No, I’m not launching a new business meant to capitalize on the shame of fat opera singers. Instead, I’m kicking-off a summer of (mostly) self-directed efforts to whip my singing into shape in time for YAP auditions in the fall.
After a weekend of two solo performances, which were mostly a success, and were totally fun, but they did reveal a few glaring problems that I am not going to be able to get away with if I’m going to be competitive in this biz. These problems were foretold by my wise and all-seeing voice teacher who has been particularly tough on me of late. I’m realizing that it’s time to stop getting frustrated with her nit-picking, and start getting to work on eradicating the nits in the first place.
In my last lesson she said something that all-but stopped me in my tracks, “I know that you practice,” she said, “but I worry that you’re practicing the repertoire and not the technique.“
In an attempt to defend myself against an accusation that I’m not sure I fully understood the meaning of in the moment, I muttered something about doing both.
But I had her admonishment in mind when I sat down in front of the piano this evening. I sang every phrase of Ernani Involami thinking, “Would my teacher let me get away with that? How would she tell me to fix it?” And then going back and doing just that.
The result was a much more grueling practice session which produced much better singing. I plan on continuing this method, combined with my usual lessons, and as many coachings as I can afford, and I am going to greet September as a polished, confident performer.