I have greatly enjoyed being a part of Peter Mark’s Master Class series this winter. There have been new and difficult lessons … but that is always the case when honing one’s skills and advancing. You fall down and get back up, moving ever onward.
As a result I feel like my technique is finally approaching a level that I would call “beautiful singing” … the kind of singing that is nuanced and luxurious. We are our own worse critics, so it is exciting to me to actually feel that way. Now, of course, it is time to get that embodied so it becomes completely natural.
Fortunately I have the perfect opera lined up to help me along that path toward technical embodiment … Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” in June!
For now, my focus is on this weekend. We will be singing in front of a panel featuring music professionals from Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, Long Beach Opera, KUSC and more. I will be singing “Donna non vidi mai” from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut”.
Worked on a brand new aria this past weekend in my master class with Maestro Peter Mark (hence the fact that it is not completely memorized as evidenced in the video). 😉
To set up this clip, Maestro Mark had asked me to walk around to get my legs and core engaged.
In terms of the high C’s, the Maestro talked about the importance of “exploding”, or creating a wind tunnel, backwards on the lower note directly preceding.
You can hear how I successfully did this on the first four high C’s, but then the second set of four I did not and the C’s were thinner and not as solid. The Maestro stops me and motions (off camera) backwards out the back of his head on the lower note. Once I corrected off this instruction the last three high C’s were solid again.
Exciting work! Now to get all this memorized and in my body. 🙂
I have been taking part in a series of master classes in Beverly Hills with Maestro Peter Mark and had a significant vocal breakthrough this past weekend.
Of course, such breakthroughs are also a result of the work I’ve done with teachers and coaches on a regular basis … it all adds up to whatever metaphor or instructive device it is that has you “get” something. So along those lines I also acknowledge the many hours spent working with Maestro William Vendice, Renee Sousa and Timothy Leon (all of whom I work with regularly).
Anyhow, I just began working on “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!“, from La fille du régiment by Donizetti. For those who don’t know, this is the famous aria for tenor featuring nine high C’s.
I have always had a high C … but these recent breakthroughs have made it so that I feel comfortable sustaining it for however long I feel like. Which is profoundly an amazingly satisfying … I always wondered how Pavarotti used to do that!
This is the final high C: