received several important commissions and his works are in the repertoire of some of the finest artists of our time. Benton Hess’ recordings may be found on the Albany, BIS, CBS, and Crystal labels.

one vision,
two options

2024 SPSC students attending a live performance of l’Incoronazione di Poppea at Monteverdi’s Festival in Cremona

3-week program

Our 3-week program offers a comprehensive learning experience that includes daily intensive Italian language classes, as well as coaching in pre-assigned operatic scenes, arias and art songs that students select. Additionally, students will participate in five public masterclasses and three concerts, providing ample opportunity for intense performing activity. We believe this well-rounded approach will provide students with a unique and immersive educational experience, allowing them to develop their language skills while also honing their singing abilities. With a focus on both performance and language, our program aims to provide students with the tools they need to excel in their careers as opera singers.

2024 SPSC students after a succesful concert at Palazzo Gallio in Gravedona, Lake Como 

4-week program

Get ready for an awe-inspiring experience as we bring to you our 5-week program designed to help you soar high! Immerse yourself in two more weeks of intensive Italian language classes, new operatic scenes, and daily private coachings packed with everything Italian — arias, recits, roles, and art songs. We’re excited to host two more public masterclass, a Casa Verdi concert, and a concert that’s bound to bring out the patriot in you, “Songs of our Homeland”. With warm and nurturing care as our focal point, we wholeheartedly invite you to join us on this journey of musical and vocal growth. Allow us to take care of the rest — we’ll provide a welcoming space to let your voice free. Don’t wait any longer, sign up now and let’s explore the majestic world of Italian lyric singing together!

an all round experience

2023 SPSC students celebrating their final achievement

La lingua

At “Si parla, si canta!”, we place language study as the fundamental component of our program. We strongly believe that the better you speak Italian, the better you sing. Our top priority is therefore to provide our students with excellent Italian language classes and master Italian diction.

Our language classes run on every weekday and last for 2 hours, covering all levels and age groups. We offer grammar classes for beginners to literature courses for the most advanced learners, flexibly adapting to your needs. Our programs are unique, varied, and rich.

Aside from the morning grammar classes, we organize Italian conversation classes every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, providing every opportunity for our participants to hone their language proficiency.

At “Si parla, si canta!”, we are committed to delivering the highest quality of Italian language instruction, equipping our students with exceptional language proficiency skills.

La musica

Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy through the “Si parla, si canta!” program. Every morning, you’ll focus on the Italian language, but each afternoon presents an exciting opportunity to unleash your musical talent and put your language skills to the test. Our esteemed faculty will guide you through at least 5 private coachings per week, providing you with unparalleled support and skill development.

The program offers an abundance of performance opportunities, and you can expect to participate in at least five public concerts within the four-weeks. Moreover, our public masterclasses and scenes concerts are held in some of the most cherished venues of northern Italy, making every performance an unforgettable experience. The journey will be challenging but rewarding and inspiring – let’s make the most of it together!

2023 SPSC students during a performance at Casa Verdi, Milan

San Carlo Borromeo’s statue in Arona

La cultura

At the end of majestic Lake Maggiore lies Arona, a town exuding the rich influence of the Borromeo family. Dominating the skyline stands a towering statue of Cardinal San Carlo Borromeo, reaching a height of 23.40 metres – a true colossus! One can enter the statue and behold breathtaking views of Lombard and Piedmontese shores of the lake through the apertures in the statue’s robes and gaze out of the saint’s eyes. This magnificent sight is not to be missed! So come along and experience the grandeur of Arona and the breathtaking views from the colossal statue of Cardinal San Carlo Borromeo. Visit this link to find out more: https://www.illagomaggiore.com/en_US/home/destinations/lakes-maggiore-and-mergozzo/arona

A Masterclass with Chris Merritt during the 2023 SPSC edition

how to apply

To apply to “Si parla, si canta!”, fill the online application, including your resume and a youtube link. 

RESUME must include your studies, competitions, performances.

YOUTUBE LINK of 1 or 2 arias of repertoire in any language that shows you at your best.

QUESTIONS: Any questions or concerns about the application process can be sent to siparlasicanta@cromamilano.it, but beforehand, check the FAQ section on this site. 

experience the excellence

What Our Students Say About Us

“SPSC is a place perfectly suited to getting lost in the romance of the Italian language - really tasting the nuance of the words and grasping a real sense for the rhythm of it’s sentences. Students have a very special opportunity to really broaden that studied authenticity in their Italian operatic repertoire, while creating a personal love for the language and Italian culture with memories that will be cherished for life. I loved every moment of my time at SPSC, and have felt it’s positive effects in my life and career ever since!

Kathryn lewek



“SPSC provided me with a one of a kind musical and educational experience that I’ll never forget and will always cherish. There I was able to gain tools and techniques that I still use today in preparing my roles. I had an amazing time and I made lasting friendships. Thank you for everything!”

Donovan singletary



SPSC provides a unique educational experience for students to immerse themselves in the world of Italian language, music and culture. The opportunity to learn from world-class faculty in the classroom and studio, combined with the practical application of those lessons in daily activities and on the concert stage, deepened my understanding and bolstered my confidence. I returned from the program feeling empowered,”




Get Ready to pursue
your dream!

Application deadline March 31st, 2024
Deposit deadline 15 April, 2024