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 class, on Sunday, October 17, 2021 for a class with Anne Azéma!
❦ The Singer’s Toolbox: Language as Style: Early Singing Styles and Performance Today, with Anne Azéma, soprano Sunday, October 17, 2021
3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Central / 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Pacific)
How does language shape singing (and accompaniment of songs), and therefore performance practice? Proper diction and pronunciation are the basics to an approach to singing any song. But the in-depth work that comes next -- syntax, semantics, rhetoric -- will determine how thoroughly the performers delve into these songs, thereby revealing their fuller beauty to the listeners. This session will briefly examine various European musical styles, historically, geographically and in other ways, then and now. This course invites students to volunteer to be coached on excerpts from songs or arias that they prepare ahead of time. Anne will be in touch with those enrolled to solidify volunteers and their repertoire.

Theses 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!

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SINGER'S TOOLBOX CLASSES
Language as Style: Early Singing Sytles and Performance Performance Today, with Anne Azéma, soprano
Sun. October 17, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET (2:00 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)

AEM ONLINE SINGER’S TOOLBOX SERIES SPRING 2021
CLASS DESCRIPTIONS             SIGN UP HERE!

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.