A few years ago, I attended a Fetes de la Musique event hosted by the Alliance Francaise. It was inspired by the annual "day of music" when anyone and everyone who can sing or play an instrument takes to the streets all across France. Our St. Louis contingent enjoyed an evening of piano, violin and voice. I was enthralled by the sopranos and recalled how I loved to sing as a young girl. After the concert, over wine and cheese, I asked one of the singers if it was too late for me to study voice. She replied, not at all, but that a woman's voice matures at the age of 65...so there was time after all!
My piano teacher Kathi Kurtzman and I always like to joke that playing the piano is far more difficult than voice, and that singers don't have to practice nearly as hard and long. However, a great artist always makes anything appear easier than it actually is. Evenso, I like this quote by Jerome Hines:
"Opera is an excessive art form populated by excessive people. We make it more excessive than necessary. Singing is really a very simple thing".
And that is what makes it so darn hard. My teacher Merry Keller says that it should take no more effort than talking. I'm trying and looking forward to trilling like a bird one of these days, if I stick with it!
My father, a professional musician and long deceased, said that I was a coloratura soprano. I guess that I have a childlike desire to want to please him and have him be proud of me. And you never know when you might need to belt out an aria.
Merry Keller et moi.
My teacher Merry lives on Tulane Avenue, which seems coincidental given that I used to have an apartment on Tulane, and my daughter Emily went to Tulane. When I arrived for my first lesson with her, I was amused that we both had on shirts like the staphs on a sheet of music; the notes were only waiting to be sung! Lieder lovers, unite!