„Sing Fresh and Focused“

Many of you have asked me what my daily routine looks like that has kept  voice so fresh and young even after my long stage career in the heavy dramatic Fach. So I write some aspects down for you:

1) Every morning instead of connecting with the world outside I first connect with myself within. My routine is a 15 min meditation, which I’ve been doing for years and years. It is my routine to connect with my inner self. I find peace and concentration doing so. (It is so important for a singer that you are able to concentrate.)

2) For 25 years I have been vocalising my voice in a very healthy and smooth way. I do this in the morning for 25 min and then I work on repertoire. Again it is also a wonderful tool to stay in good vocal shape by having a routine in warming up the voice.

3) I have a very healthy food plan, which is also vital!

In the afternoon I teach vocal technique as well as coaching singers in my mentorship program at my Institut Stimmkunst. I have choosen a joyful and nurturing life, where I am able to nurture with wisdom and passion not only in my life, but lives of so many professional singers and voice students.

Sometimes professional singers are entering my studio when they have free time between engagements to study a part or to take care of their voices after singing a heavy part. This is sometimes a difficult time for you singers. I want to encourage you to focus on what you have already achieved in your singing career.
In times which were demanding in my singing career on stage, for example singing Elisabeth and Venus in the same Tannhäuser production, I was so grateful that I have had the honor and the opportunity to fulfill my life dream day by day: TO BE ON STAGE AND SINGING.

My advice is to train your voice, your body, your mind and soul. You are the leader of your Kingdom or Queendom.

Wishing you all the best
Dramatic soprano and Voice Teacher
Institut Stimmkunst/Zürich

Bright sunshine…

Strahlender Sonnenschein und ich bin in einem wunderbaren Urlaub. Sie sind herzlich eingeladen, bis zum 1. August 2018 einen Blick auf das nächste Weekly Nugget zu werfen.
Vera Wenkert

Übungsroutine während der Sommerpause

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Wie ich in meinem letzten wöchentlichen Nugget schrieb, ist es Zeit, um die grosse Leistung zu feiern. Du hast ein ganzes Semester oder eine ganze Saison in einem Opernhaus gesungen. Jetzt schenke dir und deiner schönen Stimme zunächst eine belohnte Ruhe und Urlaub. In meiner Praxis als Opernsängerin nahm ich mir immer acht bis zehn Tage Zeit für mich und meine Stimme, d.h. etwa 5 Tage überhaupt kein Singen, und dann begann ich langsam, mich auf die nächste Saison vorzubereiten.

Eine gute Möglichkeit, in deinem Urlaub auf dem Laufenden zu bleiben, ist es, wenigstens deine 30-minütige Gesangs-Wellness-Vokalisierung durchzuhalten. Sängern, die sich auf die Wettbewerbe im Herbst vorbereiten, schlage ich vor, ihre Sommerzeit sinnvoll zu nutzen. Hoffentlich bleibt dein Gesangslehrer mit dir auf Kurs. Fordere dich selbst heraus, aber habe auch Spass.

Vera Wenkert

Der richtige Gesangslehrer für dich

Oft kommen nach jahrelangem Studium junge Sänger in mein Institut. Diese Erfahrungen und mein Wissen über den Beruf (ich habe über 30 dramatische Rollen in verschiedenen Opernhäusern, Festivals und Konzertsälen gesungen) inspirieren mich, heute meine Tipps zu schreiben:

Junge Sänger oder Gesangsstudenten müssen „ihren“ Gesangslehrer finden! Was bedeutet das in Wirklichkeit: Dieser Lehrer muss die Fähigkeit haben, dir eine gesunde Gesangstechnik so zu vermitteln, dass du sie verstehst und dass du fühlst, dass du stimmliche Fortschritte machst, was auch bedeutet, dass du dich nach dem Unterricht nicht heiser fühlen solltest…. Dein Gesangslehrer sollte echtes Interesse an deiner Entwicklung haben und vor allem sollte er oder sie genügend Zeit haben, dich zu unterrichten. Meiner Meinung nach macht es keinen Sinn, bei einem berühmten Sänger zu studieren, der noch in einer Karriere ist, weil er oder sie nicht genügend Zeit für das Unterrichten und Pflegen deiner Erstsemesterkarriere haben wird. Ich glaube fest daran, dass man am Tag x – JA – mit der Stimme singen können und wissen muss, wie man Musik macht und auf eigenen Füssen steht.

Mein Rat Nummer eins ist es, einen Lehrer zu finden, mit dem du zumindest regelmässigen Gesangsunterricht bekommst und der die Zeit und den Geist hat, dich individuell zu bilden und der eine gesunde Gesangstechnik anbietet. Es gibt einen grossen Ratschlag, den ich dir mitteilen möchte, bevor du dieses wertvolle wöchentliche Nugget schliesst:

Übernimm deine Verantwortung für dich, junger Sänger. Das fängt damit an, den richtigen Gesangslehrer für dich zu finden. Ihr alle habt eine einzigartige Stimme und einen einzigartigen Weg in Leben und Beruf und das bedeutet, dass nur du fühlen und entscheiden kannst, wer ein guter Gesangslehrer für dich ist und wo du in den besten Händen bist.

