Monday, 26 July 2010

The Shepherd's Song

Sir Edward Elgar

Housework, grocery shopping and washing today! This blog is supposed to be about teaching singing, but even creative types have to do the daily living stuff!

Whilst doing the shopping however, I saw one of my principals, who is working her gap time, or maybe in singing terms I should say, her development time in the local supermarket, and she told me just how much feedback, and compliments she had received since the show finished. I was so pleased, as she is an extraordinarily talented young Mezzo Contralto, with a burgeoning talent, and a massive voice. She has a common problem among aspirant professionals - she finds the waiting agonising!

It is possible to be a Doctorate level in violin or flute at any age, infact I have witnessed young 'geniuses' at Junior Conservetoire play a sublime concerto with the orchestra, and not be old enough for high school, but singers...............ahhhh. It is so utterly physical, and such a long wait for the muscular development to happen, patience is the most valuable, and most the elusive of weapons in their musical armoury.

This young lady is of the mould whereby the voice is bigger than she is, it is vibrant and alive, akin to an organic lifeform which has a will of it's own. She has developed so much, and just when it seems that the 'voice' and 'technique' have equalised Mother Nature springs another surprise and 20,000 more decibels appear as if by magic!

She sang at the festival in June, and sent goosebumps shooting through me with her English Art Song. It was the wonderful 'Shepherd's Song' by Edward Elgar, which races along like the crashing waves it describes, and then comes to a broad stop when describing the 'bright red poppies', and comes home with 'in the dreamtime, answer answer me....'.

It needs passion and a real sense of poetry, and even when a voice is not entirely under control, or not yet settled, and has the odd overshoot of tuning, you are completely swept along by the 'what there is to come!' One day, in time, she will make a superb Angel in 'The Dream of Gerontious'. I hope I am still around to listen to it.

She also made a mighty good Buttercup!

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