Adina Monroe – What we lose in translation

Marching to the beat of a different drum It is well-known that practise makes perfect. As it is the case with everything that becomes familiar to an individual over time, so it is then of course with music. Works are studied closely over and over again, usually spanning a considerable period of time. Of course one of the aims for …

Painted in Honey

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Les Plaisirs du Bal Following the death of the Louis XIV of France (Le Roi-Soleil – The Sun King) aristocracy abandoned the grandeur of Versailles for the intimacy of the townhouses of Paris. In this more relaxed environment, the aristocratic revellers could flirt and play, and act out scenes of the commedia dell’arte. In its essence commedia dell’arte creates …

Staying true to oneself

MusicaLego: Building Baroque I recently performed as accompanist in a masterclass held by soprano Deborah York at the Leeds College of Music (LCoM). Deborah York’s involvement at LCoM as visiting professor is in the beginning stages of developing a Baroque tradition at LCoM. During Deborah’s previous visit in April this year I accompanied the students on the piano. This time …

The Story Continues – seunitnoC yrotS ehT

In my recent posts I wrote about steps I regularly use for singers to get their heads and mouths around German, but of course these methods can be used in other languages too. Last week I used these methods to help a native German speaker to help her with English texts. Once it was all taken apart the tricky moments …

The Shapeshifters – the Plight of Consonants

In this series of blogs dedicated to finding a systematic way of learning German repertoire by studying the text of a song, aria or recitative first before continuing to sing it I have spoken about the differences between languages and the importance of noticing what happens in the mouth when speaking as to singing the text. In a quest to …

Im wUndErschOEnEn mOnAt mAI

 Speak then Sing – The Importance of Being Earnest…  I have mentioned in previous posts the importance of being able to speak the text fluently before singing it. This would be the case in any language – be it the singer’s mother tongue or a foreign language. I find that the speaking of the text in voice lessons is irregularly …

Zwischen zwei Zweigen zwitschern zwei Schwalben.

I recently wrote about my experience of coaching singers at the University of Pretoria.  A couple of weeks I coached at the Day of Song hosted by Leeds Lieder+. Since 2008 I have coached singers (mostly American) at AIMS in Graz, Austria and in London I regularly coach young singers in various repertoire. Spending so much time explaining rules on …

One-sided Conversations

As part of the Leeds Lieder+ Day of Song this coming Sunday I will be coaching two singers in front of an audience in order to give an insight into the work going on during the preparation process towards a recital. One of the songs to be discussed comes from the four songs of Strauss’ opus 27. The songs are …