I have a bunch of questions that I needed to answer for a program that I'm applying for this summer. Here's where I've gotten thus far:
1. What technical developments have you made in the last year and what do you hope to improve on in the next two years?
The last year has been for me one of great growth vocally. I have always had no trouble producing a bright forward wound vocally, but I was not using my full voice. I've really made great strides this year integrating my head voice into my middle register, singing pure resonant vowels that incorporate my entire voice, and singing with my larynx down. Discovering how to sing with my larynx down without feeling like I'm swallowing a tennis ball or creating an artificial hootie sound has made singing go from being work, to being natural again. In the next two years I hope to be more consistent with my ability to produce this quality, workout the kinks with my singing of F natural, which is my larynx's Achilles heel, and really master the nuance of singing a true pianissimo with the full color of my voice.
2.What pieces in your current repertoire showcase your voice its best? Explain.
Historically my favorite and more representative piece to perform has been the LAudamus Te from Mozart's c minor Mass. It shows a breadth of range and the vocal agility that has always come so easily to me. It still shows all this, but I now have developed a depth of sound, or fullness of color that is better represented by some newer repertoire. Oh Quante Volte from Bellini's I Montechi e Capuleti combines passages requiring vocal agility with a beautiful vocal line. Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta really highlights my improvement in singing line, ans the richer color of sound that I have developed.
3. What are your study/career goals over the next 5 years? (I feel like the question will get quite similar answers from all applicants)
I am interested in pursuing my master's degree in Vocal Performance. Since my undergraduate degree was strictly in Musicology and Music Theory, I think that there is much to be gained by attending a masters program. I am very invested in studying French, since I did not have the change to study it in college. I hope to start learning and performing roles for smaller local companies so that I can continue my growth as a performer. I hope to be able to participate in a few Young Artist Programs across the country. In five years I will be 28, and I hope to be in a position to be considered to participate in some of the country's most prestigious Young Artist Programs.
4.In what areas do you feel you need additional support or training in order to achieve said goals?
I need the most support and training in my stagecraft. Pursuing a rigorous academic degree I simply did not have the time nor opportunity to portray roles on stage. My timing, use of the stage, and embodiment of character have all been improving, but I certainly need more experience and steady guidance in the matter. I would also love to have the ability to study in Germany and France to really immerse myself in the languages since I find my overall interpretation of a piece is vastly improved with my comfort in the language.
5. Please tell us about an instance in which you struggled in a lesson or performance and the end result.
I can not think of a time when I truly struggled in a lesson, worked very hard or gotten frustrated, but not struggled. A performance where I struggled was my last year of college. I had a solo singing one of Shostakovich's Hebrew folk song, the problems were several fold.
The piece was devilishly difficult and I hadn't adequately learned it, I could not get the Russian in my mouth, and I was exhausted from several other performances. In the end I did not sing out of time or key with the organist, and the piece did not fall apart. Additionally the acoustics were such that the audience could barely understand well enunciated English. My disappointment was that I felt like I was singing with half of my voice the whole way through to make way for my brain to keep track of everything else. I have since made a point to never be as unprepared or uncomfortable with a piece when performing. I have also improved my ability to pace myself through periods of many vocal commitments.
6. Is there any other information you'd like us to have?
I'm out of answers for now, will consider this one.
Closing the door, leaving the lights on
5 years ago