The EARLY MUSIC SINGER'S TOOLBOX

THE EARLY MUSIC SINGER'S TOOLBOX offers singers the chance to explore some of the foundational repertoire and stylistic tools that are the hallmarks of early music singing.

Join us for the next Singer's Toolbox classes, on  Sunday, November 21, with Pamela Dellal!  SIGN UP HERE!



J. S. Bach wants to change your life! - Interpreting Bach cantata arias with Pamela Dellal
Sunday, November 21, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific)

 

❦ J. S. Bach wants to change your life! - Interpreting Bach cantata arias with Pamela Dellal
Sunday, November 21, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific)

Bach's sacred cantatas pursue a powerful agenda: through musical means the composer intends to effect a spiritual conversion. This course will reveal how Bach uses startling shifts of harmony, texture, and phrasing to evoke and manipulate emotion; how his musical material deepens and adds complexity to the message of the text; and how Bach's ultimate goal is achieved by penetrating our resistance and composure, breaking down the traditional barriers that divide performer and hearer.

The list of pieces below is meant to provide choices for participants. I plan to study four or five arias in the session, based on who volunteers to sing and which pieces they decide to present. Preference will be given to those who contact us first. If you can sing with an accompaniment, that is preferred; but a cappella performance is acceptable. Some accompaniment tracks will be added to the folder at a later date. Scores for these pieces can be found here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kvsqqv7clgez0n8/AADXd-ARZ2p7kqXB--MyivbXa?dl=0

Soprano
BWV 51 #3 Höchster, mache deine Güte (cont.)
BWV 21 #3 Seufzer, Tränen (oboe)
BWV 80 #4 Komm in meins Herzens Haus (cont.)

Alto
BWV 6 #2 Hochgelobter Gottessohn (oboe d'amore)
BWV 27 #3 Willkommen, will ich sagen (obe da caccia)
BWV 116 #2 Ach, unaussprechlich ist die Not (oboe d'amore)

Tenor
BWV 161 #3 Mein Verlangen (strings)
BWV 114 #2 Wo wird in dieser Jammerthale (flute)
BWV 180 #2 Ermuntre dich, dein Heiland klopft (flute)

Bass
BWV 47 #4 Jesu, beuge doch mein Herze (oboe, violin)
BWV 3 #3 Empfind' ich Höllenangst und Pein (cont.)
BWV 152 #2 Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn (oboe)

 

Singer's Toolbox classes focus on the core repertoire and skills of Baroque singing, and are designed with serious singers in mind, both those with experience in singing Baroque repertoire and those new to the field.

The pace of the repertoire classes has experienced solo singers in mind, but we welcome all singers, voice teachers, conductors, and anyone interested in early music singing to register and learn. Scroll down for complete descriptions of the classes and lectures!

PAST CLASSES

Language as Style: Early Singing Sytles and Performance Performance Today, with Anne Azéma, soprano
Sun. October 17, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (2:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Pacific)


Balancing Text and Music in Purcell’s SongsDrew Minter
Sat. April 17, 3:00 - 4:30 EDT (12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Pacific)

Italian Da Capo Arias: Tools for “Handeling” Ornamentation Christine Brandes
Sat. May 1, 3:00 - 4:30 EDT (12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Pacific)

Singing Bach Arias: Breath and the Art of PhrasingGeoffrey Williams
Sat. June 5, 3:00 - 4:30 EDT (12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Pacific)

RESCHEDULED!  Rhetorical Questions: Text and Expression in 17th-c Italian MonodyEllen Hargis
New date is Saturday, June 12, 1:00 - 2:30 EDT (10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Pacific)

LECTURES
Black Bodies and Black Voices: Gio. Buonaccorsi, an enslaved Black singer at the Medici CourtEmily Wilbourne
Sun. March 28, 5:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. Pacific Time)

Stage Beauty: Style and Substance in Baroque OperaEllen Hargis
Sat. April 10, 5:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. Pacific Time)

Recitare: the Art of the RecitativeGary Thor Wedow
Sun. May 16, 5:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. Pacific Time)

Balancing Text and Music in Purcell’s Songs – Drew Minter
Sat. April 17, 3:00 EDT
At a time when Italian poets were grappling with this issue in opera, Purcell stated his intention to bring the Italian style to English music. Using Purcell’s songs we will examine how singers can make the best rhetorical decisions in their singing.

Italian Da Capo Arias: Tools for “Handeling” Ornamentation – Christine Brandes
Sat. May 1, 3:00 EDT
This class will touch upon approaches to ornamenting Italianate music of the 17th and 18th centuries. A brief introduction will be followed by some practical applications at cadences, within arias and at larger, final cadences calling for more extended ornaments. Participants are welcome to bring their own repertoire and ornamentation questions. Selected examples from Handel operas and "The Messiah" will also be made available before the class for study and consideration.

Rhetorical Questions: Text and Expression in 17th-c Italian Monody – Ellen Hargis
Sat. May 15, 3:00 EDT
Take a deep dive into the singer's most precious currency: text! We'll look at how the rhetoric of poetry, ornamentation, and declamation enhances our understanding and enlivens our performances.

Singing Bach Arias: Breath and the Art of Phrasing – Geoffrey Williams
Sat. June 5, 3:00 EDT
J.S. Bach composed often, it seems, with a mind toward teaching pupils through his music. The solo movements of his cantatas and other vocal works present unique vocal challenges which can apply to much of the art of singing namely, breath and phrasing. This session will offer suggestions for learning and crafting Bach arias through vocalises and breathing exercises.

LECTURE DESCRIPTIONS
Black Bodies and Black Voices: Gio. Buonaccorsi, an enslaved Black singer at the Medici Court – Emily Wilbourne
Sun. March 28, 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT (2:00-3:00 p.m. Pacific Time)
On the 14th of October, 1662, the opera impresario Vettor Grimani Calergi wrote from Venice to Prince Mattias de’ Medici in Florence to discuss the singers for the upcoming opera season. He put in a particular plea in order that the Medici Cardinal’s black slave could participate. Above and beyond the moor’s “esteemed virtue” as a singer, Grimani professed interest in the novelty of his character, explaining that what perhaps in Florence had become “ordinary,” would be “new, and never before seen” on the Venetian stage. This singer is identifiable as Giovannino Buonaccorsi, and his presence in Florence can be traced through a surprisingly rich archive of payment records, libretti, scores, descriptions, letters, costume designs, poetry, as well as a remarkable double portrait: Baldassarre Franceschini’s Ritratto di suanatore di liuto con cantore moro (ca. 1662). In this paper I read this painting closely, placing it alongside new archival documents to think about the ways in which black performance was normalized in mid-century Florence and the means by which blackness signified in relation to slavery and servitude, shaping Giovannino’s access to performance opportunities on and offstage. Open to: all.

Stage Beauty - Style and Substance in Baroque Opera with Ellen Hargis
Saturday, April 10, 5:00-6:00 p.m.EDT (2:00-3:00 p.m. Pacific Time)
In this presentation, we will take a look at how gesture and movement were used on the Baroque stage to illuminate the text and music. We will discuss how these same precepts can inform modern performances by channeling a Baroque esthetic even in modern dress and stage settings.

Recitare: the Art of the Recitative – Gary Wedow
Sun. May 16, 5:00-6:00 p.m. EDT (2:00-3:00 p.m. Pacific Time)
Explore the history and development of recitative through various masterpieces, treatises and scores; giving you the practical tools for more nuanced and expressive performance. For singers, continuo players and audience members.