Tuesday, January 16, 2007

DV as Salome!

I just realized that Voigt will be performing a concert Salome this week (and if I go on Thursday, which I'm planning on doing), there will be an after-show talk, too! I have only seen Voigt live one other time (it was a Tannhaueser at the Met a couple years ago) and it didn't really do anything for me, which could be any number of things: Tannhaueser, the fact that I was standing for most of it in the weirdest spot, and then sitting in someone's vacated spot in an even odder part of the auditorium, . Anyhow, this will be exciting in any case.

Practice has been pretty good once I found a bit of a groove. I've decided that I'm only allowed to practice the extreme low notes and certain non-voiced warmups in my apartment. Sound travels so easily up to the first floor from my wee basement and since intensive voice bootcamp, I have developed more resonance (and more importantly, am on several leads as to how to maximize and equalize this). Further, there's something about a small more soundproof practice room amongst "peers" sounding equally "crappy" that makes one feel a little less self-conscious about practicing those things that need practice, i.e. the things that sound not so good.

Also, I'm becoming more and more convinced that practical advice I received as a violinist is almost directly translatable to my study of voice. One of them being that one should never practice at medium speeds. Either extreme rapidity or slowness. At medium speeds, I (at least) never have quite enough time to think ahead and prepare ahead, muscularly or mentally. Which only means that everything is saved at the last moment, and *that* is what gets learned. Which only precludes actual speed when you need it.

It's paid off so far -- downward scales are things that I've had trouble with in the past, so a recent part of the practice regimen has been to start at the lowest end of the range and sing "Vien diletto" from Puritani to practice its descending cascades, moving the exercise upward by halfstep to cover the range. There's something really great about practicing things like this from repertoire, where your mind can fill in all of the harmonies, and one just remembers just how much one loves the melody. It takes it out of the roteness that can develop, and scales are then practiced with maximum expression in mind (another tenet from my violin days) without necessarily having to get emotionally involved. Now, my downward scales have a suppleness, speed, and surety that I honestly didn't think they'd get so quickly. (And it seriously crosses a wide range -- by the time you sing the top note of the VII­­ dim. 7th chord, the voice has covered almost two octaves.)

Now I need to find something that I can practice for upward scales...grr...

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