December 2014

A Heroic Tenor: Bryan Hymel

Native New Orleanian and tenor Bryan Hymel is enjoying a flourishing career, singing at the major opera houses in the U.S. and abroad. This season alone, he starred as Rodolfo at the Metropolitan Opera, makes his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut this month and San Francisco Opera debut next summer, and returns to Dallas Opera and Santa Fe Opera. But once upon a time, Hymel was a struggling singer living on credit cards and his meager Virgin Megastore paycheck to make ends meet in New York City. Hymel shares the remarkable turning point that started him on the path to finding his voice, his support team and, perhaps most importantly, his confidence.

The Doctor is In: : Nasal Sprays: An Overview

’Tis the season for congestion and runny noses. If you’re suffering from such holiday woes and seeking relief, read up on what you should and shouldn’t put up your nose.

Ask Erda: : Parrying the Poison Pen

When you’re a singer, criticism comes with the territory. But learning to keep it in perspective by considering the source and evaluating its veracity will help you stay focused on what’s most important: creating your art.

Who Inspires You?

Dramatic soprano and arts administrator Luana DeVol talks about the moments and people who have inspired her over her long and varied career.

From the Editor : More Being, Less Doing

While wrapping up this December issue and collecting photos of 2014 highlights from summer programs for our upcoming January issue, I received a panicked e-mail from a program director. “Burning

So You Want to Sing?

A new series of books hopes to shed light on the techniques needed to sing in styles outside of the classical genres.
Arguably, the most uncomfortable part of the learning process arises when new information conflicts with previously held beliefs. When this occurs, we are forced to make a decision: change direction (enthusiastically or begrudgingly), remain skeptical until thoroughly convinced, or simply resist, dismiss, and stick to your guns.

Meet Composer Dunkin Wedd

Living composers’ careers aren’t much different from a singing career. They too must market and promote themselves. They get their fair share of rejections. And they often have day jobs to support their musical habit. British composer F L Dunkin Wedd shares all of this and more as he discusses his music and his career.

Quitting a Gig

Singers and directors weigh in on the delicate art of canceling a gig, including when it’s OK and how to best mitigate the potential fallout.

Prescreening Recordings for Young Artist Program Applications

More and more YAPs are requiring recordings. What do they really want to see and hear? Find out from two YAP directors.

Musings on Mechanics : Breathing Between the Lines

Breathing is the foundation of good singing. Are you doing everything you can to ensure your breath fully prepares you to make the most beautiful sound possible? If not, what is holding you back? Find out that and more here.