Arts Florissants Masterclasse 7 JGazeau 9002

Masterclass with Benoît Hartoin


Recitar cantando: Italian declamation in the 17th century

November 20 to 22, 2024 in Thiré, Vendée

Through 3 days of practice, Benoît Hartoin, long-time harpsichordist and organist with Les Arts Florissants, offers an immersion in Italian recitative from the very origins of the genre at the dawn of the 17th century. Work will focus on Italian pronunciation, the rules of declamation, but above all on sprezzatura, the ideal of dramatic expression of the seconda pratica.

The masterclass will provide an opportunity to work on recitative in 17th-century opera, with Monteverdi of course, but also Francesca Caccini, Luigi Rossi, Francesco Cavalli, Marcantonio Cesti... and to discover Giulio Caccini's writings on the stile moderno.

Who is it for?

Young professional singers or students in higher education.

Where and when? 

From November 20 to 22, 2024 (arrival November 19) at Quartier des Artistes de Thiré (Vendée), an exceptional heritage site combining beautiful gardens and the pleasure of music, home of the Festival Dans les jardins de William Christie.

Learning outcomes

  • To discover the rules of Italian declamation and make them your own, using the prosody chosen by the composer to achieve natural acting.
  • To devise a multi-character scene, working on the fluidity of delivery, guided by the affetti inspired by the poem.
  • To become aware of the relationship between declamatory singing, harmony and basso continuo, as well as of the importance of the consonance/dissonance balance in dramatic discourse.

Course of events

The schedule will include group work, individual work, and theoretical approaches (sources, context, etc.).

Limited to 6-8 participants.

A public presentation concert may be held at the end of the masterclass.

How to apply?  

Please fill in the online form (HERE)

Via this form, singers and musicians wishing to participate must send us:

  • A CV
  • A letter of motivation
  • A recording of an Italian recitative from before 1650 and a recording of an Italian work of your choice from before 1750

Application deadline: September 20, 2024

For further information, please send an e-mail to

Participation fee:

€500 including tuition, accommodation in a single room, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), transfers from the nearest train station.