Opening night for my new website

Dear beautiful singers,

I know exactly how alone you sometimes feel when you have a special voice and the desire to have that voice trained into an opera or concert voice, and how desperate you are to find teachers or a place where you can be seen and heard. A place where you can technically develop your voice and also work on repertoire and roles with professionals who have brought them to the opera stage themselves. In recent months I have been brainstorming with my team of pianists from the Zurich Opera House.

The master classes and workshops at the International Institute Stimmkunst have been tailored even more specifically to your needs and stage of development, so that everyone, from beginners to professional singers, can develop their own potential with our know-how and help.

I am pleased to announce that you can now access this information on my NEW website: www.stimmkunst.ch. Here you can also subscribe to my FREE Weekly Nuggets, where you can get an insight into the world of opera from my 30 years of stage experience and teaching. You also find it on the stimmkunst-page on Facebook.

Cordially, in bocca al lupo!

Vera Wenkert

 

The Joy of Singing

Dear beautiful singers,
Often singers are interested in voice lessons and they ask me if they can listen to a vocal lesson of a singing student of mine. Principally out of different reasons I do not offer this. To me, a voice lesson is very personal and intensive work. I am setting a high value on mindfulness in my Institute and this setting I want to protect. However I would love to help you and to give you the opportunity to meet me and to sing with me in a sort open “Singing class”. There you will have the opportunity to work with me for 15 min on an aria or art song in a comfortable atmosphere. Then, we can discuss together about what is the best decision for your singing future.

There will be a pianist to accompany you. Please bring two copies of your score with you one for me and one for the pianist. Please write an email on my website to register.

I am looking forward to meeting you!
Vera

Special Announcement!
“Singing class“
7th May 2019 4pm to 6pm
Location: Institute Stimmkunst in Atelier für Kunst und Philosophie
Albisriederstr 164, CH-8003 Zürich
Active participants are possible 8, no passive participation
Price : 35 CHF

Music and Freedom

Every Aria or every song we sing inhabits an eternal spirit and our task as interpreter is to find and get familiar with this inherent spirit of the music piece in front of us.

As Artists we are aided by the structure of piece, the rhythm and melody etc. When you are musically educated and know your vocal craft, you might be eager to find out the layer behind this obvious structure of the music piece you are singing. After doing so, you can search for the mystic and refine the human emotions. This is the root where music nurtures you as an individual singer and then in turn you can nurture your audience through your interpretation.

I remember my debut as Ariadne of Naxos, which was in the prestigious Antikenfestspiele. Ariadne of Naxos is an Opera which works with a mix of heroic-mythology figures and with figures out of comedia Dell’Arte. I remember I studied everything about Ariadne, Theseus and I also read a lot about comedian dell’Arte. Finally, out of all of my research, I understood the harmonic changes in this psychologically demanding opera. Ariadne then became one of my favourite characters to sing on stage.

Like Schopenhauer says: “Musik ist die Welt noch einmal.“

I love to encourage you to take your favourite music piece and try to figure out the layer behind the obvious craft. Wishing you a inspiring time with your research in the music wonderland!

Vera Wenkert
Dramatic soprano

Sing with Heart and Soul

Before you start to sing an aria or an art song ask yourself: what do I want to say? What is the character feeling? Singing and music without emotions is like an empty basket.

I have been a member on the board of an examination panel for young professional singers for 10 years. Out of all my experience I love to give you the advice to find the essence and the soul in each phrase you are singing. Every note you sing is important. Ask yourself what is the meaning of this phrase, what are you saying etc. The audience wants to be touched through your singing. This means to bring music to life.

Wishing you the best on your journey!
Vera

Appreciation of your Performances

Dear Young Singers,

I love to encourage you to train your authentic confidence and to worship your singing also when it comes to opportunities where you are engaged for little concerts or other events to sing. You may want to express your creativity and show your artistry. You want to perform and sing, but this is only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is that you have something special and valuable to offer with YOUR SINGING and you have to start to train to make your living out of this wonderful passion and talent.

A young singer asked me if I can write a Weekly Nugget about the topic that also Vocal students are entitled to an Honorar (Fee) when they perform. My answer is: YES! In my opinion you beautiful young singers should ask for a Performance honorar even when it is just a small appreciation honorar. I know from my own experience when I was a young singer that people think you just sing for a marriage etc. and that you do it for free. I did it for free until life showed me that I am responsible for my livelihood and that I have to cultivate a living where I can nurture myself, my art and be a partner in growth – oriented relationships. (As an artist you also have to pay your rent and food etc.)

Your Singing is a Profession.

You are studying hours and hours in a practice room, you spend money on vocal training and coachings with pianists. So take the secret key and empower yourself next time when you get a performance request. From your inner place of self love and appreciation of your unique talent say: “Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I would love to perform for you. My Honorar is….”

