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Roger Alier

University of Barcelona



Nella Anfuso, of whose friendships I value highly, is a person that has convictions and an extraordinary capacity of work addressed to defending the art of Song. To defend this art form she has based herself upon principles that have appeared in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and defended by the most important writers of treatises on vocal style. They published and left their works to explain to future generations what these principles were and how there realization could be applied in the Song, of whose beauty maintained the work and in general the song at a high level of excellence attained by the first great Masters.

Nella Anfuso has worked in two directions: the diffusion of fundamental works of the Song, and numerous recordings which include vocal pages of the Renaissance period to the beautiful creations of Vincenzo Bellini, going through important authors of the eighteenth century, like Nicolò Porpora.

Clearly, Nella Anfuso has observed that, with the passage of time and intervention of diverse factors determined by a mayor mechanization of the music and easy diffusion through means of economic exploitation of the art, and by a conception of life that is more “easy” and “quick”, we have abandoned the principles that regulate Bel Canto. She has explained with all the means at her disposition that the principles that regulate the artistic quality of the Song, principles that in the last ten years have been compromised and degraded, are not “easy” or “quick”.

It is on these principles that Nella Anfuso, who has worked with the musicologist Annibale Gianuario recently passed away, founder of the Centre of Studies “Rinascimento Musicale”, in the Villa Medicea “La Ferdinanda”, at Artimino, has decided to undertake a campaign of great intensity and cultural importance to defuse again a base on which construct a solid conception of what is an artistic song, at the same time eliminating erroneous conceptions and inadequate practices, commercial and popular views, faraway from the practices that gave birth to the Italian song of which the diffusion of the work has been an artistic form all around the world.

From the Museum Annibale Gianuario in the Medicean Villa in Artimino, Nella Anfuso periodically organizes conventions and symposiums on the problems that imply the diffusion of this knowledge, that defend and oppose malpractice of the star system in the world of singing and speculative recordings that cause untold damage to the vocal conception to the Italian song. Nella Anfuso was the first person to warn about the equivocal concepts that were used in the diffusion of the works by Monteverdi, and to fight against the use of countertenors to substitute inefficiently the antique singing of the castrati of this period.

Nella Anfuso has “predicated” these principles not only in Italy, having realized numerous trips (in Spain especially to Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid), and recently in Paris, to let her ideas be known, through various publications of which the most recent and complete is “L’età d’oro del Canto (XV - XVIII sec.). Dei princìpi e degli stili”, published by the CSRM Foundation.

The tireless work of Nella Anfuso merits the support of all the people that want to see the Italian Song recuperate the passed splendour of the golden age in this period that today is seriously prejudiced.


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