Friday, January 30, 2009

La Voix Liberée - Masterclass in Paris

Last week I was in Paris. I really could have been anywhere for all I saw of Paris, but it was nonetheless the wonderful to be there.

I was there for 5 days of Masterclasses with Carol Baggott-Forte, a singing teacher from Canada. I've talked about her and her work in previous posts, here and here. She works with voices in the same manner as my beloved, late mentor Cornelius L. Reid (no not the baseball player!).

We convened in the Canadian Student House on the campus Cité Universitaire in south Paris. They had a nice big room with a grand piano. Unfortunately, it was colder than the dickens, because we had to keep the loud, rattling heater off during lessons. But I digress. There were several people I knew from other classes Carol has given in various European cities (Brighton, Lyon and Frankfurt), it's one big family. We are trying to bring more people into the family, but it is slow going. I was especially pleased that my friend Alexa from Toronto made the trip over. We had fun and formed a nice mutual admiration society together with Thomas from Hamburg.

I had 5 lessons in 5 days. Hoo boy! Are we getting into some tough stuff with my voice. It's a really good thing too, because it's starting to cause problems. I'm confident we are on the right path and that my voice will sort itself out. I will get a couple more lessons while Carol is here in Hannover, so we can continue the work. I would really like to go to Canada and have lessons for 2 weeks straight. Will have to consider that.

It was also incredibly worthwhile listening to Carol teach and I learned some new tricks for my own pupils. Unfortunately, most of the participants in Paris were advanced singers or singers familiar with the work and with a high degree of musical experience and musicality. A lot of it doesn't apply to my own students at the moment and I'd love to pick Carol's brain or hear her work with a beginner with a limited amount of talent. Now that would be interesting.

While I was in Paris I stayed with my good friend and Prosperity Girl Sue and her husband Xavier. It was so kind of them to let me crash at their place, eat their food and take off everyday for most of the day. Of course Xavier had to work and Sue had things to do during the day too, so it wasn't so tragic, but still. They were very tolerant. I had a great time with them. We watched the inauguration together and cried together! :-)

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