This is a sculpture outside the opera house in Riga, Latvia. I was participating in a conference of singing teachers in the Music Academy just over the river. A great experience, hearing the singing of young Latvian singers with great power and musical sensitivity. I was talking about the need for taking care of young adolescent voices. We had some good presentations and I even managed to understand some of the beautiful Latvian language.
i am not sure how much of the psychology of singing I managed to communicate. I hope they understood that the mind can make such a difference in terms of performance. Vocal identity is made up of many layers and by examining the layers of meaning we give to the words we articulate when we talk about our singing we can learn more about how we ‘tick’ as singers.
The singing I heard was emotional and powerful but there is a danger of pushing young voices and while they make a start of an operatic career as singing teachers we are responsible for making sure that the career will survive longer than a few years. One of the presenters, a gymnast, was demonstrating some really good exercises for building strength through deep breathing and I hope we will hear more from him in Eurovox in June 2015.
There will be an opportunity to enjoy the midsummer festivals that take place in Latvia during the summer solstice, lots of flowers, singing and dancing next year so I hope my European colleagues will join me there at Eurovox in Riga!