Acting for Opera Singers

Acting for Opera Singers
Sunday musings...

I offered my "pay what you can" Dramatic Coaching for Opera Singers yesterday.

I do work with Opera Singers regularly on this, as well as teach and coach.  Growing up in the theatre allowed me to learn some amazing skills that I have been able to put into my teaching overall.

It was a solid and inspiring day.

No, you aren't going to learn how to act from reading a blog - just like you aren't going to learn how to sing!!!  Learning is DOING!

However, I thought I would share  few things that could perhaps get you thinking about how you approach  the multi-craft/discipline of the theatrical process.

Opera IS theatre.

Every aspect of the craft - utilizes the music, the breath, the body, the imagination.

Vocal technique/behavior utilizes this, and so does dramatic intention/behavior!

The magic of theatre is not to feel - but rather, to evoke the feeling from the audience.

Great actors DO, they do not FEEL.  They allow us to feel and respond.  THIS is what truly crosses the footlights to create the magic and the mystery of a theatrical experience that changes you.

The multi-dimension of dramatic intentions in opera should be an enhancement of your craft - not a detraction!

What are you trying to DO?  It doesn't matter how you feel!

Often we try to make it much more complicated than it needs to be!  The complexity is revealed when we release the FEELING and recognize the action within the process.

Complexity is not the same as being complicated! Do not confuse the two!

The action and "doing" is to evoke, and cause a RESPONSE.  The action is NOT passive.  It releases, moves past, moves through.  It intensifies through DOING.  It creates the dramatic tension and release through the complexity of action in subtext, and in the music itself.

Action allows for reflection.  Reflection creates yet another response.  And so on...

Dramatic intention is an internal ignition and response to an ACTION, not a feeling.

Dramatic intention is NOT "walk to the left" "look out the window" "move my left arm"  "gesture now".   These might be motivated by intention, and will only become real if motivated from an action and a reason.  Otherwise, they are inadequate ridiculousness put on from the outside to PRETEND ACTING.

Opera singers MUST CLAIM they are in theatre!!!!  Opera is a theatrical device!!!!  The voice acts too!!!  Opera isn't pretend acting.  Opera must be claimed as the theatrical intensity that it is.

You cannot just learn how to sing and not claim the actor you must be.  That does not serve the artistic form fully.

Even if you choose to park and honk - you must inform the park AND the honk.  It cannot be passive! It must be active!

For everything there is a reason,  and a reason for doing.

Time to claim all of your craft - not just the obvious.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

If you liked this post, please share it or comment with your thoughts below!