Diction in Opera

For many singers it is a challenge to learn and sing contemporary music or even music of composers, who nowadays are not “contemporary” anymore i.e A. Berg and A. Schoenberg. Instead of being overwhelmed by the first look of the score, take it as an interesting walk into a foreign landscape and be curious.
Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” for example has clear patterns to follow, which you have to do to make it work for you. In “Wozzeck” the Singer has to find an honest way of expressing all of the music, plus diction in this very demanding opera. Every diction and declamation has to be articulated on the airflow and routed in a good support system. There is no character in the opera who does not get out of ones depth. The instructions of Berg are crystal clear and the singer has to follow them.

My advice is: read the whole opera. Then in an opera like “Wozzeck” first speak the text until the text and the proper articulation is your first nature. Second, learn the music and sing the text in a bel canto way, phrasing and articulating the words. This is an important step so that the voice finds, what I call the “HEALTHY SINGING PATH”.
Afterwards work phrase by phrase the words and music together which will bring you to the next step of expressing the emotion in the music.

I want to emphasize here that out of my experience, the healthiest way for every study period is to first work the basics of your role and then later carefully look at what are the emotions of the character so you can dive deeper and deeper into them.

💡ATTENTION: Do not take emotional risks in these kind of operas. If you are not yet able to handle them with your vocal technique and musicality, find a way which fits you now in this moment of your development or career.

AFFIRMATION: I take the time and spirit to explore difficult music.

With appreciation
Vera Wenkert

Last Saturday I worked with my Singers

Last Saturday I worked with my Singers in an Acting Class on different Opera Monologues. It is a real task for Singers of all stages to keep the artistic energy flowing in a big Monologue. During our intensive work on the Marschallin Monolog from Der Rosenkavalier and the Prayer of Marie from Wozzeck. I pointed out more than once that you are the powerful creator of the Scene.
GIVE YOURSELF THE PERMISSION TO BE THE CHARACTER!!!! Then we can work, develop and polish it.

It is my passion to guide you through the process with all my stage experience and knowledge of vocal technique and music. I am super proud of all the Singers who have the courage to develop their talents with intensive work and dedication to rising with their wings. Bravo!! You are taking the responsibility for sculpturing your talent.

To be an Artist means also to work on our talent, our strong and weak points every single day.

🌟More in my Weekly Nugget next week:
“Step into your unique talent.”

With appreciation
Vera Wenkert