Five Secrets of Great Dressers

Did I say dressers? I meant singers! Oh well; since I already mentioned it in the title, this week I’ll address both singing AND fashion, and hopefully tie them together in some meaningful ways.

Those of you who know me know that in preparation for our move to Milan, I’ve been applying myself to learning the rules and caprices of fashion, partly from necessity but mostly out of an interest which has been augmented by my sudden proximity to a public library (unlike in library-less Thailand, where I was forced to haunt quiet corners of bookshops to read for free, before being discovered and discreetly admonished). I’m sure I’ll be able to expound on the topic much more after spending some time in Italy, which is, perhaps by no coincidence, the traditional heart of both opera and fashion design, but for now, I must admit that there is a lot to be learned from such frivolously-titled books as “How to Look Fab” and “The Secrets of Style” and the glossy magazines that inspired them. A lot of the advice is sensible and practical, and some of it makes me wish I had read them long ago.

Here are a few of my favorite tips: Continue reading

Singing with the Five Senses #1: The Inner Ear

New York skylineIf the art of painting is in seeing, the art of dancing in touch, or the art of cooking in taste, then the art of singing is in hearing. This month’s series will explore the use of all five senses in singing, but first and foremost, the sense of sound.

When I picture it in my mind’s eye, I see weathered rugs, wooden furnishings, and a fine view of New York from the top of steep black stairs. The air is still and the last soft rays of the evening sun pour through the sheer, lacy drapes, illuminating the pollen that swirls in fragrant clouds and the lilies that grace the piano.  There are no family photos, although the walls are papered with opera posters from floor to ceiling, announcing performances from golden ages past. It is an apartment reflecting its owner; simple and straightforward, with everything in its proper place, noble, perhaps even stern, but devoted in every way to the study of music. Continue reading

Top 10 Tips for Choristers

ChoirSinging in a choir can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences, but one you will enjoy more if you know a few ground rules before jumping in. Today I want to share with you ten pieces of advice that every amateur and professional chorister should know and follow. Continue reading