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K. Mc

Intonation for Musical Theatre

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I have a recital with a friend of mine in January. We are singing two songs from two musicals, which, I admit, is not an area in which I have ever been trained, in spite of finding some musicals to be very entertaining and inspiring. The issues that we are encountering have a great deal to do with my intonation and I would suppose interpretation of the lyrics. The tone I ultimately have, especially whenever it relates to the areas of the songs which are "belted" is my tone becomes entirely operatic, which, the baritone feels, doesn't necessarily fit the songs.

I spent seven years in opera, and while I can respect that musical theatre and opera are similar, I think their styles are very contrasted against one another. I have spent countless hours on YouTube listening to different interpretations of the same songs, and ultimately, it seems to me that more of musical theatre is a sort of spoken intonation and brighter. I try to play with my chiaroscuro, but for some reason, whenever he and I practice, I always end up with the elongated throat and operatic sound. I am unsure if this is due to the years of my training to sing a certain way, or if because somehow I find the sound that I can produce without the technique as unappealing. I am unsure. Really, I feel as if I am psyching myself out about it because it is a different style of singing that I am accustomed to. Is there any way, or are there any exercises for me to get over the fact that I don't necessarily have to sound a certain way?

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I don't know any answer to your question, but watching videos of the belters now, I've seen Mónica Naranjo is considered one of the belting divas. She was classically trained, so maybe you can find some inspiration there? She is a soprano.

Hmm, but have in mind she has a dark voice for a soprano...that can confuse us and let us think she is putting more chest than she is. She sounds very chesty, but I can't believe she is putting that much. 

 

I like this song more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viI8pHlo2pk

 

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Oh yes, I know Monica Naranjo. She is a Soprano Drammatico. The weight of her voice is quite heavy. Actually, her new release is very, very intense to listen to.

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 I always end up with the elongated throat and operatic sound. I am unsure if this is due to the years of my training to sing a certain way, or if because somehow I find the sound that I can produce without the technique as unappealing. I am unsure. Really, I feel as if I am psyching myself out about it because it is a different style of singing that I am accustomed to. 

I think it is some of both or all of the above. You have trained one way, a way that has stood you well and you have learned to appreciate that sound. And to do a theater piece may require to sound in ways that you do not like. In fact, you said, that while you found some musicals inspiring and obviously fun to listen to, what I do not read is that theater became your raison d'etre. So...

A) how important is it that you sing this recital?

B ) if really important, then how important is that you try to learn theater style in a month or less for this one recital? Or, can you go ahead and sing like an opera singer?

C )Why is it that you have to use sounds or methods you do not like to do this role? And is the recital for you or are you doing this to help your friend?

Frankly, I get tired of reading about how opera singers don't sound right in pop music. Really? Who decided that pop music has a certain sound and anything else besides that is wrong? Is that not as confining and judgemental as others have stated opera and classical singing to be? Do I really, really have to link in the duet between Luciano Pavarotti and Bryan Adams? It's been a while but if I must ...

 

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3 hours ago, ronws said:

 

Frankly, I get tired of reading about how opera singers don't sound right in pop music. Really? Who decided that pop music has a certain sound and anything else besides that is wrong? Is that not as confining and judgemental as others have stated opera and classical singing to be? Do I really, really have to link in the duet between Luciano Pavarotti and Bryan Adams? It's been a while but if I must ...

 

       Every now and then Genres need to be shaken up a little bit.  There are plenty of "Pop" songs with a flare of Opera singing.

    Intonation(Tone adjustment) is resonance adjustment (which frequencies are enhanced and which are reduced). How do you change resonance? Vowel, Throat shape, Amount of adduction, Larynx position. Vocal fold mass, Air flow..... To twang or not to twang that is the question.

How do you find the tone you are looking for?   Hold the note, adjust those things mentioned. When you find that sound repeat what you did to create it.

    Belt has larynx dampening and Twang..... But it also has cord closure. You do not need massive volume or shouting to get this. No more or less than what you would use in Classical singing. An adjustment in resonance.

 

Edit: I know that looks like an easy thing to do when written down, but it is not. You have to find what works and which is lacking or over used in your own voice. Still that is what you do.

