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Manolito Mystiq

The Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera

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Dear all,

It has been a while that I have visited this forum. I have been very busy with my studies—having completed my BA in Musicology and currently finalising my MA in Applied Musicology. I did keep on working on my singing, however. Yesterday, “The Music of the Night,” a song that I auditioned with at the Conservatory of Rotterdam over a decade ago and that I had used for my singing lessons with many different teachers, was one I had never actually performed—until now!

Indeed, there appears to be balancing issues with volume between me and the piano. On the other hand, I asked several attendees whether they felt there were problems with it, but they all did not notice them live. While I do think we could work on balancing our instruments, I believe the recording is augmenting the issue quite a bit.  

I am really satisfied with the performance—especially my acting abilities, intonation, enunciation, and stage presence. I could be more confident with the fermata notes just doing them as long as I want, rather than thinking I might do them too long (I think the “soul”-note [2:32] is great, the “be”-note [3:44] is just about right, the ”night”-note [5:20] is executed pretty well, but could easily be five seconds longer). I could also definitely stabilise and pronounce my “ring” more.

Manolito Mystiq

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It was good but pitchy in spots. I think if you could find mixed voice in a those spots it would be a little tighter.. 

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I agree with Daniel. There's nothing specific to point out in any one part of the song. Overall, however, you tended to yell on the louder higher notes. Finding either a comfortable belt or strong mixed resonance for those parts (which were very prominant at the beginning), would make this song much easier for you to sing and tighten it up quite a bit.

As for not singing as long as you wanted to on the last note, if it's from running out of air, then there is one exercise you can start doing to expand your lung capacity. Breathe in by slightly tightening your abs and focusing the air into your lower back, kidneys, or glutes. This should naturally put most of the air into your obliques or lower ribs. Then make a very strong "sss" sound while pushing the air forward into your solar plexus. The "sss" is meant to be a type of compression that holds back most of the air you're trying to push out. This will compress your lung and open up all the tiny little pockets of air, effectively streching them and giving you more lung gcapacity over time. The idea is, with proper gottal/subglottal pressure balance, you should be able to sing a note at any strength for about as long as you can exhale in the lung capacity exercise. This got me up to being able to belt for 43 seconds. 

However, the tension you have in your voice on higher notes is an issue, and holding you back a lot. Focus on better placement, relaxing the tension in your neck, and solid breath support from pushing into the solar plexus. The breath support doesn't have to make you super loud. If you balance the pressure correctly, it will simply stablize the note at any volume.

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Thank you Danielformica and Draven Grey!

@Draven Grey: I was not running out of air. I practiced the note. Usually the note is held for 16 seconds, so I practiced to hold it for 30. Interestingly, the exercise you give was the very first one I got back in 2002. Anyway, I thought that I was holding the long notes too long, but after listening back the performance, I believe I could have easily done them longer—meaning I could worry less about such things during a performance. Just go for it.

With the “be”-note [3:44] it appears that I slowly went to a more relaxed and more resonant state. Are we on the same page on that? I feel that I was trying to have a lot of volume in a mixed state, while this acoustic, non-amplified environment asks for either a more classical or a more beltier approach to stand out (something former Phantom Ramin Karimloo blended exceptionally well).

Thanks again.

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Manny!  It is great to see you in here again... hope you have been well.

I actually have been coaching this song the last two weeks with another singer... I also performed this before in a choral group once.

Your Review:

- The opening sequence is pitchy and a touch shouty. I like Dan's suggestion to cover to a mixed position more.

- Given the genre, I feel like you could be more articulate on the lower parts, "softly, gently, etc.."... its sort of a lost opportunity. 

- 3:51, nice /i/.

- The last falsetto "night" was flat... NO. make sure that last note is straight on.

Overall Manny, I think it was a nice performance. I would give it a B+. You have nice interpretations and expression in here that I think a lot of people would likely miss. But the biggest point of improvement in my view would be intonation. Many of the onsets start low and scoop. They come and go quickly, but for a public performance of a theater piece like this, I think you need to get straight in on pitch on your onsets. This is an easy thing to fix.. just pay more attention to it.

Good to see you back in here.

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Draven, Dan... thanks for your help.

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