Philosophy

In February 2020, while preparing for a lockdown in South Africa, I began a three-year project affectionally named the ‘Lilli Lehmann Project’. This project was inspired by the great German Soprano, Lilli Lehmann. Lehmann wrote several books including a book translated into English as ‘How to Sing’. It was a chance appearance of her bookContinue reading “Philosophy”

Sticking your neck out (literally)

The attitude of the pupil, in singing, should be as natural and easy as possible. Mathilde Marchesi, Bel Canto: A theoretical & practical vocal method. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. The image above says it all. Here are two audio examples to demonstrate the importance of the neck position for singing. Example one demonstrates aContinue reading “Sticking your neck out (literally)”

Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing

I have found the following books, manuals and listening to be a ‘pathway’ to studying a way of singing that some refer to as ‘Bel Canto’. Others may refer to it as the ‘Old Italian School of Singing’. Others may describe it as the ‘Italian School of Singing’. (For me, the last description is unreliableContinue reading “Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing”

Appoggio

A month ago, I completed the mandatory New Zealand Managed Isolation Quarantine (“MIQ”). (New Zealand does not have Covid-19 in the community. Therefore, the country sets about quarantining every person who arrives in New Zealand from overseas, in isolation, for two weeks). Naturally, during my time in MIQ, I could not vocalize. Therefore, I setContinue reading “Appoggio”

Jeanne Jomelli

What a find on You Tube this morning! Dutch Soprano Jomelli (1879-1932), student of Mathilde Marchesi, singing an exercise from Herman Klein’s ‘Phono – Vocal’ method. This singing is informative on many levels. The onset, gentle vibrato, the lightness of production, delicate use of messa di voce, the sound of chiaroscuro, portamento, legato and more.Continue reading “Jeanne Jomelli”

Tracing Porpora

In 2021, I will be performing live. All of these concerts are building upon the techniques I am studying in historical vocal pedagogy. These live concerts are listed on this website. One of these concerts is called “Tracing Porpora”. This concert will be performed in May 2021, with Dr John Linker at the Christchurch TransitionalContinue reading “Tracing Porpora”

Using the phone to improve singing

South Africa has seen one of the strictest and longest Lockdowns in the World. Since Covid-19 began to isolate us all, I have used this time to refresh my voice. Alongside the historical pedagogy, historical recordings and my own insights from practice, I have used the phone to record every note. In this way, theContinue reading “Using the phone to improve singing”

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”