In the conservatory, each instrument has its own studio class where students have a chance to perform in front of their peers. Tim Sestrick was asked to familiarize the vocal studio students with useful resources dedicated to singers in specific. It was around that time that he showed me a valuable resource for singers like myself. Apparently, Professor Crowne asked him last year to buy Nico Castel Opera Libretti. These books are way cool! Not only do they have the original text and a great word-for-word translation, but they also have IPA ( International Phonetic Alphebet).
Nico Castel books are personally helpful if the aria you're learning is in one. For example, "Deh vieni, non tardar O gioja bella" from Mozarts Il Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), a song I'm working on, can be found in his book. From his book I can record down the IPA and translation into my own music. Also, because the full vocal score is inside, I discover more about the opera as a whole rather than just a song. IPA is a helpful tool for a singer who knows the language. At the conservatory, there are 2 courses for singers on the matter.
Mozart - Nico Castel
Soon it was time for me to show what I had learned. Mr. Sestrick asked me to speak about the Castel books in Vocal Studio class. He presented information on how to use MUSCAT, WORLDCAT, Naxos and sources from the Oberlin opera program. Students were able to learn how to access books and videos and other helpful tools. The Oberlin opera website gave links to opera history facts and other really cool related information that singers could benefit from. Renaissance acting and Greek mythology is surprising present in operas. In the opera Giulio Cesare, Cleopatra sits on the goddess of Virtues throne with the Muses while seducing Cesar. A singer might want to look up what the goddess looks like or the relationship between the Muses and Arete, the goddess of Virtue.
Overall, this was a good experience because I learned many new places to gain information as a vocal performance major, and I also had the chance to teach a crowd of peers.