Tuesday, 21 June 2011

From Handel to Britten in 48 hours

Back in the Saddle !

I know I have mentioned 'V'adoro Pupille' by Handel before - I think I even recommended watching the Danielle de Neise Glyndebourne version of the aria. Wonderful singing and extraordinary dancing combined to make an unforgettable moment in that production of Julius Caeser. Of course it has the inimitable Sarah Connolly at JC himself.

Well, today I had my talented soprano L for a lesson, and as I had not taught her (or indeed anyone else!) for the last month, I was thrilled to hear how much work she had put in to practising the aria. It was secure, stylish and sophisticated yet lacking something I could not put my finger on.

I finally realised that what it need were a few more decibels! Sometimes pupils are quite frightened of making a 'big' sound, and cleverly manage to cover the lack of a satisfying and solid ringing sound with all sorts of interprative qualities, and 'clever' vocal tricks. L did not fall into the latter group at all, but she is a little terrified of hearing her sound coming back to her!

After a basic 'just get on with it' from moi, she suddenly let rip and made a noise (a lovely noise!) the size of the nearest mountain! Quite shocked and extremely surprised, she suddenly felt the physical thrill one gets from singing to capacity, with honesty, muscles and a bit of sweat. Hopefully she will remember the feel and reproduce it again and again!

Yesterday was my first full day back in the saddle, so to speak, and I was so pleased to, at long last, feel up to the energetic job which teaching is. I heard some excellent singing, a very good, embryonic Faure 'Pie Jesu', a delightful Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, from a much developed R, who at 14 is beginning to sound like a young woman, with all the complications that brings, and a quite remarkable first run through of The Flower Song' from The Rape of Lucretia by Britten..................quite a mixed bag of repertoire to welcome me back!

So upwards and onwards, into a busy wednesday with as much new music as yesterday and today !

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