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”

Adding to the vocal tool kit – musical theatre

Today’s post discusses and demonstrates some of the singing techniques required when including musical theatre pieces, from the golden age until the present day, in a concert. I am focussing on the singing techniques here. However, to make the transition truly authentic, the singer will need to spend time on accent. The correct accent willContinue reading “Adding to the vocal tool kit – musical theatre”

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”

‘Legit’

Musical Theatre refers to singing in a classical style as ‘legit’. However, it has bothered me for a long time that the classification is too broad. Therefore, I was pleased to read the following in the library today: Legit can be further divided into traditional legit and contemporary legit. Robert Edwin, A Broader Broadway, NATSContinue reading “‘Legit’”

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”

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”