We Are Not Afraid!
Here at Operagasm, we are not afraid!
Although most consider music an escape from the frequent lameness of the world, there are obstacles among the most noble of causes. We rarely discuss these issues because as performers we are expected to have it all together before the curtain opens, completely perfect, no chipped reeds, no husky high notes, no trembling knees. We say, let’s talk about fear! Hence, our focus for the month of March is ‘Overcoming Fears and Obstacles.’
For the next 30ish days, we are going to explore various topics related to fears and obstacles – some with which we are all too familiar and some we perhaps never pondered. Performance anxiety, for example is something that almost every single musician experiences at some point in his or her studies or career. Anxiety can cause so much distraction for some individuals that they are completely unable to focus on or enjoy performing. How often do we consider performers with disabilities such as paralysis or blindness? As we strive for equality in this line of work, we do our best to consider all voices.
Drums please! Operagasm is always appreciative of the support we receive from our guest contributors. This month, we are pleased to begin the conversation with Richard Slavich. Mr. Slavich is widely recognized as a dedicated and demanding teacher. A member of the string department at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music since 1977, he directs the cello and chamber music programs, and each year offers a ten-week seminar on combating “stage fright.” Caitlin Vincent, director of one of Baltimore’s newest opera companies, The Figaro Project, offers some refreshing insight on “life after singing” – yes, it does exist! Yoga teacher, professional singer, and current DMA student, Emily Martin Moberly encourages singers to overcome anxiety by talking to one another and building a support system.
Our second week will feature a wonderful article from Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Daniela Candillari who was recently on faculty at the esteemed Jacobs School of Music in Indiana and is currently head coach at the Slovenian National Opera in Maribor. We also look forward to hearing personal testimony from two students currently at the Lamont School of Music, Christie McNeill and Lucia D’Ambrosio.
We have a very special and thought-provoking contribution from Beth Allred during the third week of obstacle-crushing! Ms. Allred is an exquisite soprano currently finishing graduate studies at the University of Colorado and she also happens to be blind. She explains, “As a blind person, I have never seen a face in its myriad expressions…I have to learn these things by experiencing them in my body and having someone tell me how they look.” Alexander Technique specialist, Heidi Leathwood will discuss the benefits of body work in dealing with fear, anxiety, and tension. Later in the month, we will hear from mezzo-soprano Maria Fenty Denison currently at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Ms. Denison will appear in a master class with the diva herself, Ms. Renée Fleming and will share her experiences (likely to include some nervousness) working with the most famous soprano of our time. All of these articles are in addition to the news, fashion, reviews, and fun tidbits that we bring to you everyday!
Thank you for your continued support of Operagasm! We look forward to becoming evermore fierce and fearless along with you this month!