September 2007

Ruth Ann Swenson : Stratospheric Success for 25 Years

Along with her many triumphs on stage, Ruth Ann Swenson has recently triumphed offstage in a recent battle with breast cancer. In this Classical Singer exclusive, Swenson shares how she managed to keep
singing through her recent serious health scare and how the man who is both her husband and vocal coach remains a constant support in her singing and personal life. She also gives sound advice to singers on staying healthy, learning to say no, and following your heart.

What’s Old Is New : Composer Joseph Turrin Revives His Opera 'The Scarecrow'

What happens when you combine talent and a great product with a strong determination and creative marketing? Thirteen productions of your opera at 13 different universities. Sound remarkable? It is, and composer Joseph Turrin shares how he made it happen.

Inspirazione! : A Tale of Two Singers

As many singers head to conservatory this fall, it is worth examining some of the pros and cons of studying voice in that environment. A snapshot of two very different singers will get you thinking about how to make the most of your time in school so you can develop, according to Verdi, the three most important qualities in a singer: voice, voice, and voice.

Say It With Orchestra

With audition notices pouring in, colleges asking for prescreenings, and a growing number of competitions holding their initial rounds by CD, it might be time for a new demo. Want to stand out from the crowd? New York City’s Gurari Studios offers a fresh new option for the singer looking for an edge: an orchestra.

Find Your Center : With Chakra Seven

In this final article exploring the seven chakras, learn about the crown chakra. Opening and balancing this chakra can help you live in the present with an empowering sense of quiet strength and confidence.

Certified Classical Singer ’07-’08

After three intense rounds of competition among more than 200 applicants, the judges of the AudComps 2007 named 13 singers Certified Classical Singers for 2007-2008.This month, read about soprano Aimée Puentes and baritone Jason Detwiler from the Professional Division.

Exploring the Link Between Singing and Leadership : Part One

Learning to sing often means learning to be self-motivated, self-disciplined, self-perceptive, and much more. Can these important skills help us find success in other areas of our life? One singer and researcher decided to find out, and shares what she’s learned in this five-part series.

Mark Lamanna : Classical Singer's 2007 Stage Director of the Year

Mark Lamanna has enjoyed a varied career, including years of dance training at the Joffrey Ballet School and Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York City, as well as a stint performing on Broadway. Now Lamanna dedicates his time to stage directing, inspiring singers to give their all in communicating and expressing the meaning of the music. In this Classical Singer exclusive, Lamanna shares how he teaches singers to trust their own impulses, why he thinks musical theatre and opera aren’t so different after all, and the importance of living in the now.

Beverly Sills, a Fond Remembrance

From her inspiring singing on the operatic stage and, her charismatic personality and charm shared on the television screen, to her keen business sense off the stage, Beverly Sills left an indelible mark on the world of opera.

On Kindness : Remembering Jerry Hadley

Many of us have read of the tragic events of the final days of singer Jerry Hadley’s life. Cindy Sadler, who knew and worked with Jerry, reflects on the many gifts he offered on and off the stage. If you’d like to share your thoughts on these recent events, visit the Classical Singer forum at

Letters to the Editor

Tell us how we’re doing. Tell us about the articles that have helped you and articles you’d like to read. We would like to publish your comments, received either by e-mail at or in the mail at P.O. Box 1710, Draper, UT 84020.

Editor’s Note : Sowing and Reaping

I love all of the seasons, but there’s something particularly special about fall. When the sultry heat of summer slowly subsides and a crisp coolness infuses the air, I can’t

Bulletin Board

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A Word from Ana Maria Martinez : Advice for the College-Bound

What type of school should you attend for your undergrad and grad degrees? What do you do after you finish your degree? How do you face the uncertainties of a singing profession? In her quarterly column, world-renowned soprano Ana María Martinez addresses these and other questions posed to her by singers. If you have a question you’d like Ms. Martinez to address in a future column, e-mail your question to

Recitals 101 : A Student's Guide to an Unforgettable Recital

Planning and preparing for your student recital can be a daunting task—but it doesn’t have to be. Turn it in to something incredible—both to prepare and perform—by following Shirlee Emmons’ excellent advice. From securing a place and date and selecting the right repertoire to wearing the perfect outfit, find everything you need to know for pulling off a wonderfully successful recital.

Confessions of a Juilliard Renegade

CS’ favorite Met violinist returns with tales from his Juilliard days. The dilemmas Les Dreyer faced so many years ago are the same dilemmas many students face today: performance versus teaching as a career, and the challenges— for singers or instrumentalists—of music education degrees and musicology courses.

Battling Academic Pressures : Emotional Well-being for Students

Social and academic pressure can make college a stressful time. Add long hours in the practice room, a rigorous rehearsal schedule, constant critiquing, and intense competition into the mix, and the life of a college studentsinger can be even more challenging. You can find balance and maintain your emotional sanity amidst the craziness. Wilma Wever shares several terrific strategies that will help.

Don’t Let Theory Get You Down : Preparing for the University Theory Core and Entrance Exams

If you have been fortunate enough to have a great public or private music education in your youth, the university “theory core” and musicianship entrance exams may not pose any significant threat to your wellbeing. If, however, you didn’t get much theory with your vocal or choral training, now is the time for you to prepare.

Identifying Abuse in the Studio

Abusive people are experts at luring in their victims and making their victims feel that they are the ones at fault. You may not realize you are being abused until

‘Il Matrimonio Segreto’: The Teacher-Student Union : Part Two

Your college years are often the most critical time for fi nding a voice teacher to lay the foundation for the singer
you will become. In essence, choosing the right teacher can make or break your career. In this conclusion of a
two-part article, Cindy Sadler takes you through the signs for determining whether a teacher is right for you
and how to “break up” when and if that time comes.

Getting the Lowdown on your Higher Education Investment

So you’ve decided to pursue a degree in vocal performance. What school is best for you? How important is fi nding the right teacher when considering possible schools? How will you pay for your education? How can you find out about scholarships and fi nancial aid? Should you go on to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate? Angela Myles Beeching, career counselor at the New England Conservatory, provides a host of answers to these and many other questions facing the college-bound singer.

Dr. Jahn and Your Health : Stay Healthy in School

From a rigorous schedule to late night study sessions, long hours in the practice room, and evening rehearsals, the life of a college music student presents a myriad of challenges, one of which is staying healthy. For the college singer- student, maintaining good health is even
more important. Here’s Dr. Jahn with some sound advice for keeping the doctor away.