Friday, August 14, 2009

Do I make a mistake switching rep, because I think it fits me better (looks, age, body type, etc.) even though my voice still is more appropriate for different (lighter) rep.?

Since we are still talking opera here, at the end of the day, you can't be untrue to what you are vocally. this can be tough if you're body type doesn't exactly fit your voice, particularly in today's world of casting visually as well as aurally. If the issue is weight, that is of course, something can be addressed, but if it is height or age, this becomes trickier. It is important that you continually get feedback to see if your self-perception is correct. A trusted coach, director, or someone in a similar position whose opinion you trust cam make sure you are pointed in a realistic direction.

1 comment:

  1. I think there's one more facet to throw into that list, by the way: those who sing repertoire because they "connect" (their word not mine) with it more and like it more than that which is their own fach.

    Yes, I think that singers very often (I won't say always because I'm sure someone has made this work for him/her) do themselves a disservice by switching repertoire for external/non-vocal reasons. Most of the time, it seems that singers opt for repertoire or a fach that is larger than that which they are vocally suited. Larger women with lyric voices are often told to sing heavier (Wagner, Strauss) repertoire because they are fat. A tall light lyric sings bigger repertoire than she should because she fear that nobody will cast her as Norina at six feet. A middle aged (or simply not a "barihunk") baritone starts to sing Verdi roles because he doesn't fit into current casting trends for Count, Figaro (Barbiere), Mercutio, etc. And a wonderful soubrette with a healthy instrument decides that her repertoire is dramatically tiring/annoying and wants to sing Mimi, Tatyana, Cio-Cio San and then like.

    Yes, the external (or mental) factors are tricky. And sometimes an answer is tough to come by. However, the choices often hurt the singer and his/her voice. Nobody will fault a singer for having a lot of voice within the repertoire he/she offers. A singer will, however, be faulted for the opposite. You don't want a GD or AD listening to you and thinking, "Well, that's nice, but in this repertoire, she can't fill my hall." Or worse, you don't want to experience wear and tear on your instrument by pushing it into repertoire to which it's not naturally suited.