I’ve wanted to talk again about singing for a long time. I did not stop my classes, despite a few absences here and there, in the tangle of daily activities. I haven’t been practicing diligently at home either.
However, progress seems to have been made. Something subtle is happening in my fragile throat. The vocal cords, probably still too tense, nevertheless acclimatize to singing higher. It is relatively easy to approach the A, to slide even higher, up to two tones higher without it being brilliant. I don’t get tired at these heights and, when I don’t think about singing well, I sing better.
My teacher systematically enjoins me to give up my too virile attacks. The voice must remain fragile, so to speak, always dancing on tiptoe on a wire that only belongs to the melody. If this sentence seems conceptual, it is nevertheless true. Take, for example, a rise that I have to make in Prigionera hò l’alma in pena, an aria from Handel’s opera Rodelinda. I start from a low E and I have to quietly reach an A. If I attack this climb by pressing the first notes, I have difficulty getting to the top. If, on the other hand, I let the first notes vibrate like simmering water, without pushing them, the A, perched at the very top, seems rather good to me. So I repeat my ascent, two, three, six times, with various results that are difficult for me to judge.
If there is one disturbing thing about singing, it’s that we don’t hear ourselves sing that much. The teacher is happy at times when I least expect it. It is a sin to try hearing yourself sing. Singing high is singing with a bottle almost full to the brim. All the energy is in the neck. Not easy to understand, not easy to grasp. And then, yes, my voice seems fragile, scared. As from the beginning, a cathartic process is taking place. I can feel the ice cracking. Is that a good thing? Freedom or fragmentation? It costs me a lot of money to learn, even if, to tell you the truth, my teacher’s rate is more than reasonable, but my finances being what they are…
Speaking of money, I am in contact with a financial advisor, hired by my company, to offer us suitable RRSPs. One of the first steps will be to get my finances back on track. I asked this counselor to include this singing lesson as an essential expense. It’s all saying and singing.
By the way, this opera aria is delicious, so contemporary. My next novel could revolve around love (I have a title: My Flesh Friend). The Italian text goes about this way: My trapped soul is tormented, but so beautiful is the chain that I don’t want freedom. Sad and sick, my heart is prostrate, but his pain is so pleasant that he does not want to be liberated.
À la Handel, honey!
A big thank you, anyway, to Vincent!
Sung here by Kurt Streit (it’s at 1’00”). Sung very slowly, maybe too slowly? But well, Ma si bella è la catena (but so beautiful is the chain). It seems so easy for him! Sigh…