Welcome to the official Singerreise webpage! Join in the discussion as we talk about the life of an opera singer, and as we learn about Schubert's masterpiece Winterreise.

Entertain, Educate, Encourage

Friday, October 28, 2016

How to pronounce "Singerreise"

At rehearsal this evening, a good friend and colleague, who happens to be German, asked me about the word "Singerreise." It seems that not even 24 hours had gone by before I had shown every friend, acquaintance, and relative exactly how rusty my German is...

Concert Announcement!

Yes, this is October and I'm announcing something in January. I'm not sure what I'm eating for lunch today, but I felt you should know about this concert.

It's the concert that got this whole Singerreise thing going.

January 29, 2017, 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Discuss.

You may have noticed that I'm ending most of the blogs thus far with some questions. As with the YouTube videos, I am hoping that this blog can start some interesting discussions. The more voices that join in, the more interesting this experience will be for everyone (especially me).

You are more than welcome to add your comments to any of the blog posts. Today, however, you can directly help by answering a few specific questions:
  1. What books about Lieder or about Schubert would you recommend? I will be doing some reading on the subject for the making of these videos, and would love to share what I find out. So if you have some fantastic resources, let everyone here know with your comments.
  2. Where do you go to find translations? Winterreise, of course, is the focal point of the discussion, but if you have suggestions for other works (more art song, more languages, operas, etc.), share those too! I'll have a few to suggest, myself.
  3. What is your preferred edition of Winterreise? Here, I'm talking about sheet music. Examples include Dover, Peters, and International, but if you have some favorites, let everyone know about it and why you like it. I have a copy presently, but I'd love some other options.
  4. What are your favorite recordings of Winterreise? There's lots to choose from!
I'll be incorporating the answers into videos and the blog as I go. By offering your answers, you will be altering the course of this series directly.

So... Discuss amongst yourselves...

What is Singerreise?

If you haven't watched the video yet, you may be wondering what "Singerreise" is. Let me tell you a story.

To do that, we'll need to back up several months. Back then I was trying to think of new ways that I could create something new and useful, something that I hadn't seen done before, and was doing a ton of brainstorming. I had just discovered the wonders of podcasts, but I couldn't figure out why someone would want to listen to what I had to say. For that matter, I didn't think I had anything all that interesting to begin with.

On the other hand - I'm an opera singer. While I hang out with those kind of people all the time, apparently, it isn't every day that you run into one. Apparently, opera singers are very interesting people to meet. It kind of gets a "Wow!" when it comes up. Who knew?

So I have a few talking points that I can use at a cash register or in a church narthex-lobby (aka. the "narby"). That would be good for... maybe, two videos?

However, when my colleagues and I first started talking about putting a together a performance of Winterreise by Schubert, I had an "aha!" moment. Winterreise happens to be a large work -- 24 songs in total and over 70 minutes of German Lieder goodness. I could do videos of all 24 of them, one at a time over an extended period of time.

Even then, the world doesn't need more recordings of Winterreise (well, maybe it does, but that's besides the point). There's plenty to choose from out there. If this was to be useful to people, something different needed to be done, something of a personal approach to it. So I inserted myself into the equation, and out came "Singerreise."

"Singerreise" will take the best of what I know to do and mesh it together with the Schubert song cycle. There will be teaching, singing, language study, memorization, and so on. For example, I'll perform each piece in the song cycle, but prior to performing it, I'll dig into what the text of the piece means and highlight some of my favorite moments in it. I'll dedicate some videos to how to go about translating a piece, how to memorize, my personal philosophies on marking scores, a lesson on IPA (no, not the beer... unless Opera on Tap wants to co-produce a video...), etc. etc., essentially, everything that I do on a daily basis as an opera singer. As I say in the intro video, you'll get a "backstage look, straight into my living room." I hope you won't be too disappointed by what you see in there -- it is just another room like in your house. Even still, I think we're going to have some fun together.

Sound exciting? Let me know by commenting below! And do me a favor by "sharing" the fun, too.

Singerreise video podcast 001

The very first video has been published! Check it out below.


Introductions

Welcome to the very first Singerreise blog post!

The purpose of this blog is to support and enrich the Singerreise video series. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video channel here. The video series is meant to be the main focus, but perhaps there are some folks who prefer to read posts instead of watching videos. I confess, I am actually one of them!

At times, this blog will be a sort of repetition of the information in the videos. More often, though, this blog will get into more detail than I can do in a few sound bytes and frames. And I can cover an even wider variety of topics in this medium. Who knows? I may find that I am more at home writing these blogs than I am doing the videos. Perhaps in a written style I can actually be more conversational. Perhaps this will be a more unfiltered musing than I can achieve in a single broadcast. We shall see!

One of the objectives in Singerreise is to start some dialogue around the topics of art song, the business of singing, pedagogy, and so on. If you prefer offering your comments on a blog post more than YouTube comments, then you've found a home here. Let me know you're listening by leaving a comment below!