News & Views
Audition Oracle – Fri 12 Jan 2024 @ 15:16
As we approach the infamous Blue Monday (Monday 15th January), let's flip the script and add an optimistic spin on what is known to be the most depressing day of the year. Let's turn Blue Monday into a symphony of positivity with these uplifting practices:
1: Warming Up your Voice with Kindness and Imagination
Kick off your day with a vocal warm-up that not only gets your voice going but also encourages imagination, creativity and kindness. Picture each note as a stroke of colour on a canvas. Rather than listening to yourself, imagine your sound as colours and textures.
2: Celebratory Repertoire for your Singing Practice
Today choose pieces that tell tales of triumph, love, and happiness. Pick arias and songs that are uplifting and immerse yourself in the beauty and buoyancy of the music.
Intermezzo: A Moment of Thanks for your Singing Voice
Pause and take a moment to appreciate the privilege of having a beautiful voice, musicality, and having been able to study and being able to share these gifts with the world. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and recognise the power of your art to uplift and inspire. Stay there and recall a few (singing-related) moments you feel grateful for. Relive those moments and remember how they felt at the time.
3: Connection and Collaboration with your Opera Colleagues
Reach out to your fellow musicians, whether virtually or through rehearsals, and offer a simple note of encouragement, reminiscence, or camaraderie.
Finale: A Personal Performance of Brilliance
As the day winds down, indulge in your favourite recording, either of yourself or another singer; and revel in the brilliance of the music-making. Share snippets of these musical moments on your socials to spread the positive vibes.
Coda: Beyond Blue Monday
Let the newfound positivity of Blue Monday linger; approach rehearsals, performances, and interactions with the same optimism, gratitude, kindness and joy. Together let’s transform Blue Monday into a catalyst for positivity!
Be Kind to Yourself. Reach Out for Support
And lastly, remember to be kind to yourself if you don’t manage to transform Blue Monday into a positive experience. Please don't suffer in silence and alone. Below we have included some useful links and phone numbers if you feel you, or anyone you know, needs extra support and advice.
Help Musicians UK
provide financial help in crisis or illnessMusic Support
(or 0800 030 6789) is a helpline for mental ill-health or addictionBAPAM
connects performing artists with free health support Mind
is a general resource
Audition Oracle – Mon 8 Jan 2024 @ 9:01
The decorations are down and you've eaten all the leftovers, now what? It's the first Monday of the first full week of 2024 - the perfect time to get started with your New Year resolutions! Make today count. Take a step, no matter how small, to move yourself towards your career goals.
1. Learn a new role:
Resolution: Learn a new operatic role.
Action Steps: Choose a role to master, create a schedule and commit to learning it in its entirety. Make 2024 the year you are ready to say ‘yes’ and jump in.
2. Language Proficiency:
Resolution: Improve language skills to enhance communication and expression in different operatic languages.
Action Steps: Take language lessons, practice diction exercises, and immerse yourself in the cultural context of the languages used in your repertoire. Download Duolingo – it’s free and always in your pocket.
3. Learn to play the piano
Resolution: Work towards a side career in singing teaching by improving your piano skills.
Action Steps: 20 mins of piano practice a day to gradually grow your piano skills.
4. Don’t like the term network? Build your community:
Resolution: Expand professional connections and presence within the opera community by contributing to it.
Action Steps: Attend industry events in person and online, celebrate friends and colleagues in their artistic projects, and share your enthusiasm and passion for yours. Join professional organisations to stay visible and updated on opera auditions and opportunities.
5. Recording and Self-Assessment:
Resolution: Record yourself at every opportunity, listen back and make friends with your voice.
Action Steps: Review recordings objectively, and seek feedback from trusted mentors or colleagues to refine your skills. Take note of the areas that are working well and expand out from there to bring that same polish and consistency to your whole performance. Be kind to yourself and your voice. Finished is better than perfect.
6. Mindfulness and Mental Well-being:
Prioritise mental well-being and mindfulness to manage performance anxiety.Action Steps: Mental health and singing influence each other so much. Never underestimate the powers that meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness can have on your self-esteem, and alongside that, your singing. Choose one practice to incorporate into your daily life. Do seek support
from a mental health professional if needed.