Mozart and the Voice: An insight from Judy Bellingham

Of the great composers, the two great voice teachers are Handel and Mozart. Mozart had a prodigious memory and was so absorbed in music he could remember easily what sounds resonated well in different parts of a singer’s voice.

Mozart’s music is sheer elegance to sing. To learn to sing with suitably arched phrases, beautiful vowels, concise and carrying consonants, and convey many facets of emotion is a skill that all singers need.

Singers also need to be so assured technically that they are free to move on stage, to act in response to the drama and convey the feelings of the character they are playing. This is all part of the preparation for the role. Singers need to know exactly who they are, why they are on the stage and who they are interacting with.

They need to be familiar with the historical background of the plot. In this renovated ‘libretto’, the necessity of having similar vowels to the German ones on the higher pitches, is not a luxury the renovator has at his disposal. So, the singer’s job of communicating the text easily to the audience is made quite difficult. However, the experiential learning from this process is profound, and can inform the singers’ subsequent performance of different music.

We all know the saying ‘It’s not over until the fat lady sings’. A section of the public associate the singing of opera with over-blown, over-developed and wobbly voices. There are no voices of that type in this opera. Each singer has been cast in a role that the Artistic Team feels will suit them, and in which they can grow both musically and dramatically.

Post by Judy Bellingham, Voice Coach for The Magic Flute


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