DESCRIPTIONS OF WORKSHOPS and MASTER CLASSESMaster Classes offer individualized instruction for a finite number of singers.
Workshops are unrestricted group classes.
All workshops and master classes are open to non-singing auditors.
Visit Workshop Assignments page to check availability and select your sessions now.
(Morning sessions will usually run from 10 AM-1 PM. Afternoon sessions from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.)
Among all the workshops, the most intense will be offered by Christian Pagès. Singers who participate in all 12 hours will be preparing and performing a unique performance on Thursday evening, showcasing each singer and open to all abilities, for a truly unique cabaret show!
- In order by first name:
- ANGELINA REAUX: A Matter of Style: "Opera, Broadway, Cabaret, Kabarett"
"In this master class, we'll work with singers performing songs from all different disciplines while staying true to the stylistic demands of each genre. I'll touch on voice, diction, character and storytelling. An example from one of my cabaret concerts: I sing Mimi's first aria from LA BOHEME in Italian laying on a sofa and then cross to the crook of the piano and sing "Bill" from SHOWBOAT as if I were singing an American art song (which it is!) and then later I sing "L'Accordéoniste" in French against a wall, then go into the aria "Marietta's Lied" in German. With each song or aria I hope to tell my story, simply, authentically respecting both the composer and lyricist in the style it was intended."
For an idea of where Angelina is coming from musically, read this interview with Broadway World.
- CHRISTIAN PAGÈS: Body and Song: The Voice Incorporated
This workshop takes place over two days, culminating in a staged performance at the end of Day Two. Everyone in the Connexion can attend the first 3 hours when we work on exercises utilizing body, voice, breath, gesture, imaginative use of space and energy balance.
Singers incorporate vocal exercises with piano accompaniment to explore the quality and color of their vocal sound for their song interpretations, finding their energetic support and energy balance. Expect an intense, unique experience, based on individual songs, personalities and vocal styles, as the group dynamics and individual talents combine for the final show. The end result will utilize the work completed though these two days and will surprise all, with costumes, painting/artwork, staging, and more. Imagine moving tableaux with song. All levels welcome. Everyone will be at the service of the soloists. When a soloist sings other artists will have a role to play, perhaps as singers, actors or supernumeraries. Each will be employed according to their competence. No one is ever in danger on stage. "My job is to connect the body, the rightness of movement and the voice as a vibratory resonance resulting from the links between the mind, the emotional field and the intention to open the voice." For an example of a montage directed by Christian, in this case with rock and theatre repertoire: https://youtu.be/ZZmTTAONA_A
CHRISTINE STEYER: Releasing the jet lag, relieving performance anxiety 90 minutes
Join Christine for a fun exploration of breathing techniques, vocal exercises, mild physical movement and left-right brain hemisphere neuro-integration. An immersive class to cultivate holistic techniques, reduce performance anxiety and tension in the body, while showing singers how to express a freer and more powerful tone by using their whole bodies. 90 minutes
- CLAUDIA HOMMEL: Patter, your audience's portal to you and your song
Dictionaries don't tell us what "patter" is in cabaret, but it can be the essential ingredient to add context and connection to your songs and your audience. Very much related to the role of compère, host, animateur, or emcee. Let's explore how to embrace the persona we become as host with the most.
If our schedule allows I hope Kyle and Paul will weigh in!
- CLOTILDE RULLAUD in Paris: Vocal Resonances
"I am going to pick up from last year's conference but this time with a "practical" focus on singing in French. Let's look at what we experienced in Chicago, to "sing with one's bones"; and apply this concretely to singing in French. Poetry, the music of words and the depth of texts beyond the music itself, is one of the specificities of French song. We will explore French vowels and consonants, how to make French resound, how to rely on diction, resonators, sound colors and textures to release and share the emotion contained in a poetic text.
It's because I'm resonating that the Other resonates with me.
- the discovery of the vocal instrument
- the singer's own breathing, mobilization of the different diaphragms
- the exploration of the resonators and the oral cavity
- The refinement of the ear by listening to the bones and their harmonics
"If participants want to explore a different part of Paris, we can meet in my rehearsal studio in Belleville. It's not super sexy but it will work for a maximum of 10 people. We can take a walk to nearby Ménilmontant before or after, and from the heights of Belleville take a coffee break or meal at the restaurant Mon Coeur, with one of the most beautiful views on Paris."
- DAVID EDELFELT: Bridging communication and technique
Depending on attendance we will hold this workshop in two sessions. With enough participation, we'll separate the two parts. What is your preference?
Master Class A: Enhance technique without losing communication
Please prepare two songs (one will be chosen) from any genre of music where you feel your efforts to communicate the song get in the way of your technical ability to present it. We will address technical aspects such as breathing, placement, tone, unlocking high or low notes, stamina and musicality without losing your established skills as a song interpreter.