 

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3 hours ago, ronws said:

I think it is some of both or all of the above. You have trained one way, a way that has stood you well and you have learned to appreciate that sound. And to do a theater piece may require to sound in ways that you do not like. In fact, you said, that while you found some musicals inspiring and obviously fun to listen to, what I do not read is that theater became your raison d'etre. So...

A) how important is it that you sing this recital?

B ) if really important, then how important is that you try to learn theater style in a month or less for this one recital? Or, can you go ahead and sing like an opera singer?

C )Why is it that you have to use sounds or methods you do not like to do this role? And is the recital for you or are you doing this to help your friend?

Frankly, I get tired of reading about how opera singers don't sound right in pop music. Really? Who decided that pop music has a certain sound and anything else besides that is wrong? Is that not as confining and judgemental as others have stated opera and classical singing to be? Do I really, really have to link in the duet between Luciano Pavarotti and Bryan Adams? It's been a while but if I must ...

 

RonWs,

A.) It is not as important to me as it is for him, really. Which is so uncanny of you to discern, haha!

B.) I think that is something that I would have to ask him. Really, I think his inviting me to do it had a lot more to do with my range. I mean, typically speaking, I am more of a tenore contraltino / contralto by operatic standard and fach, and alto by choral standards with a developed head extension.

C.) I mean, it isn't that I dislike sounds that are not operatic. I love them, it is just different for me to produce them, and I think I tend to be exceptionally critical of my voice whenever it is outside of the type of singing I have grown comfortable with.

I agree that most in the operatic world are ultra critical of CCM sounds, but hell, that is why I left to pursue something different and had a CVT instructor for two years. But, that didn't go so well because I felt that I was learning what they wanted me to learn. 

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  I never said M2. I said cord closure. Falsetto has nothing to do with it.

   M1 "Chest/modal" is the only one that you can adjust from shrill light to Full thick and loud.

 

   What we have hear is a failure to communicate. That light production that the singer did that was all wrong was M2 falsetto. That thing she did at the end of the video high bright full sounding was M1 Head voice.

   Besides that ......... they "most Pedagogists" have a different definition between Male and Female Headvoice.

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22 minutes ago, YouCanSingAnything said:

I always have women start out by "calling" (polite word for yelling) up above the staff starting at an E4. I like "HEY!" call "HEY!" as if you were in danger or trying to get the attention of a friend across a really busy New York Street. Keep going up from E4 until at least a Bb4, each time getting louder. This isn't a sound to be shy about producing and it doesn't sound "nice."

That's your foot in the door for accessing your chest register. You need some dramatic contrast in your voice to prevent you from instinctually mixing into your head register all the time. It's a more athletic movement, so don't overdo it... but don't hold back either. It's not a heady sound, it's a very thick, meaty, chesty, raw type of a shout. Basically, you need to do the exact opposite of everything you've been taught so far.
 

YouCanSingAnything,

I will certainly give it a try. I think a lot of my apprehension is because of the fact that it is the exact opposite of what I have learned so far. Thank you so much.

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1 hour ago, YouCanSingAnything said:

"Cord closure" doesn't bring you from M2 to M1!! Adding "cord closure" to M2 just puts you in pressed phonation in M2.

 Still not understanding my meaning. :(  I didin't understand either until I started making progress with "House of Rising Sun". 40 years of yelling HEY on M2 is not going to get you there either. First you have get a light M1 and realise that yes you are in M1 and swell the tone. Which you can do with M1 and you cannot in M2.

Sure you are going to get "Pressed phonation" trying to get closure with M2. A light shrill M1 vibrating on the edge of the folds is going to sound like M2 until you add the Air pressure and keep the folds adducted while adding mass. Messa de voce. Air speed to Fold closure + the resonance of Larynx dampening and twang.

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K. MC, I love this song (Simply the Best - Tina Turner), and thought it could be good for you to practice when you are bored with your present task. :D You can first just sing it in Mix and then put energy in some parts.

But then I've realized that what works better for me to work my Head Voice is to sing songs I love, of which I know hundreds. If you don't know the songs well it will be much more difficult.

(video embedding is not working now)

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