Contrametric Rubato

This week I pondered over how unmusical my singing was sounding. I couldn’t understand what had gone so wrong… Then, it dawned on me. My tempi were wrong! Thus, this week, I have made the metronome a part of everything I do. This brings me to contrametric rubato. I came across an interview by aContinue reading “Contrametric Rubato”

Adapting Denes Striny’s exercises

Exactly a year ago I read and followed Denes Striny’s ideas and exercises (see my resources page for details about his wonderful books). This began my journey back to the way I had been taught by my teachers’ Beatrice Webster and Isabel Cunningham. It also led to me creating a three year project for myselfContinue reading “Adapting Denes Striny’s exercises”

Gregorian Chant for Opera Singers

Wow, the closed Italian [u] – why Italian? – why did Gregorian chant, opera, and singing in a certain way seemingly start in Italy? Their language was the main reason, and of course, we must consider that because it started there, it started because of their language. Denes Striny, Great Singers, An Endangered Species, HowContinue reading “Gregorian Chant for Opera Singers”

Una Voce Poco Fa…

Everyone knows it, and most lovers of the old school of Italian singing adore it. Yet how few, even of the cleverest vocalists of to-day, can sing it really well! Herman Klein, Herman Klein and the Gramophone, The recording of Una Voce, page 66 Listening to the finest examples of Bel Canto and learning howContinue reading “Una Voce Poco Fa…”

Consonants – Oskar Guttmann

The starting point to introduce the various techniques required for singing consonants today is to choose a Cancone Solfeggio phrase and refer to Oskar Guttmann’s ‘Gymnastics for the Voice’. The majority of the techniques I blog about are for the classical voice. However, this blog is for every style. Every singer should be aware ofContinue reading “Consonants – Oskar Guttmann”

The Lilli Lehmann Project* – Light Coloratura

In a previous post, I demonstrated three voice characters: light coloratura quality, lyric quality and dramatic quality by referring to the lessons in Lucie Manen’s book ‘The Art of Singing’. Manen describes how to achieve the voice characters. She also wrote that Lilli Lehmann performed all three roles in The Tales of Hoffmann. In otherContinue reading “The Lilli Lehmann Project* – Light Coloratura”

Nasal Close

Lilli Lehmann writes “[t]he nasal close of itself brings a new color into the singing…the word is much more clearly intelligible…”. Below is a demonstration of a Cancone solfeggio phrase. The first ‘sol la’ is sung without a nasal close and the second is with a nasal close. Can you hear the second ‘sol la’Continue reading “Nasal Close”

Voice Characters

In previous blogs, I have demonstrated starting the note from the larynx mechanism, the pharynx, the nasal and the imposto. Here is a chance to put these ideas together to create three different voice characters. To achieve this, I have followed Lucie Manen’s book ‘The Art of Singing’ and recalled the teachings of the lateContinue reading “Voice Characters”

Cancone

Classical Singing is not just about being able to sing loud and soft. Classical Singing is about being able to sing with different tone colours and shades of intensity. Here is the opening phrase of a Cancone solfeggio. Solfegii and vocalise are vital for training singers. I will be demonstrating a lot of solfegii andContinue reading “Cancone”