Of course there might be occasions where you do not want to take an Honorar, but then make this decision with clearity in your heart and mind. This decision then comes from an inner commitment to respect yourself and not from weakness.

AFFIRMATION: I encourage myself to take my engagements out of an inner place of alignment with my values and respect to the Performance offer.

To encourage you, you see me as Tosca singing Vissi d‘Arte 💞

With appreciation
Vera Wenkert

How to take care of your voice in a coaching session

It might be a demanding task for young singers to get through a coaching session with a pianist whilst keeping the voice unstrained.
Number One definitely is to keep in mind that it is your responsibility to take care of your voice.

I know from my own experience as a freshman in the opera and theater business how intimidating it can be when one is confronted with professional opera pianists. As a matter of fact, coaches are so delighted to help us singers on our way to conquer the role or just to learn an aria! Most pianists in Opera Houses know a lot about the music and what would be the most wonderful sound of this particular word or phrase etc. They are full of ideas and advice regarding the musical phrasing, tempo etc, and it is more or less easy for the singer to take the advice and perform with it.

Often coaches want to help to correct an unpolished sound or other sound issues. Most of the time this is problematic because they are not voice teachers. They have good ears and intentions, but when they give sound or vocal corrections (I want to emphasize here) it is essential that you as a singer translate it in the vocal technique you have and then try to correct it in the session. If you feel that you unfortunately cannot solve it in this coaching session, be so kind to yourself and stand up for yourself. Also in this way you can respect the time of the pianist and tell him or her that you want to take the time to solve it by yourself or with your voice teacher. Especially young dramatic voices have to take good care of themselves. (Of course there are also coaches who have the knowledge of the voice to work on it a little, but they are not easy to find.)

Again there is nobody else responsible for your voice then the singer himself.

Sometimes it is not easy to stand up for oneself, to take this huge responsibility and to maybe confess things like:
“This does not feel right for me or makes my voice tired.”
“This coaching is too much for me on top of my rehearsal schedules and performance schedules which are very tight at the moment.”

💡If you do not feel well, mark in a coaching session, speak the lines in rhythm etc 💡

AFFIRMATION: I take responsibility for my voice in every coaching session, in every rehearsal and in every performance.

Good luck! Rise and Shine!

Vera Wenkert

Break through your inner barriers

Dear beautiful Singers,

Sometimes a singer comes to his or her voice lesson with me with a vocal issue to solve. This could be a technical problem in the development of the voice or inner personal growth work. First of all you have to give yourself the allowance to be seen and let your light and talent shine bright. Of course there are all the technical skills to learn and the professional craft tools, but there is also the self esteem that you must gently build up to create a wonderful singing life.
I am a strong believer that the more you connect with your deeper artistic self the easier it will get for you to make steps on you path in the singing profession. You cannot control all opinions of others or private things showing up in your life nor should you not and cannot control other people, but you can take good care of yourself. You can nourish your beautiful being and artistic soul and this a very powerful way to build up your self esteem and the underlying sense of who you are.

Affirmantion: Today I give myself the allowance to shine as a radiant singer 💕

With appreciation
Vera

Bright sunshine…

Bright sunshine and I am in a wonderful vacation. You are very welcome to have a glimpse for the next Weekly Nugget by August 1st 2018 .
Take care .
With appreciation
Vera

Coping with External Interferences

In a singers life sometimes external obstacles which are beyond our control interfere with our rehearsal routine or even our performance.
Panic!!!!
Dear Singer, Panic is not our good friend.
My suggestion is. First of all breath and take an inner distance to the cause of the interference.
Second try to refocus your attention on you and your singing.
Still annoyed and distracted?
Embrace and accept the obstacle. This approach will give you back your energy.
Third you might be able to change the interference….
You find more informations for a singers life in my e book. Here is the link www stimmkunst.ch/community
Flourishingly yours
Vera

