08 July, 2010

You can get it if you really want

I’ve started taking singing lessons in earnest. I had always been rather complacent about my singing ability as I had been lucky to be in places where good singers were few. In Paris, the concentration of professional and semi-professional singers is probably greater than in any other place I’ve lived in. Because of this – and the fact that French conservatoires are geared to train soloists – French choir conductors can be very demanding of their singers.

I’ve been looking for a small and good vocal ensemble in order to keep expanding my choral repertoire of early and contemporary music. I have found such a group, which is still in need of a tenor. However, the conductor was not entirely satisfied by my audition. He asked me to work on my vocal technique during the Summer and audition again after the holidays.

So I’ve taken my first professional singing lesson on Wednesday with Mary Saint Palais, a former student of William Christie at the Paris Conservatoire. She’s already given me two tips that have opened up my voice, and on which I have to work for next time. It is hard physical work to sustain all that air pressure in the abdomen and produce a proper sound.

So I will try, try and try, try and try.

You can get it if you really want
Jimmy Cliff, The essential Jimmy Cliff, Union Square Musique

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