Aria guides: "Un aura amorosa"
Mozart's Così fan tutte - that weird mix of romantic comedy and relationship commentary - is one of the most common picks in the operatic canon; yet for many tenors, Ferrando's first aria, "Un aura amorosa", tends to come with a bit of jitters and baggage. It's fairly slow, and sits in an exposed and tricky range of the voice. When it's done well, all the technical feats go largely unnoticed, overshadowed by the beauty of Mozart's writing.Read More
A singer's to-do list: 4 tasks to keep you focused this year
Readers, the beginning of a new school year is almost upon us. Some of you get excited by the autumn colours and the fresh notebooks; some of you emit a strong sigh of "here we go again." Whether you're a fan of the fall-to-spring grind or not, it's better-spent with a good dose of focus.Read More
Aria guides: "Lieben, Hassen"
This aria is dense and charming, and though it seems harmless, features more than a few surprising challenges. With the work you do in the practice room and with your teachers and coaches, our latest Aria Guide can help you navigate your way through this adorable little ditty.Read More
Aria guides: "Sempre libera"
It's a cornerstone of the operatic repertoire: Violetta's Act I aria from La traviata. It's got everything, from delicious long lines to flashy coloratura, and it has the special honour of closing the opera's first act. Violetta is a role that most sopranos covet, and many of them start their Traviata trip with "Sempre libera". Along with the work you do with your voice teachers and coaches, our latest Aria Guide a little naviagtion kit to help you along your way:Read More
Aria guides: the Composer's Aria
It's brisk, colourful, more than a little meta in subject matter, and it's a trouser role to boot. It's a densely packed aria that shows off your goods, and there's a fine line to tread between singing beautifully in the way that Strauss so often asks for, and pushing your voice into the realm of screaming.Read More
Aria guides: Embroidery Aria
Have you ever been faced with an ugly truth that's hard to deny? That's the gist of the stunning "Embroidery Aria", sung by Ellen Orford in Britten's Peter Grimes. The "Embroidery Aria" is no easy sing, and as you work on it in the practice room and with your teachers and coaches, we can help you get off on the right track with our latest Aria Guide:Read More
4 foreign language challenges for singers
Without enough nasal quality in those very particular French vowels, you'll sound like an awkward American, speaking Italian with a bad head cold; go too far with your nasality, and you can be accused of making a gross mockery of what French sounds like to non-French people.Read More
Music degrees & expectations: 4 tips for new students
Remember that being able to call yourself a Curtis student or a Juilliard student or say you attend the Conservatoire is a statement about status, and no indicator of your musicianship. So, be fair to your chosen school and what it can offer; more importantly, be honest with yourself about your academic goals.Read More
Surprising practice tips: 4 arias to try too fast
Music that's meant to be slow can come with side effects like heaviness and stagnancy, which make the singing process unnecessarily difficult. Often the easiest way to find an aria's shape - and uncover some decent phrases - is to practice it at a metronome marking that's decidedly too fast.Read More
The practice tip you don't want to hear
That's where slowness comes in. It's the great magnifying glass, the exposer of weak spots. It's in slow practice that you find the crux of the problem, the ignored detail, the missing piece that makes the difference between a section of music that's hit-and-miss, and one that's consistent like a Swiss watch.Read More