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

Voice Disorders

Sometimes a singer enters my studio showing signs associated with voice disorders. As a singer we are depending on a perfect voice function. I want to give you some advice to avoid unnecessary vocal problems.

There are phonatory disorders like swelling of the laryngeal tissues etc. and disorders which appear because of inappropriate use of your voice. When you use your voice in an unhealthy way, it can lead to laryngeal problems.
Sometimes a singer suffers from Acute Laryngitis after a cold. As a result, the singer feels major stress, because our life depends so much on our voice. My advice is find an excellent ENT and rest your voice until the reddening and swelling of the vocal chords is gone. I tell my vocal students go on “Silent Diva Days“. Afterwards slowly begin to get your voice back in shape.

There are of course many reasons for a voice disorder, but this has to be discussed in a different context. The voice disorder can sometimes come from too much pushing of the vocal chords during singing, and this is also result of poor vocal technique or singing in the wrong Vocal Fach. The voice sounds pressed then and has often a hissing sound. Sometimes there is an incomplete glottal closure in the Arytenoid region. Also here you will find many more reasons and roots for voice disorders.

So what to do?

First aid is to rest your voice, then find a good and responsible voice teacher who helps you with specific exercises to get back on track.
My second advice is: Do not sing heavy repertoire when your voice is not in good shape. Listen to yourself and do not let yourself become persuaded to sing “just this one time.” You will be in danger if you do so.

AFFIRMATION: I use my voice wisely and economically with a healthy vocal technique.

To your greatness,
Vera Wenkert

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

Singer’s Wisdom

Weekly Nugget: Singers’ Wisdom So many voice students and singers have asked me to write a book about Methode StimmKunst©. I am delighted and super proud that now the e-book “Methode StimmKunst© – Advice from Vera Wenkert” is available: Join me on http://WWW.STIMMKUNST.CH/COMMUNITY/ and download the free e-book until May 14th 2018. This book is the precious seed of my future printed book. I have decided to give the e-book as a gift to you, beautiful singer, for 2 reasons: First of all: Support is crucial for success in an artist’s life. So, take it as an enchanted help! Second: My life path and music path have taught me to truly see my value and I like to put value into the world and to help artists to blossom and to find their way to grow. I cordially invite you to join the StimmKunst community.
With all my love💕for the art Vera