Thursday, May 31, 2012

No. 191: What is Opera Organically? Freedom from Arrogance

When we know and understand...
when we can even just imagine,
that we are not teaching and learning Voice
but rather,


suddenly we are set free:
like stars set amidst the skies 
by the Creator of Light
we vibrate as Singers set upon this Earth
by That Which Sounds
of the very stuff From Which We Came
In Which We Are
and Which We Always Will Be.

Thank God for that,

Thank God for that.

THIS is Opera Organically.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

No. 190: What is Opera Organically? "It's" enough to stun us into silence

When the singing student realizes
it is not her Voice which needs to change
but rather 
who needs to change, to stretch, to grow,
to house 

 then the true magic begins
and She sees she is not merely learning "singing"--
she is learning the language
of Love.

IT is her greatest teacher.
IT is her soul's siren,
her vision just behind sight,
her singing just beyond silence.

THIS is Opera Organically.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No. 189: What is Opera Organically? Acknowledging "The Observer"

There is an Observer of all Singers
when we are brave enough
will tell us Who We Really Are.

It sees completion,
ecstasy, warmth, honesty, beauty,
perfection, in each moment,
and at every phase of discovery.

When we learn to sing
in the embrace of this Observer
suddenly we are safe enough
to be in awe of the universality of Voice.

Then, what was once a torturous struggle
toward "technical proficiency"
becomes a deep, joyful dive
into the Heart of what it means to be alive.

THIS is Opera Organically.


Monday, May 21, 2012

No. 188: What is Opera Organically? The search and discovery of life-giving truths.

Along the pathway of never-ending vocal discovery
I have found
that Voice LOVES
to hear the truth about Itself.

As when we celebrate a young child
or an animal in unconditional Love,
 Voice jumps for joy when we have the courage
to see It, and honor It, deeply.

THIS is Opera Organically.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No.187: What is Opera Organically? More than just "staying on"

In my years studying classical dressage horseback riding, I learned a valuable phrase for riding, for singing, and for life:

Ride every stride.

When a rider is truly in tune with the horse, when s/he listens to the horse with mind, body, spirit, ear, eye, and every other sense at every moment with paradoxical simplicity, she becomes like a part of the horse.  Her intention is the horse's intention.  The energy in her body matches the energy in the horse's body.  A rider can LIVE to experience the moments when "all is One", and what was once so effort-full becomes suddenly, naturally, effort-less.

This kind of connection with horse is not possible without riding every stride. To ride every stride means to know as much as possible about the horse you are with.  It means to do what it takes to be comfortable, for both horse and rider to feel safe and free.  It means doing what it takes to allow both rider and horse to remain in the moment so they can create magic together.

In what sense is this important for the singer?  For anyone who has watched a beginning rider, the experience can be anything from comical to terrifying.  The objective for the beginning rider is simply to "STAY ON".  Many of us sing like this, which is neither good nor bad, but can set us up for some rocky singing experiences.  In order to keep ourselves safe as singers, we must know the dangers inherent in being a beginner, in not knowing the things we need to know in order to "ride every stride" or "sing every note" of our voices.  

What are the dangers of not "being at One" with Voice?  Functional challenges can come up.  The voice is not strong enough and trips under us... Emotional bucks and kicks can come from outside and inside sources when we are not prepared to understand.  Even what we hear from our most supportive teachers can make us want to "get off" and never get back on the singing animal again. 

If riding is challenging, I would say that singing is even more so.  The Voice is just as wild-at-heart and earthy as a horse, and yet we cannot see it, touch it, or feel it in the traditional sense.  We cannot calm it with our hands or groom it with our brushes.  There are mysteries that surround this "Vocal Beast" that are hard to wrap our heads around.

Which is why we must let go of our heads and drop into our hearts when we are learning about Voice.  When a rider first experiences the magic of Oneness with a horse, it is her heartstrings which are teased, not only her logical brain.  For there is an element in this balance between wo/man and horse which goes beyond logic.  There is no escaping the pure wonder of an animal so powerful as a horse willingly merging with the rider in movement.  It is the deepest honor to experience, and it is what keeps the torch burning for many equestrians around the world.

What I propose for singers is that we begin to re-learn how to merge with our Voices, to see them as natural expressions of pure power and love, pulsing with life.  These Life-form-voices are ours only with their permission!  And when we are allowed to join with them in the pure, joyful moment of what it means to be alive, we can experience the ecstasy of true connection with a force greater than our individual selves.  When we approach our studies with even the imagination of what it might be like to ride that wave of singing passion, we find the strength and reason to carry on. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

No. 186: What is Opera Organically? Non-violent communication with Voice

For a singer who, brave and crazy enough,
sees Voice as a reflection of Deepest Self,
hearing criticism of any Voice 
is witnessing Soul murder.

this may seem

for to sing
screaming the Truth
of what it means to be Human
in the womb of profoundly beautiful Music
all the while cherishing the universality of the instrument which makes it...?

THIS is the most dramatic thing of all.
THIS is Opera Organically.