Daily Voice Cart Part 3: Preparing an Operapart

I work with high level performing artists , with whom I make an extramindful preparation plan.
This means, we work the part mindful and when the time allows gently in the voice. For example pushing your voice in dramatic sound to fullfill the requests of dramatic sound is a completly wrong path and the risk is there of falling into bad habits of tension and other compensations that will be difficult to unlearn. In my opinion and according to my results in my own professional life and in the performance life of my artists it is a healthier way first to show the singer the special kind of self-awareness, so that he or she feels that every operasound has to be sung without strain in the voice. The singer needs patience to go through this process then he or she will get the way of steady progress. Once the singer has digest the healthy route to sing it is easy to put the dramatic into the piece. I remember when I sang Butterfly I started 3 months before the rehearsal time at the opera house started to sing it into my voice and to learn everything around the character etc. Then, when stagerehearsals start, I felt so easy in the part that I could fully concentrate on the character and staging.
Your body sensations and your mind and your emotions work together and all three are wired into voice. To understand this and to stay attentive to the process of feeling the voice is effortless singing is the important thing for keeping your voice healthy.
In my everyday teaching I see that it takes the crystal clear intention of the singer to trust in this profound work process. Singers who get involved in my special well-foundet way of working, which I have created, experience fullfilment and success in their performamces.
The magic pill you cannot find in a quick way , the magic pill lies in trust that your day by day self work will bring the result and hopefully with the help of a trustful voice teacher you will learn in a profound training or retraining to understand your individual vocal production.
Merry Christmas and a blessed time for you and your loved ones . Toi toi toi for all my wonderful singers, who have concerts and performances coming up the next 2 weeks. Next weekly Nugget comes 2018.
You are also welcome to find out more about Methode Stimmkunst 2018
With appreciation and warmest wishes
Vera

Daily Voice Care

As a Singer you have to take conscious care of your voice.
Normally, the voice serves us automatically and we do not even think about this beautiful habit of speaking or singing, but if we have chosen to work with our voice professionally, we have to develop consciousness in dealing with this very special and personal instrument to keep it healthy.
In a series of weekly nuggets you will find some good suggestions.
You are invited heartly to join me the next couple of weeks to find out more about DAILY VOICE CARE.
First, the vocal cords work better if they are hydrated. Especially, in winter time in heated rooms they need moisture and therefore you have to drink a lot. Of course, not a lot of alcohol because this dries the vocal cords and the voice gets tired easily.

With appreciation
Vera

Mindset Discipline Goal Setting

These are topics we singers have to work on constantly . Autumn is an awesome time to do it because auditions coming up, the Theaterseason has just started etc..
Today I want to lead you to ask yourself a couple of questions that will empower you to find your individual way towards reaching your singing goals:
1st: Is your audition repertoire vocally and musically ready to present with shine?
2nd: What do you really want to achieve with your singing?
3rd: Are you doing the things you can do to achieve the most out of the opportunity you have?

MINDSET
Your mindset is really important when it comes to your singing success. Believing that you can be a good singer and performer, that there are opportunities, where you can sing either for money or just for the fun of making music is very important. You have to believe it first before it can happen that you are shining as a singer otherwise you can find yourself talking yourself down and distracted by doubts and negativity.
First you have to decide that you are going to work with determination towards your goals that goes hand in hand with being grateful for the people and things you already have in your life and the things you already have achieved.
Ask yourself the question: Why do you want to have this singing career?

DISCIPLINE
Very important in a singers life is discipline. Yeah! You calmly have to work towards your goals every single day with dedication, which means to work on your vocal technique and on your music. Keep going and that is how you make progress. I promise you will love it, when you be in the music every day and find the phrasing, solve vocal challenges of the aria or part etc.
Grab your pen and notebook and write down what is in your individual power to get your mindset and discipline in place to work towards your singing goals. Every career path starts with a clear mindset and discipline!
Wishing you a wonderful journey into your special Musicland today
Vera

Take responsibility

A teacher in a singers life is a guide to learn the craft of singing, of making music, of stage craft etc., but the singer has to do the work. To be an artist means also to take responsibility for your development. This means study, study, just simply do the work and stop finding excuses. If you want to have a career in music, you have to become like a searcher for the phrasing in the music, the building of the character and the owner of a healthy vocal technique. Good and responsible teachers can help you with knowledge and empathie, but in the end, you’re either the kind of person who can take the responsibility and work ambitious towards your dream or you’re not.
Until today after having sung 30 dramatic roles on operastages I am thankful and respectful towards all my teachers on my career path. I mention only a few here: a heartful ThankYou to David Jones and to my Music Mentor since beginning of my studies Friedrich.
So embrace your individual power.
So dive into the music studies and be active
Have a wonderful sunday
Vera

Singing Treasures

Nowadays, more then ever, the singer has to have a refined concept for a success singing path: Of course a solid healthy vocal technique but to catch the interest of managers or casting directors in operahouses the singer has to blossom into a fine unique artist; that means to portray in any singing piece taste and musicianship. A performer serving the composers art and shaping and sculptering his or her aria or artsong out of this desire is one of the privilege and duty. Then miracles can happen, the singers individual artistry melts with the composition. I remember when I studied Isolde, every day I could not wait to dig into the harmonies to understand R. Wagners intention between the colours of the orchestra and the Isolde melody lines. I studied on top of my role also the Orchestra partitura. I suggest this for every main role. Have a glimpse into the full orchestration, find your leading instruments, listen to the colours. As singers, we are part of the orchestra.
More next Friday.
Wishing you an exciting journey into your special music land.
Vera