After a week of heavy lifting at Beach Blanket Babylon, I'm working this week on getting la voce back in legit shape for next week's concert with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. As a "crossover" artist, I have to stretch myself constantly just beyond my comfort zone. What I mean by that is that I have to find ways to sing what directors want in a way that is comfortable and healthy for me. Everything gets easier with time, and I'm finding healthier ways to sing "pop" all the time.
I was having a conversation the other day with a cast mate about Stephen Schwartz's Wicked, and the lead-female role that seems to be eating up singers left and right. We're hearing about friends who are in productions across the country and the vocal rest they're on because of this role. It's too bad, but composers are always trying to stretch the limits of the human voice, some more successfully than others.
Next week, I'll be singing a Jerome Kern concert with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Ticket information can be found here.
As well, I'm preparing the solos from the Mozart Requiem for a concert with the Santa Clara Chorale later in May. More information on that can be found here.
It's always a difficult either taking time off (two days on for every day off...) or switching gears vocally, but it's getting easier each time I do it... Just have to stay healthy.
In other news, there's a choir I know of that's having tuning issues. I'm not an expert on ensemble tuning problems, but I do know that with my youth symphony, I face this problem particularly with the Woodwinds and Brass. The tendency, interestingly enough, when one is having trouble discerning one's own tone from that of a fellow musician (usually due, ironically, to successful blend) is to play or sing out of tune, in order to differentiate one's own sound from the other musicians'. Further, the tendency is usually to the flat side of the pitch, rather than the sharp side. I can imagine that losing one's hearing with age only exacerbates this problem, and so we find older singers singing increasingly flat, despite solid technique. I find that alerting intelligent students to this helps them to grasp the problem and attempt to solve it methodically. Hopefully this helps, if you're facing similar issues.
Back to the keyboard. Tonight it's Chabrier, at least, with the Youth Symphony!