Tuesday, 21 February 2012
The Creation and the tour guide
I had a most remarkable two days with M in Durham. The nature of institutional teaching means that there is always a loss at the top end, and a new intake at the bottom. This is one of the reasons why each time I go I hear someone brand spanking new. This time was no exception. I heard some very fine singing and met a number of highly talented youngsters, with enough potential to stretch from Paradise to Gatwick Airport !
A small 13 year old gave me a deliciously cheeky Raggle Taggle Gypsies, a folk song I have not heard in 20 years, and another 14 year old sang the Geordie folk song Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron with sparkling words and wonderfully spitting consonants. Both were lovely, bright and perky performances. I was also treated to a gorgeous performance of one of the Haydn arias for Bass from The Creation. Young N, came with Miranda's singers last year to Paradise and wowed us with his German Lieder as well as his good lucks and raffish charm! He was singing this aria so well, centred, dark chocolate tone and intelligence, but somewhere along the line he had just forgotten that the aria is about all the magnificence of the newly created world, the rolling billows, the mountains, the rivers and shady vales, so I decided that he should be a tour guide around this new planet and take a party who had never seen 'earth' before and show them it's beauty ! Not quite a 'Classical' approach, but it worked !
Approaching the song from reality opens up so many more opportunities for colouring the voice, and livening up the text. Being a boy of much brain he was fantastic, and in a split second changed from a fine and well taught singer into an individual who had more to offer the listener, more to engage them with and more more more in general.
I would have paid ready money to hear the finished product ! Sometimes unorthodoxy in teaching is simply the only way.
I can do unorthodox!
PS. Tomorrow I will tell of a totally unexpected and miraculous Lascia chio Pianga............bated breath