Concert at The Herbst theater, March 8th, McGegan/ Anne Sofie von Otter, Daniel Moody

It is always a shock to hear the beautiful mezzo voice coming through the body of a man. The name of the voice category assigned to this phenomenon is called the “countertenor”. I was so lucky to hear a really wonderful countertenor in a concert with Philharmonia Baroque  under the spirited direction of Nicolas McGegan, … Continue reading Concert at The Herbst theater, March 8th, McGegan/ Anne Sofie von Otter, Daniel Moody

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Sondra Radvanovsky’s Riveting Queen Elisabeth 1, in SFO’s Production of Donizetti’s Roberto D’Evereux

Indelibly etched in my memory is the Sarah Caldwell/Boston Opera production of Roberto D'Evereux starring Beverly Sills, a consummate actress as well as a fine coloratura. I was a teenager, a freshman at the New England Conservatory. Never did I expect to see a better production of this rarely performed opera.  Last week my expectations were surpassed … Continue reading Sondra Radvanovsky’s Riveting Queen Elisabeth 1, in SFO’s Production of Donizetti’s Roberto D’Evereux

The Art of Singing and Yoga: Similarities and Differences

  Both art forms are based on the breath, yet in yogic breathing, the abdominal muscles relax on the inhale as expansion occurs and it seems like one breaths “from the belly”. In singing, at least in the majority of worthy techniques, the abdominal muscles are not relaxed and distended, rather toned, (not tucked), as … Continue reading The Art of Singing and Yoga: Similarities and Differences

Why All Singers Must Read: “Wild Harmonies, A Life of Music And Wolves”

When my friend gave me “Wild Harmonies” by French pianist, Hélène Grimaud  for my birthday this year, I have to say I was disappointed. Why should I, a classical singer, read a book about a pianist, and especially about one that I had never heard of ? I read books about sufis, not pianists. I left the … Continue reading Why All Singers Must Read: “Wild Harmonies, A Life of Music And Wolves”

Singing the “A” Vowel

I built my voice using the  “e” vowel better known to singers using phonetics as “ i”. The “i” vowel always seemed to naturally place itself forward and in the resonators, without my having to “do” anything. I struggled for years with the “a” vowel because Americans pronounce this vowel too low in the mouth or … Continue reading Singing the “A” Vowel

Singer Subjectivity: Where does the sound resonate?

Resonance happens as a result of correct use of breath and vowel. When singers try to "place" the sound in the resonators the result is never optimal to say the least and singers do not necessarily experience their sound “in the same place”. However, many singers start out with the voice so low placed naturally … Continue reading Singer Subjectivity: Where does the sound resonate?

Keys To Developing a Compelling Stage Presence

  Most professional singers have a stage presence that forces the audience to look at them. They may have always had a ‘larger than life’ quality, but this quality was almost certainly further developed and refined through stage experience. The simple truth is that singers who do not have a commanding presence on stage cannot have … Continue reading Keys To Developing a Compelling Stage Presence

What is singing? The sound of the emotion of the words

  Many singers spend years trying to gain a technique which will allow them vocal ease in production and a round and uniform sound from the bottom to the top of their registers. At a certain point of mastery of one’s vocal technique, emphasis needs to be placed on expression; on connecting the mind and  … Continue reading What is singing? The sound of the emotion of the words

Diaphragmatic support and Lamperti

Lamperti, the famous Italian singing teacher from the 1800's who taught his father Francesco Lamperti's technique which was descended from the great castrati, said that the support should be COMFORTABLY SNUG at the level of the waistline. Comfortably snug is Lamperti's analogy for the compression that occurs as the breath releases. This must not be confused with squeezing the muscles of … Continue reading Diaphragmatic support and Lamperti