A very dear friend of mine is one of the most positive and encouraging people I know. I am lucky! This excellent soprano friend has a way of seeing the good in what I do. She is a good balancing element in my life because I tend to be more aware of the faults in my work. I am generally positive, but as I said before I am a practical idealist, meaning that I only believe that practical goals are attainable through ideal preparation.
But after my latest coaching I understand why I am so tough on myself. It must be impeccable in the studio because it will always be a little less good at the coaching and probably a little less so on stage. In youth, before we really know what true vocal strength is, we revel in the ability to bring out results from sheer determination. While there is virtue in determination, it should accompany skill not substitute it.
In balance, I celebrate my growth over the last year and coldly assess that there is still important work to be done before I can trust my voice onstage to do what I expect it to do, whether on a good day or a less good day. This reminds me of something a bad teacher said to me once: “It is not reliable unless you can produce it on your worst day!” Just because he had practically no people skills, it does not mean he did not have valuable things to say. After all I am here repeating his pronouncements some fifteen years later.
This is a clip of the last coaching. It is pretty good, but some of the baritone history is still noticeable in the low range. My voice has a natural baritone element but it is important to distinguish when the baritone color is natural and when it is a slight looseness from a heavy production.
I am very encouraged by my progress, but there is better! I did not travel this path only to get part of the way!