Archive for October, 2011

Vocal Technique: An Organizing Principle for Singers, Part 1

October 6, 2011
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What is the optimal approach to training the singing voice? Right at the root of it, what are the ideal conditions for optimal tone production and what thought patterns best exploit the physiological strengths of the voice while de-emphasizing (or at least respecting) the inherent limitations?

This month I begin a two part series explaining my concept of an Organizing Principle, a manner of organized thought that elicits a dependably optimal vocal response in the present moment, and that respects the inherent limitations of the neurophysiology of the singing mechanism. Part one introduces the concept. Part two will layout a specific method for implementing this approach in the practice studio.

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The Vocal Soloist as Ensemble Singer

October 6, 2011
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I recently won an audition for a well-known Bach cantata series. For part of the audition, I was asked to read music with a few singers in an ensemble setting.  The conductor knew I could sing an aria, but wished to know more about how I collaborated with other singers and instrumentalists.  Did I, in other words, play well with others? So often I hear young singers-in-training complain about ensemble and choral singing, boldly stating that they are only interested in solo opportunities. I must admit that I held very similar opinions. Studying to be a solo singer (which can be much more lucrative a career than being a chorister) requires confidence commensurate with the risk you are taking…

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Bergamo European Countertenor Competition Winners Announced

October 6, 2011
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The Gianni Bergamo Classical Music Award just crowned three prize winners in the first ever international competition open only to countertenors. We are proud to announce that an American, Andrew Rader, took third prize in a highly competitive field. Learn about the competition and the other prize-winners, and read what these innovative singers performed to earn their places in history…

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Watch This Now! Howell & Van Doren Sing Pergolesi

October 6, 2011
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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd7QtPqsGQc
I have been hesitant to post clips on this blog of myself singing (this is for me an academic rather than PR outlet), but this often programmed piece, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, is a great example of what Bryan Desilva mentions in his recent article, The Vocal Soloist as Ensemble Singer. Notice how both Yulia Van Doren and I constantly modulate our vibratos to best serve the drama of the ensemble’s interpretation. Movement twelve, Quando Corpus from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater featuring the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

~Ian