Tired but happy today after an excellent Opera workshop yesterday, one of a series of specialist workshops run from the Lynne Wayman Voice Centre. I am so lucky to live within an hour of Nottingham and be able to study with Lynne and attend classes.
Each singer brought along an aria in preparation, and as we moved through the day Lynne set each in context and took us on a journey, from the delicacy and precision of Voi non Sapete by Mozart, to the grand emotion of Verdi’s Otello and ‘Verismo’ (Realism) of Puccini and Mascagni.
There were also fascinating discussions on the anatomy and physiology of singing, particularly as related to opera. There were music teachers and experienced singers in the group and the shared experience and wisdom all added to the day.
My own work in progress was ‘Ebben? Ne andrò lontana’ from Catalani’s La Wally. I was a little unsure on this choice, as my favourite versions are by Maria Callas and Rene Fleming and I wasn’t sure if I could do it justice, but was pleasantly surprised by the good feedback I got. There is a core of singers at Lynne’s events whom I have got to know over the years and several people remarked it was the best they had ever heard me sing. This is a huge boost, coming from great singers I trust and respect. Especially as I am recovering from a cold!
Over the last 18 months I have concentrated on building stamina and strength through Pilates and uphill walking, gone back to basics in technique and breathing exercises and most importantly worked on self belief, and defeating the ‘inner critic’ which can do so much damage to performance. It is heartening that the voice is responding so well. But I must remember to rest it today!