I have had an amazing time in New York. I saw Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, On the Town, Beautiful – The Carol King Story, On the Twentieth Century and An American in Paris. Each musical was absolutely stunning and each had great performers, singing, acting and dancing. More than ever Musical Theatre professionals really MUST be a triple threat. The standard of dance in the productions Mamma Mia, On The Town and An American In Paris was absolutely stunning. On Broadway they really do only have the best!
It was fascinating to listen to the different vocal styles in each production. Singers need to be able to adapt to whatever genre of musical they are performing in, in order to serve the musical style. The singing in Kinky Boots and Mamma Mia was completely different from the singing in An American in Paris and A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder. One sound does NOT fit all, and one singer may be required to produce sounds from belt to legit within a musical, within a song! Classical training just doesn’t work to cover all musical theatre genres and this was completely obvious in this sample of shows.
I was also lucky enough to go to the famous Blue Note Cafe for some wonderful jazz and to Subculture, a fantastic music venue where Jason Robert Brown, his band and two wonderful singers performed both new and old compositions. I must admit, this night was so good, I had trouble sleeping afterwards. Actually, each performance I have attended has left my brain and ears and eyes buzzing so much that getting to sleep has been tricky! But hearing Jason Robert Brown perform his own works (lucky me – my second time) was definitely a trophy in a week full of incredible music performances.
The absolute highlight of my week, however, was my three lessons with Jeanette Lovetri in her Upper West Side home studio. Jeanette is warm and approachable and an affirming teacher and voice pedagogy expert. Her husband Jerry also made me feel welcome, even though my lessons interrupted her break and their private time. I am so grateful that Jeanette agreed to teach me.
I loved my lessons, which I recorded and have listened back to a few times, and made notes, and have been practicing in anticipation of the weekend where I begin the CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. Voice teachers from around the world are coming to soak up Jeanette’s knowledge in this ten day, three level course. I am here with my colleague, Jenny Howlett, and am extremely excited about the coming week, and of course, bringing it all back to my studio!