Teaching Italian Diction to High School Musical Theatre Students
Date: April 21, 2014
My colleague and I plan to produce and direct the beautiful musical "The Light in the Piazza" next school year. While many of the cast will likely be my choral students who have some exposure to learning foreign language diction, a notable percentage will likely not (yet) be part of the choral program.
I am asking for collective help in gathering ideas and resources to teach Italian diction for both the sung and spoken lines for all of the actors. Only two roles are "English speakers" and the rest will play roles as native Italians, so the students must learn to feel comfortable with the lines and sound authentic - without a Minnesotan accent.
Another beautiful part of the show is how the characters come together despite their language challenges. Consequently, I am also looking for suggestions to help my students to speak English with thick Italian accents for much of the show.
While we will not be teaching the Italian language, I would think that learning the meaning of several words and phrases would be useful just to interact on stage. I would love your suggestions as to which words and phrases (and their meanings) you would recommend.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.