“A strong technique builds confidence in any vocal specialisation”.
Words spoken by Alison Roddy, international opera and concert soprano, who came to school last week to provide a Voice Masterclass for our girls. Alison, who has recently performed as soprano soloist in Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne and Mahler’s 2nd, 4th and 8th Symphonies, as well as in Handel’s Messiah at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, is an expert singer and teacher of the Italian bel canto method, demonstrated how one excellent vocal technique enables singers to move seamlessly between opera and musical theatre.
Alison was warmly welcomed to School by the Singing Stars, a young group of enthusiastic singers from Junior School. Alison discussed health and safety of the voice and demonstrated ways to ensure a safe vocal technique.
Opening her Masterclass singing the beautiful aria, ‘O mio babbino caro’ from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, Alison continued with a work well known to High School girls, Climb every mountain from the well-loved musical The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Our Senior soloists were given a thorough insight into the world of singing professionally, each student being given bespoke advice for their individual voice and technique. The sheer vocal and musical rigour demanded of singers was highlighted through the Masterclass, and Alison reminded the girls that there were no microphones in opera; indeed using a microphone demands yet another vocal skill.
Impressed by the sheer potential she heard in the girls, Alison closed her workshop by suggesting tailored repertoire for each participant to master, and then sing in the follow-up event, taking place in June.
The June Masterclass and Recital, part of the School’s 2019 Arts Festival Season, will be open to the wider community, allowing girls, families and guests to catch a glimpse of the technical rigour required to be a great singer, and, moreover, will be an opportunity to hear the flourishing High School talent, as the girls perform their vocal pieces.