Master Class B: Enhance communication without losing technique
Please prepare two songs (one will be chosen) from any genre of music where you feel your efforts to produce the song technically well get in the way of your ability to interpret it. We will address communication tools such as dramatic choices, style, arrangement, and emotional connection without losing your established vocal technique.
- ELIZABETH DOYLE: Songwriters Circle
French and American songwriters will be sharing original songs. We will go around in a circle, each performing a song and responding to each other. We will also discuss the business of songwriting from notation software to promoting your songs on the web. You can submit topics to discuss in advance of the session. Participants just may become your new creative support group.
In Sète we hope to have Christian Stalla's participation and in Paris, Michèle Barbier along with Jacques Protat. Des auteurs français et américains vont partager des chansons originales. Nous ferons un cercle, dont chacun partage une chanson et tous répondent. Nous discuterons également des problèmes liés au « business », logiciels de notation, la promotion de vos chansons sur le Web. Vous pouvez soumettre des sujets à discuter avant la session. Les participants pourraient bien devenir votre nouveau groupe de soutien à la création.
- JACQUES PROTAT and ELIZABETH DOYLE: English and French diction for singers
Depending on attendance, this workshop may divide into "Singing in English for Francophones" and the other "Singing in French for Anglophones." In either case, we will start with exercises focusing on individual sounds, spoken rhythm and prosody. Before the conference convenes, each participant will send two or three songs to choose from. We will work with the individual singer but also involve the whole group for specific activities. We will also learn a totally new song from scratchto allow us to take a fresh look at the music and rhythm of the words from a songwriter's perspective. (And perhaps someone will perform the song at our final showcase!)
- JEAN-CLAUDE ORFALI: Musicality and the relationship between accompanist and singer
This workshop is for both singers and musical accompanists. We will address the importance of musical phrasing, the feel of a measure, pickups and downbeats, rhythm and tempo, ritards and accelerandos, breathing, and vibrato. And finally the special relationship between accompanist and solo singer.
- KYLE HUSTEDT: Taking riskslessons from burlesque
"This workshop will look at how borrowing from many disciplines creates a cross-market style of entertainment that is diverse and broad, mirroring the cabaret origins of of the late 19th and early 20th century Parisian and Berliner experiences, and their provocative results. All participants will have an opportunity to perform and explore their number from a more theatrical, burlesque based perspective."
- MARK BURNELL: Jazz, Riffing, and Positivity
In this workshop, we'll warm up using positive affirmations, sung with melodies drawn from jazz and pentatonic scales. Bring a prepared song, and we will work on incorporating some of those riffs into the interpretation. Improvising on the melody, back-phrasing, and rhythmic ideas and feels will be addressed. Vocalists should be able to present the song as it was composed, and then develop their own original version of the song.
- MICHÈLE BARBIER: How to dramatize a song, lessons learned from Josephine Baker
A young circus worker at the time, Michèle became Josephine Baker's private secretary from 1969 to 1971. She will share insights gained from her years on stage and in front of audiences around the world. Explore together how to bring to life your song and touch your audience. Interpréter une chanson (la faire vivre, pouvoir toucher le public).
- PAUL L MARTIN of London: The Golden Threadthe Relationship to your Audience
"Masterclass incorporating both group and 1-2-1 opportunities; exploring the delicate connection between audience and performerhow to create and sustain it when there is no fourth wall between us. Please bring sheet music in the correct key for 2-3 songs of any genre that you already know well. Lyrics must be known in order for me to work with you. Participants will be given the chance to explore, through practical application, exercises and games, how to achieve a strong and enduring link with an audience while on-stage and what being brave enough to break down the barriers between both parties can buy us."
You'll enjoy this Cabaret Scenes article on Paul's overall cabaret mission.
- VALÉRIE BLANVILLAIN from the National Opera of Montpellier: Master class
Chorus master for the Montpellier opera company, Valérie will bring her compassion and musicality to everyone's songs. They need not be opera arias. Musical theatre, art songs, and more are fodder for the work.
YAEL RASOOLY: Cabaret with objects and characters
Yael's theatrical language is based on a multidisciplinary approach, combining different forms of theatre, puppetry, visual art and music. Born in Israel, she was in the States as a university exchange professor this past year but returns to France in time for us to catch up with her unique take on cabaret theatre. Yael often gives workshops for adult puppetry and object theatre, combining the use of the singing voice, as well as lectures about this field in the contemporary scene, and her own artistic creation and path. Take a peak at http://www.yaelrasooly.com
Profiles of our principals will be posted soon (in July!) .