What is the most valuable piece of feedback you have ever received for your singing? I suspect that it wasn’t a compliment but rather a useful dose of criticism.
Opera is not for everyone. It is not for the 1%, nor is it for the 99%. Opera is for those who enjoy that which is operatic, many of whom may be fans of sci-fi, indie film and HBO original series. This guest post by bass-baritone David Salsbery Fry suggests new sources for opera audiences.
Sports-specific training refers to exercise regimens designed to optimize performance for particular activities. Professional athletes know that they can’t reach the level of excellence they need for their sport just by playing it. Singers can use principles of sport-specific training to accelerate progress in the studio, enhance many aspects of their performance, and cultivate the level of physical health and well-being that they need in order to deal with the rigors of travel and the stresses and demands of an opera career.
How is your audition season shaping up? Over the summer, the staff of the Weill Music Institute, Joyce DiDonato and I have been compiling resources on Carnegie Hall’s interactive site Musical Exchange to help streamline the preparation process and create a framework that will enable us to provide you with feedback on your audition and application materials. In this post, I elaborate on several points Joyce covered in her recent video.
A maturing larynx yields greater vocal stamina and power, but it also exposes weaknesses in your technique. However, if you are disciplined, this process of maturation can yield greater laryngeal stability, confer upon you the stamina and power to take on longer and more dramatic roles and usher in the best years of your career.
I created this blog to provide singers with support and resources for vocal technique, artistry and career development. Over the past several months I’ve been enjoying some wonderful opportunities to carry out this mission in the broader vocal community – online, in print, and in person. It’s consumed a great deal of my time, so now that I am ready to resume blogging I thought I’d start by catching you up on what I have been doing lately.
Join me in NYC on March 24th to learn how to optimize your alignment, breathing and stamina for singing.
How do you actually feel about performing? About the sound of your voice? Your artistry and accomplishments? Your overall technical facility? Singers “must develop the personal depth and vulnerability to channel the extremes of human emotion through their voices at will.” This is arguably the most significant of the many skills a singer needs. The most satisfying and effective performances occur when you are deeply emotionally invested. But how do you develop this skill?
There is a vital distinction between evaluating your actual singing – the beauty of your sound, consistency of your vocal production, etc. – and assessing the functionality of the individual components of your technique and the skill with which you are able to integrate them into a coordinated process. While it’s important to have clear goals, the path to achieving them must be based on a comprehensive assessment of both your physiology and your current skill set in order to evaluate strengths, weaknesses and imbalances in all areas.
… and this weird trick was discovered by a Mom!