Covid-19 has reminded me what is most important in my work - to release the body, and to redirect the voice of judgment to imagination, and musical values at hand.
"Learning how to surrender to the breath, to the great mystery of life, how to escape the prison of constant thought, and how to find the inner freedom and vulnerability to music and poetry is extremely freeing and fascinating. It can allow one to express one's deepest feelings and greatest truth and beauty." Tom Krause (Finnish Bass-Baritone 1934-2013)
I've been at the intersection of Grand Opera, Recital, Broadway, Cabaret, and Church Music for almost 40 years. Singing and the human voice are a large part of my upbringing and life.
I've worked with renowned voice teachers who began in the glory days of opera (when voices needed to ring effortlessly without the aid of microphones) at Indiana University, Bloomington: Virginia Zeani, and Margaret Harshaw, and in New York City with Ellen Repp and later, Ruth Falcon. I've also also spent two decades assisting one of the greatest conductors and nurturers of singers in the past half-century: Eve Queler.
I've also integrated into my coaching ideas from my work of two decades with Deborah Carmichael, one of the founders with Kinga Cserjesi of Libero Canto School of singing in New York City. Deborah is a protege of the late Edwin Szamosi of Vienna, Austria.
Libero Canto's approach guides singers to free the body and breath, relinquishing conscious control while turning one's attention to musical values at hand, which allows singing which seems to come from the "beyond, seems transcendental, sacred - hints of the universe behind a printed score.
I attended Indiana University, Bloomington after getting a Performer's Certificate in Piano, and a Bachelor's Degree in Choral Music Education from SUNY Fredonia in 1979.
At Indiana University I became an Associate Instructor in 1980 for the famed Opera Theater working on shows including, Wozzeck, and Love for Three Oranges; while beginning a Master's Degree in piano. I remember sharing a piano bench with Virginia Zeani, Voice Professor, as she sang Desdemona's love duet from Verdi's Otello with a student tenor - not that many years after she had probably sung the role in major theaters all over the world.
Following love, after a summer way over my head at Santa Fe Opera in 1982, I moved to NYC with set-designer Bill Clarke whom I would marry 31 years later. I returned to Santa Fe Opera as often as I could get hired there in 1983, 88, 89, and 1990.
From 1983-86 I served as Associate Instructor and rehearsal pianist at the Juilliard School for the American Opera Center. When I first arrived I learned I had no idea how to follow a conductor (my apologies to George Mester), I began to work in Italian with the glorious Corradina Caporello, took a few English Diction classes with Madeleine Marshall, French Diction from Thomas Grubb, and played Lady Macbeth from Mtsensk rehearsals for
the son of it's composer - conductor Maxim Shostakovich.
I eventually completed my Indiana University Masters degree in Piano Performance in 1986 with the help of Clarke Remington, Gyorgy Sandor, and Joseph Rezits.
Another client David Schuster.
Change hearts with your voice
One of my clients Debra Patchell
DOUGLAS MARTIN VOCAL COACH