DESCRIPTIONS OF WORKSHOPS and MASTER CLASSESMaster Classes offer individualized instruction for a finite number of singers.
Workshops are unrestricted group classes.
Visit Workshop Assignments to make your preferences known.
(Morning sessions will usually run from 10 AM-1 PM. Afternoon sessions from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.)
- 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 Bohemes in Italian lying 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 Angelina's background, read this interview with Broadway World.
- CHRISTIAN PAGÈS: Body and Song: The Voice Incorporated
This special two-day workshop has now been filled for singers. French performers may join the process as figuration et danseurs (background and dancers).
This workshop takes place over two days, culminating in a staged performance at the end of Day Two. All registrants can attend the first three hours when we work on exercises using 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 develope 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. 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. Everyone present will be involved. 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."
CHRISTINE STEYER: Releasing the jet lag, relieving performance anxiety 90 minutes
Join Christine for an enjoyable 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 and PAUL L MARTIN: 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 how to "work the room," which we will touch on, and the role of compère, host, animateur, or emcee (a subject for another workshop!)
Claudia will open the discussion. Paul L Martin will weigh in with an hour of practical exercises!
- CLOTILDE RULLAUD in Paris: Vocal Resonances
"I am going to continure from last year's conference but this session I will focus on singing in French. I'll review Chicago's material, to "sing with one's bones", and apply this to singing in French. Poetry, the music of words and the lyrics and emotions, 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
- DAVID EDELFELT: Bridging communication and technique
David is separating the question in two parts.
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.
- JACQUES PROTAT and ELIZABETH DOYLE: English and French diction for singers
This workshop will address both French and English diction for singers, whether francophones or anglophones. We will start with exercises focusing on individual sounds, spoken rhythm and prosody (we will explain this... all about meter and the relationship between words and music). Before the conference convenes, participant should 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.
- 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 and ANNE 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 (preferably a blues or jazz 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
- First contact with the public: "an artist, before you hear him, you see him"
- Why do we sing?
- Always talk to the public. Don't just "show yourself" but "give"
- Vocal placement
- How costume personalizes the singer
- Personalizing songs. You have to live your song and not just recite it...
- Microphone technique
- The choice of songs (we do not sing a song because it is pretty, but because it corresponds to the character we play.) All this, punctuated by a few anecdotes about Josephine, and, of course, some practical exercises.
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 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). Essential points that Josephine taught me:
- PAUL L MARTIN, London: The Golden Threadthe Relationship to your Audience
"Masterclass incorporating both group and indivual 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 other genres are fodder for the work.
Profiles of our principals are posted here.