The 5 Stages of Grief for not Getting Cast in the Role You Wanted

You’ve studied for years, coached your aria for months, prepped the audition for weeks and waited on pins and needles for days since the big sing to see if you finally landed your dream role, that vehicle that will take you over the cusp and into the promised land, and then you see it: the cast list. It’s been posted. And it looks a lot different than you’d hoped. You think you’re a Tamino but you’re cast as Monostatos; a Rudolfo but you’re given Parpingol. Now what?

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10 Things To Do If You Want To Sing Classically

(This post originally appeared in The Bel Canto Chronicle)

In my last Bel Canto Chronicle post (Want to learn to sing? You need a teacher!) I laid the smack down on blogs and websites that presume to take the place of a decent voice teacher. There is obviously also a thirst out there for steps to take before lessons. A lot of the questions come from kids still in high school—maybe they don’t know any teachers, maybe their parents aren’t willing to pay for lessons, who knows. At any rate there is a demand for information on just what to do if you want to sing classically.

I refuse to write a post on what to do instead of lessons—you need lessons! But in lieu of that I have thought up what I think is a pretty darn good list of suggestions for what you can do before you have lessons, if you think classical singing might be for you. So here are ten things you can actually DO without fear of vocal injury or learning improper technique; ten steps you can take right now if you want to be a singer but you aren’t in lessons. Have a look and get started! In bocca al lupo:

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Want to learn to sing? You need a teacher!

(This post originally appeared in The Bel Canto Chronicle)

I always stipulate (if you haven’t picked it up, let this be the official disclaimer) that in order to learn to sing properly, one must study with a teacher! A website, no matter how clever or appealing, is no substitute.

Part of the reason I started The Bel Canto Chronicle was that I was having trouble at the time finding good online sources for vocal tips, tricks, technique discussions, and voice-related entertainment. Since that time I’ve become a much more successful voice-blog search aficionado, and guess what? It turns out The Bel Canto Chronicle isn’t unique at all; troll around long enough and deep enough and you too will discover a plethora of digital projections from self-proclaimed vocal experts. Some with better advice, some with better writing than others, granted, but… lots.

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Where Does the Voice Live? 10 Ways to Find Life In Your Voice

(This post originally appeared in The Bel Canto Chronicle)

You know that singer that commands the room the instant they take the stage? The one that, when they sing, time stops and you forget about everything else for a while, just wishing it wouldn’t end? That singer is alive—their voice is alive. So where does it live? How does it happen? And how can I sound like that and project that kind of artistry when I sing? Inquiring minds want to know… where does the voice live? Tailored to beginners and students and presented in the idiom of the top ten countdown, here are my thoughts:

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10 Gifts to Give to a Singer


(This post originally appeared in The Bel Canto Chronicle)

Is there a singer in your life? A student or teacher of voice, maybe even a professional? When the holidays roll around, do you find yourself wanting to buy a gift that will tell them you care about them in their work, or maybe something that will help them along the way? Look no further! For here I have constructed a top ten countdown: 10 gifts to give to a singer. We begin with…

10. Accessories!

If you’re shopping on the cheap or just looking for stocking stuffers, there are loads of little things you can find that will make a singer’s day. Start with lozenges—singers love ‘em! Just be sure to avoid mentholated cough drops; most singers avoid these because of the numbing effect. Stick to non-mentholated drops like Halls Defense Vitamin C Supplement Drops.

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The Bel Canto Chronicle

Welcome to the new home of The Bel Canto Chronicle, a blog I’ve kept off and on for a few years now on all things Classical Singing. I’ve decided bring all of my interests together in a big tent on this blog, rather than segmenting them out through separate avenues. Herego you will find Bel Canto Chronicle posts right here, alongside poems, posts on writing, facetious rants and news stories, etc. It’s gonna be a blast.

To kick things off, I invite you to check out my post where I share and break down the old Bonynge, Horne, Pavarotti, and Sutherland videos on ‘Bel Canto.’

The Bonynge Bel Canto Videos

A couple of years ago I came across these videos posted on youtube. Richard Bonynge discusses “bel canto” techniques in a candid, informal setting with Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, and Luciano Pavarotti, some of the most beloved singers of the last century. Aside from the generally enjoyable banter and of course the beautiful singing, the topics they cover are of note:

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