The End of the Great Big American Voice – NY Times
Friday, last week, I worked with students who had qualified for the Shantou University Intercollegiate Singing Contest. These pop stars came to a workshop led by myself and two other foreign teachers. My class was called, “Movement and Expression on Stage.” However, I made it a point to link movement and physical action with the voice itself. At one point, I demonstrated “throwing” your voice and body together from the diaphragm. I think I blew them away with sheer supported sound.
None of them could understand what and how to do what I was doing. Ultimately, students questioned why they needed to sing loud at all since they will be amplified out the wazoo. Well, maybe in the Singing Contest they can rely on micorphones but in Pippin, I won’t let that happen. Mircrophones will reinforce the sound only.
The above article points to the continuing trend of recording-voice singing. The light and unsupported sound tickles our ears with headphones on but fizzles out come time for the mainstage. I agree with the article entirely. The first time I heard Andrea Bocceli, I couldn’t escape the lack of power in his voice even on the CD! I miss opera but at least there is hope at Middlebury where I can “skip the conservatory and get a liberal arts degree, learn languages and study voice on the side.”