How-To

Tips for pianists: how to tremolo like a pro

Tips for pianists: how to tremolo like a pro

In a case like this, sometimes a slower tremolo yields better results on the piano. If you try for speed, it'll likely sound a bit drier, a bit more percussive; a slow tremolo lets you just sit in the sound that already exists, and your muscles will be relaxed enough to sustain it.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Dido's Lament

Aria guides: Dido's Lament

For our latest Aria Guide, we've picked an aria that has it all: it's beautiful, it's in English, and mezzos get to play Dido, an actual woman. In Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, "Dido's Lament" happens at the end of a simple and sad story: Aeneas, whom Dido loves and has agreed to marry, believes he has to leave her and go to Italy. As he goes, Dido dies from her grief.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig!

Aria guides: O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig!

Amid captured loved ones and Turkish harems, there's a tenor in love. Belmonte is off to resuce his abducted fiancée, Konstanze, but not without telling us how she makes his heart beat faster. For any tenor, this aria is a mountain of work; there's tricky coloratura, lines which hover through the passaggio, and making it to the end takes planning and stamina.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Ach, ich fühl's

Aria guides: Ach, ich fühl's

It's a deceptively simple aria, and the empty accompaniment, a singer can easily feel as though they're walking on eggshells. Along with help from your teachers and coaches, we can offer a few tips for keeping things simple, and creating the illusion of superhuman breath control.

Jenna Simeonov
Being a helpful pianist: a note on starting notes

Being a helpful pianist: a note on starting notes

It's hard to describe why (acoustic physicists, please feel free to chime in here), but sometimes a singular note, played on the piano, can be hard to understand. It's not that the singer can't hear it, but the note lacks context.

Jenna Simeonov
3 ways your English is showing

3 ways your English is showing

There are idioms in every language, and that's what we hear when someone speaks with a foreign accent. It's handy for singers to identify some of these habits and idioms that keep them from sounding comfortable in a non-native language. So, we've identified three big linguistic tells for North American English speakers, and how to keep them from foreign language mastery.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: Va, laisse couler mes larmes

Aria guides: Va, laisse couler mes larmes

Shortly after the famous "Letter Scene" where she re-reads correspondence between her and Werther, Charlotte sings "Va! laisse couler mes larmes" to Sophie, her younger, more optimistic sister, telling her that it is sometimes a good thing to grieve, and not be consoled.

Jenna Simeonov
Aria guides: "Je suis encor tout étourdie"

Aria guides: "Je suis encor tout étourdie"

It's the first time we meet Manon, and she has just stepped out of the carriage that took her on her very first journey. Despite her being *en route* to a convent, Manon still finds excitement in all the new things surrounding her. Along with your trusted teachers and coaches, we can offer up some tips and tricks to get you started with Manon, one of Massenet's many complicated ladies.

Jenna Simeonov
#FreeTheKnee Part 2: "You have better choices."

#FreeTheKnee Part 2: "You have better choices."

Rather than recap, we decided to use our photoshoot to create a "lookbook" to serve as inspiration to empower the operatic community to make choices that serve your artistry.

Suzanne Vinnik Sara Duchovnay
4 ways to test your memory

4 ways to test your memory

One of the most common pitfalls of singers in the memorizing process is to combine the words and music too soon. It's rare for a singer to have a memory lapse with the music itself (weird rhythmic entries excepted); in most cases, a singer's mind goes blank when they can't remember the upcoming words - even more so, when the text is in a non-native language.

Jenna Simeonov

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