Saturday, February 4, 2006

a lesson

I'm happy with my current voice teacher, and feel that she has done wonders for my voice. However, I feel that it's important to take a break every now and then, to allow things to settle, and to get some new opinions. To that end, I had a lesson yesterday with Jane Eaglen. It was my first lesson with a "big name" opera singer, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was in for a real treat!

First of all, I could not imagine a more lovely person. She's friendly and warm with a great sense of humor, and a way of putting people at ease. I started the lesson with "Smanie implaccabili," and then she asked to hear something else, so I sang on of Nicklausse's arias from Tales of Hoffmann. We spent the rest of the lesson working on the latter. It's slow and legato, and covers a two octave range, so it really shows my whole voice. As we worked through the piece, I noticed that her way of approaching technique is very similar to that of my current teacher, which was reassuring. She was very complimentary about most of what I was doing, but was much more specific than I am used to about certain aspects of breathing and achieving good support throughout the voice. She approached everything in a really positive way, and it was really fun to think about things from a new point of view. I noticed a difference right away -- things felt very free and relaxed, and I was able to let go of that last, stubborn little bit of tension in my jaw that I have been working to get rid of. Her basic philosophy is to sing with as little extraneous physical effort as possible, and to sing in a way that will keep the voice healthy for decades to come, which are definitely ideas I can get behind!

I'm hopeful that we can work together more -- I'd really love to explore these new concepts and see how far we can take them. How exciting!

1 comment:

mezzogregory said...

Wow. Ms. Eageln sounds like a great teacher. I think I would have been a mess. Congratulations on getting out there and throwing caution to the wind (after having beaten your arias senselessly into place in previous lessons, of course)!