Naturally gifted with a soprano voice, Silvana Froli studied singing from an early age and furthered her training with teachers such as Katia Ricciarelli, Paola Washington and Susanna Rigacci.
In 2005 she began her solo career with a concert tour of prestigious theatres in Italy and abroad. 2008 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Puccini and she took part in numerous concerts in cities including London, Vienna, Munich, Rabat and Beirut, as well as being invited to sing in the prestigious Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels. Sharing her birthplace of Lucca with Puccini, she has become a major exponent of his works. She collaborates with the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago as a soloist in concerts and operas in Italy, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Syria, Morocco, England and Spain.
Silvana has sung the title role of Tosca in an exclusive production created in collaboration with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala and the Teatrino del FAI [see below]. Also with the Accademia, she took the part of Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly in the Puccini festival.
Since 2009 Silvana has performed such Puccini roles as Mimì, Tosca, Manon, Cio-Cio San, Turandot; and Suor Angelica at the Montecatini Opera Festival and for the concert-show ‘Le Donne di Giacomo Puccini’.
In May 2014 she sang at the opening of the new theatre for the annual Italian Arts Festival in Florence, The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, under the direction of Zubin Mehta. In the same year she took the role of Aida in Macedonia; Santuzzi in Cavalleria Rusticana and Mimì in La Bohème in Torre del Largo. She has since repeated many of these roles in opera houses and theatres all over the world – her extensive and widely acclaimed performances and venues are too numerous to list here in their entirety.
Richard Pearce was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and after graduating with 1st Class honours he studied piano accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he is now a professor. He coaches singers and instrumentalists for careers in opera and the concert platform.
Richard records and broadcasts regularly with the BBC Singers as pianist, organist and conductor. He also performs with the Royal Choral Society several times a year at the Royal Albert Hall. He is Musical Director of the Romsey Choral Society and the Waverley Singers in Farnham. He is a regular organist with the Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra, performing in Promenade concerts and recordings, including at the Last Night of the Proms. He frequently directs and accompanies Services at St Margaret’s Westminster and at the Houses of Parliament.
The Teatrino del Fai [Fondo Ambiente Italiano – the Italian equivalent of the English National Trust] is near Lucca. It was originally a humble barn where the locals would meet for praying, singing and telling stories. It is now a beautiful theatre. With seating for just 80, it is the smallest theatre in the world.