DOZ Issue 39 January 2019 - Page 21

and stage work. Then there’s work we have to do on the music itself, so that would be learning the notes, mastering the music. All the written music with all the indica- tions in them have to be learnt, and usually, it’s by heart. And so you have to learn the music, you have to learn the words, it’s an enormous amount of informa- tion that has to be mastered and memorised. So we get to sing by heart, unlike the instrumentalists who use scores while playing. And then the other work that goes in is that mental work to prepare to go on stage. Scientists compare the amount of adrenaline that rises when a singer of stage perform- er goes on stage, to what was needed in pre-historic times to flee a tyrannosaurus or an ancient wild beast. So it’s that amount of adrenaline that the body pumps out into the body when one goes on stage and so it’s very draining physically, emotionally, mental- ly, and what else can I say? And it has to be done on a regular basis because like I said with the athletes the muscles have to be regularly trained so that when one is on stage one doesn’t have to focus on that technical aspect anymore. One can release oneself to perform before the audience and all of that. And then the mus- cles are ready, they remember, the muscle memory is in place, and one can be able to perform as it were in a free manner without the public knowing all the work that goes into it because they are not supposed to see all of that. So, what you’re saying is you need to practice every day. Even when you don’t have a performance coming up, you have to maintain a routine of daily practice. Exactly. Exactly. And then there’s the bigger responsibility of know- ing that you are carrying your instrument all the time with you. The violinist plays his instrument and puts it back into the case and 21 closes the case and puts it where he needs to put it and then goes out and becomes himself. But the singer for example now we’re in mid-autumn, and the air is very strange, and it’s cold sometimes, hot sometimes. All sorts of physical environmental factors affect the body, and so it affects the singer. There’s that extra responsibility of knowing your instrument is all the time with you, the voice being very fragile and so we’re never free (she laughs). I heard about a very famous singer who at her retire- ment threw her scarf away from her neck and said, never again am I going to have to use this. And so we are all the time, even when we’re resting in quote, never really resting. Shop is open twen- ty-four-seven (more laughter). Yes. I know what you mean. You have to keep your voice in good condition, that’s important. Let’s talk about your time in school. I understand that you spent six years learning to sing. Now someone is probably thinking, that is a long time, a child could have been conceived, born and started primary school in that time, but you used the time to learn to sing, and you were singing before, why did you have to spend that length of time learning to sing? Very good question. In reference to athletes, the classical singers are in running the equivalent of marathon runners. And marathon runners they are all about the long distance, the long curves. Classical singers have to perform in operas where we’re singing on stage for extended periods of time. Sometimes operas last three hours, and before the opera, you have rehearsals that go on for weeks, months, and in between all of that we’re travelling a lot, and so it’s very intense. The voice has to be trained properly so that one can resist all of those difficult DOZ Magazine | January 2019