Monday, 10 December 2012

Mother Goose, Home and Fireplace

How lovely it is to be home, and on a teaching day again - albeit the final week of my term! Still I can get my hand back in on the lesson front.

I, and a group of the Inner Sound mafia went to see L in the professional pantomime at Eden Court theatre in Inverness yesterday. It was SPLENDID, in capitals ! She was delightful, as vibrant and bubbly as her Patience role, sparkling along and making us laugh. The whole show was great, colourful and sequin filled, with multiple glorious sets, cleverly interchangeable with a super gauze which helped a seamless move between scenes.

The music is rather more 'poppy' than I am used to, which makes it difficult for L with her pure and gleaming high soprano tone. She managed it well, but now needs to keep her voice safe by keeping it lifted when she can. It is one of the great dilemmas of 21st century stage work. Before the 1950's almost all female roles in Musical Theatre were written for the natural and unmiked voice. Now, with technology the 'belt voice' technique is used 99% of the time, which rather eliminates those who simply do not have the muscles for it!

Properly done, it is safe and exciting, but sadly it is mostly not well done, so the inevitable 'hole' develops in the break between head and middle register, due to singing up too high in the chest, and almost omitting to use the middle register at all.

I cannot and do not teach this technique, as I do not know how, and am not trained is doing so correctly and safely. L has suffered most of her young performing life from not having this particular set of suitable muscles, and being told that her singing was not her strong point! Infact it is a wonderful instrument and had it been found 15 years ago she would be in an opera company now, still sparkling, always fully committed and for ever giving her all!

That said, she loves Musical Theatre, so does that in her own way, brilliantly.

Just stay safe L. A voice is for life and not just for Christmas!

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