Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Beginings

This month was full of personal joy for me.

First of all I received several testimonials from Artists who have shared wonderful moments, that are all a part of an incredible journey of Artistic and personal experience that must be told.

This month also was the beginning of my Cabaret/Classic, Master Class at Chelsea Studios. We got off to a great start and were able to clarify for these young singers, the beauty of self awareness, and the defining of one's God given gifts.

Moving forward, Etta, my wife and protege, went into the studio for the first time to record (pictured above). Those of you who know the the tremendous difference between performance, coaching, and, class certainly understand the focus and security it takes to be ready for this most unusual of artistic endeavors. Etta recorded some of the most difficult Oratorio literature, and was able to come away with a product capable of displaying real vocal freedom, and a source of pride and accomplishment for the many hours and years that it took to make the journey.

Etta, you serve to validate my knowledge as a teacher.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"La Voce"

I chose the road less traveled.

To develop a real functioning voice for the Bel Canto style of singing Opera, one must make a total commitment for life. Because I wanted to know the difference between having a beautiful voice and one capable of what seems impossible, I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life.

There is no perfect state, but we must continually aspire to such. This journey has produced vocal abilities that I have dreamed of possessing for years. This particular time in my life has shown me that the truth in all things is possible if we are willing to submit (be submissive)to an energy far greater than ourselves.

Though my time spent having a career has been long and fruitful, I feel I've only just begun. This vocal understanding is a gift; I wondered why singers from the past sang into their 80s and 90s, and those today are plagued with heartache and vocal deterioration. Longevity was no accident, but a knowing that somewhere along the way became polluted.

There are many roads to Rome, and today I confirmed having truly found one. A man is a success when he feels like one.

Lasting Friendships

Today, I feel most fortunate among men!!!

I have chronologically spent more than a few decades on this planet, and a gift most rare is to arrive at this place in time with real friends present just as they were at the beginning.

My good friend Bob DiPaolo called to say hello and to re-affirm what we mean to one another. With that he gave me license to tell his part in my life story. We grew up together in Roxbury, Massachusetts and have known each other from the first grade, through graduating from high school in the same class, to the present day. He is the genuine article--"My Friend."

On this same day I was able (because of my ghostwriter) to locate Jeremy Ives. Thank God for the Internet!!! I was a young Balletomane with a great gift for the discipline of dancing the Ballet and I was taking classes at American Ballet Theatre on 57th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Jeremy was dancing with ABT, later with New York City Ballet, and then in the Metropolitan Ballet for 15 yearrs. When I got him on the phone today, we were both speechless for a moment; not since we were in our twenties had we spoken. We were inseperable in our youth! Now, he with a 41 year old son and me with two sons aged 42 and 44 shared a conversation that confirmed what we were then and what we are now--"Still Friends" Jeremy, too, was adament about sharing our story.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Great Ones

Earlier this spring we paid homage to two great artists who passed on--Lena Horne and Giuseppe Taddei. Once again, it is with an even greater sense of loss that I am compelled to comment on the passing of two more "Great Ones"--Giulietta Simionato and Benny Powell.

Simionato was the greatest Italian mezzo-soprano of her era. She passed at age 99. For more than seventy five years after her debut, Simionato still remained fresh and modern and natural
in every measure.

Benny was one of the Jazz industry's finest trombonists. He was 80 years old at passing.
We had the shared experience of being on faculty at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. I witnessed his caring for and mentoring a young gifted trombonist with whom we both
shared a special friendship.

It is artists of the caliber of Benny Powell and Giulietta Simionato who inspire the best in us and, because I live in both worlds of opera and jazz, their contributions effected my judgement and artistic presentation.