Archive for July, 2011

Vocal Technique: The Flex

July 5, 2011
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Since my previous articles in this series on countertenor relevant singing technique have been rather general in nature, I wanted to write this month about a specific exercise. Building on the information introduced in April’s article Countertenor Technique: An Introduction to Concepts, the exercise I outline here, called the flex, is one that reveals hidden mental prejudices that work against countertenors, builds stability and an authentic sound into the lower range of the countertenor voice, and eventually helps to bridge the transition (a shortening of the vibrating portion of the folds even as the folds remain stretched) that should take place between Bb4 and B4. My hope is that the inclusion of audio examples in this article will help to explain any questions that arise, and spark an conversation about what the countertenor voice is capable of and how it might be trained.

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Andreas Scholl & Accademia Bizantina O Solitude: A Review

July 5, 2011
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If I could marry a song, it would probably be one by Henry Purcell. There are so many favorites from which to choose, and they are all so appealing – at times unabashedly erotic, at other times ravishing in their melancholy, short and perky, intellectual, or flashy with substance. I want to relish every one of them. I am also a huge fan of Andreas Scholl. He is the rarely seen Complete Singer. He always delivers beautiful tone, prepares the music like a scholar, and demonstrates a sense of show business in his stage performances and recordings.

The late 2010 release O Solitude – Songs and Arias by Henry Purcell was poised to be my new international object of love: The greatest English composer of his time (not adverse to employing Italian operatic style and French dance rhythms), performed by today’s leading German countertenor and a sexy Italian band.

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A Day in the Life… “Lazy Days of Summer”

July 5, 2011
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If you were anything like me during your undergraduate years, you probably spent the Summer working extra hours at a dead-end job, took an occasional vacation or day trip to the beach, and found yourself two steps behind vocally when you returned to school in the Fall. It should come as no surprise to most readers that there comes a point at which we must consider singing to be our job, regardless of whether it actually provides the majority of our income. For many young artists, Summer is the time when we most feel like working singers.

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Watch this Now! Bejun Mehta Sings Handel

July 5, 2011
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Bejun Mehta, previously featured in our “Watch this Now!” column, here delivers a crisp, joyful, and remarkably easy sounding performance of Sento la gioia from Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula. And some props go to the staff at Harmonia Mundi for editing together this fascinating collage of live and studio video footage.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyCdCyIetB4&feature=player_embedded