Day 2…most successful

Finally, the weather has broken and it’s been a lovely day…yes, quite warm in the classrooms (when you have 3 or 4 singers observing a lesson, and the singer herself wailing away, it gets pretty hot regardless of the oscillating fan).

My day started with a 10:30 lesson with Nelly Miricioiu – most of you have heard me rave about her – she and Jack teach almost identical technique, and we worked on the aria I sang on Monday at “Death by Aria”, “Voi lo spate” from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. It went pretty well on Monday, but today Nelly worked on it with me technically and we basically reconstructed it note by note, which was a pleasure and now it’s a whole new piece. That is Nelly’s magic…with just a few words and vocal demonstrations, she can turn around a singer’s technique and approach to a piece. We got a LOT done in 35 minutes.

A mere hour after leaving Nelly (and observing her work with a couple of more singers), I coached the Italian thoroughly with Daniele Piatelli, one of the 3 Italian coaches here. He corrected a few words of the text (for instance, I kept making all the “m-s” double “m-s” when they were just single; Dani said, “sing on the vowel and less on the consonant.” Hmmm…that’s Italian!

Only 30 minutes after leaving Dani’s studio, I had yet another coaching with Felice Venanzoni, who in staff at the Frankfurt Opera. I needed a break from “Voi lo sapete” and worked on one of my favorite French arias, “O, my lyre immortelle” from Gounod’s Sapho.

Janet Wittenberg has sung this beautifully in the past and I hope to sing it in a concert in the next couple of weeks. Janet – be warned: we will re-work it once I am home!

After the lunch break from 1:30-3:00, Jack gave a lecture on vocal harmonics. He gave this lecture at last year’s MOS, but it meant a lot more to me this year.

At 4:00, all singers gathered to rehearse the 2 ensembles that will be sung at all of our public concerts (tonight is the re-scheduled one that was cancelled last night). These ensembles are:

  • “Libiamo” from Verdi’s La Traviata;
  • “Va, pensieo” from Verdi’s Nabucco
These ensembles are huge crowd pleasers, and you can just imagine what they sound like with 22 pros (some semi-pros) singing them. 

Overall, today was a big success. I visited a number of other studios to sit in on lessons and coachings, and learn something new every time. It is so inspiring to see singers of many levels (from seasoned professionals to students still in undergrad school) who are just mad for opera and are soaking up as much as possible from the stellar faculty on hand. The level of singing and vocal talent is much higher than last year’s MOS in Sicily, which makes it all that more gratifying and such an incredible learning experience.

OK…gotta get on my concert duds for tonight’s performance, which begins at 21:15 (9:15).

Note to my students: SING EVERY DAY!!!


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