Voice Building

Tannhäuser - Amsterdam 1966

Everyone is born with vocal chords, a diaphragm, a set of lungs and resonance cavities, so everyone is capable of making operatic sounds. However, if one is not musical and able to portray the words as the composer intended, there is not much chance for a career. You may be a fast learner, and that helps. If you are coordinated like an athlete, that also helps. The next of the ingredients is being highly diciplined and willing to make sacrifices of time and energy. It is a myth that once the voice is ‘placed’ you no longer have to sing out anymore, only at performances. It is like telling a fighter that once he has a good left jab and a knockout punch he no longer has to train and only has to show up for the fights.

If you want to sing well in a long career, you must be willing to keep in training, and that means ‘singing out’. Jan Pierce said when asked how he could sing so well at 65 (I heard him in Europe in the Masked Ball) he replied. I sing an opera every day, either at home or on the stage. Caruso said: ‘If I do not practice one day, I know it; if I do not practice two days, my friends know it; if I don’t practice 3 days, the audience knows it!

Today, with videos of opera everywhere the myth that an opera singer needs to be fat is laid to rest. The fact is, you need energy to sing. Athletes have energy and they recover fast. The best way to have the reserves and stamina you need to sing opera is to train as an athlete. And assuming you have a healthy technic you will sing beautifully for years, or as long as you keep in shape.

If your vocal muscles have not been trained it will take a few months to produce operatic sounds that will be appropriate for singing in that Art form. I am looking for young musical people who have the passion to sing along with the musicality but lack the operatic sound. That can be built!

A couple of scholarships are available to the right dedicated people.

Preference is given to those capable of becoming dramatic tenors. The size and shape of your chords and resonance will determine that.

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Mr. Heater,
    Thank you for your query to me regarding the Salome Schlussgesang clip from my good friend and colleague Joanna Porackova. Please contact me at the email address below. As I recall, did you not sing here in Boston a ways back for Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston? I think it was Otello, and I think I was in the audience.

  2. Exploring your wonderful website further! Yes indeed, that was YOU I saw int he OCB Otello!

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