We don’t think about it, but learning to be still is a skill. Being still in our minds, calm in our bodies and at ease in every way can be really really hard. As musicians, constant sounds, movement and expression often make us feel at home……..but for a moment, let me offer a point for reflection.
Have you ever considered that music is really a relationship between both sound and silence?
Songs would loose meaning without breaths between phrases and pauses between the notes. Ironically, those momentary pauses add more life and energy to the sound. Rests in a score are distinctly placed to add dimension and clarity in shaping musical ideas.
I’ve even witnessed powerful grand pauses in live performance that leave audiences captivated. So you see my friends, music needs both. Sound and silence.
Whether we realize it or not, I think the same thing is true about our own lives. Yet, all too often we ignore the rests.
Check out this in-depth Skype interview with esteemed opera coach, collaborative pianist and conductor, Kathleen Kelly as she shares her personal insights and reflections on the classical music field and her experience as a woman over the years.
*we encountered a tiny bit of static due to technical difficulties. The chat with Kathleen Kelly was amazing…………technology as a whole is not always as amazing lol.
Like all areas of the performing arts, the opera industry comes with an incredible amount of allure and a troubling amount of baggage. This is especially true as it relates to gender norms and defining womanhood in the industry.
Sopranos are gorgeous damsel’s in distress and mezzos are sultry, yet ballsy women with a cause right???………Depending on who you ask, many things come to mind when describing what it means to be female in opera.
Larger than life, highly expressive, beautiful and vocally captivating all describe the woman who’ve become pillars of success in this industry.
Still, there’s a dark, messy side of womanhood in opera that hasn’t been fully addressed.
They say if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I auditioned for the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre & Dance on a trivial weekend in February 2015. This was the fourth of five grad school auditions. I’d flown to Ann Arbor in a cute peacoat and soon found out that this was a horrible, horrible outfit decision. Upon arrival, I was greeted by 15 inches of snow. The school had canceled classes for the first time in years and there was a slight possibility that the audition could be delayed or even rescheduled.