How to Work with Stage Directors

A young singer feels like a champion when she or he has got the first desired engagement at the Opera House. Bravo 👏

On top of all musical work, the collaboration with the stage director begins. Under the guidance of the stage director you go through the whole process of how to build and portray your opera character on stage.

Out of my long career experience I love to give you some advice so that you step out of the former role of a student into the shoes of a professional singer…

… It is very wise that you have a vocal and dramatic approach to your role before entering the theater rehearsal process. I always found it fascinating to dive into the life of my opera characters. I remember, when I sang my first Fidelio Leonore I was so prepared vocally and musically that I could sing this very demanding part with pure controlled lines like strings in the orchestra. This is how you have to sing it because it is a very technically demanding role vocally. (Leonora’s character is extreme as she would do nearly everything to find and rescue her husband.)

It is a demanding task in a singers life to build up the psychological, vocal and body stamina to serve the music and portray the character. Most of the time stage directors are open towards thoughtful ideas a singer brings to a rehearsal process. There might be times when it opens a discussion and you have to compromise with the stage directors idea. Sometimes stage directors have their own concept in mind how it has to be and they want to have the staging exactly as they think. Out of my experience even if you have then to do like they insist you do, you also have the freedom to fill your character with your emotions and thoughts.

👍Again my advice is be prepared and be faithful with the character you sing and perform.

There might be also situations where you feel inside yourself a chrystal clear NO to an order or idea of a stage direct, for example a nude scene. There are opera characters where this request can be asked of you. A wise approach is to ask for a couple of hours to think about it. If you feel deep in your heart you do not want to do this, I want to encourage you to be honest with yourself and empower yourself to say NO in a kind and strong way full of self-esteem and acknowledgement for your inner boundaries. The cost might be that you then loose this engagement. However, my opinion is that in the long run you can only make a satisfying career if you live in your wisdom for yourself, your brilliance and your boundaries. If you have no problem to be nude on stage then just do it, but even then I want to encourage you to keep your dignity and privacy before and after your nude scene, then you will impress the conductor and the stage director.

🌟AFFIRMATION: I am mindful in preparing my roles and faithful towards my characters🌟

If you are looking for support in becoming ready for stage you are welcome to visit my website: www.stimmkunst.ch

Vera Wenkert

Learning new Operaparts

This is a really wonderfull feeling, when you have the score of your new part in your hands. But how to learn it in reasonable time?
First of all: You can do it.
Here is the recipe :
1) learn the rhythm
2) learn the music , means your line and as I always did learn the lines of your partners.
3) practice rhythm and music together at the piano in an easy way .
This means do not put big sound or voice on it, just with easy sing singing.
4) learn the words
5) first sing your musical line on a vowel, then on the vowels of the words and last but not least with words
6) study the accompany lines
Melody line and Accompany line belongs together
Wow at this point you have already made a lot of progress in conquering your new part. Bravo!
7) find out where the story takes place and read about the time, the history etc.
8) study your part with your voice teacher and a good coach
If it is a different language, you might to have to see a language coach too for one or two times.
9) Now you are ready to sing it with your beautiful voice.
Believe me out of my own career experiences and out of my teaching experiences this is the quickest way to make an opera part your own.
Enjoy the artistic way.
Wishing you a wonderful day
Vera

What matters in learning new repertoire

As a singer we are obliged to have respect for every detail and nuance in the music.We need time and experience and healthy good advisers and teachers to grow as a singer and musician. Nothing in life can develop under pressure and therefore I try to create a friendly and nurturing enviroment for the singers , so that the talent can blossom in inner peace
Vera