Herzlich, Vera Wenkert

Singers‘ 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

Rehabilitation of the Voice

Hello dear beautiful Singers,
sometimes a Singer enters my Studio and is in vocal difficulties.
I understand that it is a scary situation for the Singer.
My approach is to find out what the cause of this condition is.
There can be severel : Overuse of the voice!
For example, too much singing, not using a healthy vocal technique, singing in a wrong vocal fach, singing on an infection…
It can be the result of hormone change, e.g. Menopause
It can be psychological causes.
Very seldom the root is a serious physiological cause.
Then I work together with a very good team of laryngologists and a clinic.
But the number one in this state of a singers voice and mind is:
There will be no magic pill. When you allow yourself to take the patience and caring for yourself with an excellent voice teacher and the team it might need, in most cases you will recover. CORRAGIO!
Take care and trust also in this time your inner voice.
With appreciaton

Voice Teacher

As a singer it is crucial that you find an excellent teacher. No matter, wether you are a vocal student or a professional singer, you need a voice teacher who offers you solid technical results. The teacher should also be passionate about teaching and you should feel that you can trust him or her. It is hrh obligation of a voice teacher to guide you as an individual singer with your own vocal needs.
You are part of the process and if you have found a teacher who has a very good ear and offers solid technical results for your vocal need, trust and work day by day and you will make progress.

With appreciation

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

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

Stagecraft Masterclass

Good morning singers!

I am giving a Stagecraft Masterclass this weekend, and I would love to give some input into how to make a role yours. Of course, you have to know the music and you have to be able to sing it beautifully with your unique voice,
but this is not enough for giving the role birth on stage in rehearsals, and later in performances. So let us dive deeper in the process…

…You have to know all details about your character as if it was a real person. Find out the age of the character, the surrounding and social status it lives in, the relationships to the other characters in the opera, the state of mind, which scenery, when you sing the aria or duet etc.
You become an interesting working partner for the stage director when you have done this thoughtful work before you meet him/her. They will give to you their ideas and then you can work with these on a serious empowered basis. (These are only the basic things to take into consideration . There are many other things to conquer)
I remember when I was preparing my debut Lady Macbeth (Verdi), I was so thrilled by the idea to not just portray her as cold and power greedy, that I translated every word and searched for the deeper meaning therefore finding a more versatile character who I could give life to on stage.

Wishing you joy with your unique approach!
With appreciation,

Caught a cold!

A singer with cold symptoms is very very unhappy …
Especially before an upcoming performance.
Here are emergency tips. Yeah!
If you feel you get a cold take lots of vitamine C
during the whole day and Zinc. A good thing is also to start with an immunebooster like Echinacea. Gargle with salty water and drink a lot of warm tea or ginger water. If you feel you are really down with an infection ,rest your body and most important rest the voice ! .Do not go to the piano every half hour and check if the voice is still there .. I know this is crucial – just to accept the cold. When I was singinc Sieglinde Walküre , I got a cold but instead of freaking out, because I love this role soooo much , I told myself meditate , send positive vibes to your body Vera and take immunebooster. Guess what in 4 days the worst was over and I could sing the Walküre performance.
The secret to get better quickly is to relax and trust nature and the body that it is already on the way to healing.
I urge you not to force the voice to sing pitches, which it does not want to do at the moment.You can damage the voice by doing this. The less you use your voice the quicker it recovers and the tissues around it. It is better to cancel a performance then to sing on a throatinfection. You only have one voice and it is serving you every day ; so treat yourself and your voice with respect and appreciation ; the same as you would treat a.good friend, when he or she is ill. And as you know in a week the cold is mostly over. Good news. Have a wonderful day Vera

Great Auditions

This time of the year is audition time. Yeah, superb! You made it until here. So let’s see, if everything you need is on the peak:

Number one: Your beautiful voice is a free voice with the help of a good vocal technique. The effortless flow of sound, vocal freedom is a satisfying experience for any audition panel.

Number two: Perform with unfettered musicality.

Number three: Is your confidence and self esteem so solid, that you feel secure in yourself in any aspect and that you communicate the joy of being a singer and performer to the panel?

Number four: Your Italian diction sounds Italian and your German diction sounds German… You have translated the text by yourself and not only with a given translater….
Feel inspired by this 1st part of the checking list of “ Sing and Shine“.
You are in a working progress and go for it. Next week here on my Stimmkunst page you will find part two on GREAT AUDITIONS. For masterclasses, voice lessons, career coaching and auditions workshops have a glimpse on my website stimmkunst.ch.

With appreciation

Bright sun outside – let your voice shine

Bright sun outside and I feel this is the perfect time to let our voice and singing personality shine. You find information about the upcoming Masterclasses and Workshops on my new website www.stimmkunst.ch
Sing and Shine

Wishing you a wonderful day