Working as an opera singer is a funny old business. With spending time on the road, I’ve often found myself reflecting on how relatively ‘normal’ things to me, must comes across as being a bit bizarre to muggles/non singers.
Whether you are a Diva who loves the limelight, or a more humble soul, I’m sure folks can resonate with how weird one or two of these experiences are.
Earlier this year, I had my first ultrasound scan. From a singer’s perspective it really was a fascinating experience, as I was able to see how my diaphragm muscles were engaging on a screen. That said, it felt weird to look like and be treated like a pregnant woman.
Ah, the high life but we’ve all been there. Desperately searching for ANYWHERE to get the voice moving and more times than not, a toilet is the only place you can find.
Ugghh! Never mind, a loo can do as well as anywhere else to practise and sometimes the acoustics are great.
I can’t be the only opera singer who gets this request. The memory that sticks in my mind best was a very formal affair. I remember getting ambushed right at the last moment, and dragged to a secluded spot where I could ‘surprise’ the Birthday Boy.
I have a fairly reliable immune system. In spite of this, I’ve found myself wearing a humidiflyer mask on plane journeys in the past. The panicked look from the air-hostess as you put on the mask could be enough to make one avoid making a habit of this.
Singers are fanatical about avoiding catching colds and will do anything to avoid being coughed or sneezed on, including running out of shops if someone sneezes or just walking off fast if someone with a hint of a sniff starts to talk to you.
For added protection, tenors wear scarves.
We’ve all done it. You’re talking to a fellow singer or an audience member and suddenly words start coming out of your mouth that you have never said in your life before. What’s all that about? For me, the worst one is the word “Maestro”. Whenever I say this word, I feel like the biggest douche in the world. I’ll leave that one to my Italian colleagues, and save myself the embarrassment.
Well those are my top 5. Anything that I’ve neglected?