Archive for September, 2011

Social Media for the Classical Singer: An Interview with PR Guru Maura Lafferty

September 2, 2011
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Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube; all of these social media streams offer an unprecedented level of connectivity for the budding classical singer, connecting artists to other artists, and artists to their audiences. It is noisy out there in social media land; how can we best compete in this Darwinian arena, especially when the ‘level’ playing field includes wealthy corporations and legacy arts institutions? I was fortunate enough to pose these questions to an expert in this field, the San Francisco Bay Area’s online PR Guru, Maura Lafferty. Her message for us? Focus on your story as an artist (something many of us never even think about!) and be smart with your social media streams…

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Opera Corner: Stile Recitativo

September 2, 2011
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Welcome back to the Opera Corner. I was initially overwhelmed by the number of potential topics for this back-to-school month. However, I was inspired by a subject that not only takes you back to basics, but also requires time and study: Italian recitative. I will specifically be discussing recitative in the tradition of opera seria (the noble and serious style of Italian opera that was popular in Europe in the 18th century). This musical form, basically the dramatic declamation of text to music, is infused with a sense of poetic purpose, text, and character. Despite (or perhaps because of) this implied freedom, the word recitative can conjure a feeling of unease for many singers…

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Iestyn Davies at Wigmore Hall, in Vivaldi’s Griselda, and in Handel’s Messiah: A Review & Artist Overview

September 2, 2011
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This summer, I was in one of the last great record stores in North America, (Manhattan’s Academy Records) and I came across both the Iestyn Davies 2009 recital at Wigmore Hall AND the 2009 Stephen Layton/Polyphony Messiah with Davies as alto soloist.  Earlier in that same visit to NY, the publicist for the sexy French record label Naïve gifted me the 2006 release of Vivaldi’s Griselda, boasting a freshman Iestyn Davies in the bit-role of Corrado. Either Handel on his heavenly throne was guiding me to listen to Davies, or I am easy prey for the marketing strategists behind this rising star countertenor…

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A Case Study: 28 Days to a Better Singing Technique

September 2, 2011
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I am always looking for new exercises and technical warm-ups to include in my daily practice routine, so I decided to try the 28-day challenge of isotonic and isometric exercises as discussed in last month’s article by Ian Howell: Vocal Technique: Boring Exercises That Will Make You a Better Singer.  Over the past four weeks, I have noticed an improvement in my breath control, developed a greater sense of my intercostal muscles and the role they play in breathing for singing, and have strengthened the lower part of my range (B3-D4)…

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