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Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by Seany2 2003-08-06 02:14:18


Anyone?

re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-06 03:04:13


Bernadette #1.

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Posted by GottaGimmick 2003-08-06 04:20:40


No way! Bernadette's just plain amazing!

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Posted by Belasco07 2003-08-06 07:58:25


Bernadette is a good singer but her rendition of "Rose's turn" is as forced as it gets. I don't understand her cast in all of Merman's old roles. They are both wonderful performers, but are completely different. In a musical like Gypsy, originally written by Laurents and musically tailored by Styne for Merman--it just doesn't work.

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Posted by NuggetMonkeys 2003-08-06 12:01:03


:::Bernadette is a good singer but her rendition of "Rose's turn" is as forced as it gets. I don't understand her cast in all of Merman's old roles. They are both wonderful performers, but are completely different. :::

exactly...they are both very different...is that so bad?? what's wrong with a different mindset of a Momma Rose or an Annie Oakley?

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Posted by qpidsangel 2003-08-06 12:10:06


I found both performances quite enjoyable, well judging from Merman's cast album. They both have different ways of viewing the character bringing out distinctive characteristics of Mama Rose. I find that to be a good thing. Anyone know how to not force your voice? I know use lots of air, but I can't seem to figure it out.

QP

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Posted by Amy Archer 2003-08-06 12:41:56


Oh right. This is the board where a woman who has given 40 years of her life to the musical theatre gets attacked, and chorines with one or two Broadway shows to their credit are lifted to the status of 'diva'.

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Posted by PJ 2003-08-06 12:43:29


Go Amy!

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Posted by sharon1 2003-08-06 12:48:08


You are so rriiiiiight!

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-06 13:09:11


Bernadette and Adura and Patti all, at times, strain while singing. And God bless them for it. I do not go to the theatre to watch people think technically and produce pretty sounds but lack any sort of depth or passion in their performance.

I say push, strain and make me weep with your dedication to the audience and the show.

And to Amy,

I don't know you, but I say God bless you and your thoughts and you ability to make your point succinctly (something I need to learn).

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-06 13:33:32


Bernadette does strain, however, I have to agree with Robbiej. Especially in the Musical Theatre field, if all an actress or actor does is focus on vocal technique instead of incorporating the passion and feeling that goes with a song, that would make them a very boring performer. Let me tell you - all musical theatre performers strain once in a while....although it might not be apparent to the audience, or performer, even - sometimes, certain roles might have a range that exceeds an individual performer's comfort range while singing. Does that mean he or she should not perform the role if it might be a little strenous? In my opinion, no. That would be silly. If it gets to the point where the "straining" affects your vocal health, then that's a problem. But if the "straining" creates a pleasant sound, and it doesn't affect the performer in the long run, what is the point in worrying about it?

And Amy, I couldn't agree with you more. "Some People" need to get a clue. I'm sorry, but just as an example of worshipped "divas" as of late... Sutton Foster is great and all - but I know at least 8 girls off the top of my head, who I have gone to school with, or met at auditions, etc. that can do the same thing she does every night, and maybe even better. I still think Ms. Foster has a looooong way to go in my book, before she is considered to be a "diva" up there with the likes of Bernadette, Audra, Patti LuPone, Betty Buckley, et al. And while we are on her, if you want to talk about "straining" take a look at the way she performs "Gimme Gimme". It may SEEM cute and clever the way she positions her body and stetches out to belt and hold that big note at the end, but I suspect that note is a little high for her....but does that mean it isn't a great moment, and does that mean she can't sing it? NOT AT ALL. I actually enjoy it very much. But I do think that it doesn't come all that easy for her. So I think the question of whether an actress or actor strains while singing is irrelevant.

Cheers,
The Balladeer

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-06 13:43:56


...aaaaaand scene.

atta girl/boy, balladeer.

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Posted by sharon1 2003-08-06 14:03:44


Well said. It is musical THEATER. Passion , emotion, drama are all major components. Not just hitting the right note for the right length of time.

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Posted by flaemmchen 2003-08-06 14:54:32


I don't know how many of you have been keeping up on Juliana's Journal, but in her last entry she mentioned that someone told her that a performer usually feels vocally at his/her best for three performances a week, so yes, they are going to strain and force. Like everyone else has been saying, if the person has perfect technique but no dimension, they can be a recording artist or something. You need emotion in theatre. One of the most profound theatrical memories I have is seeing Bernadette sing Rose's Turn, crying her eyes out, and getting so caught up in the emotion that she forgot the words. I was shaking.

And The Balladeer beat me to citing Sutton's "Gimme Gimme" as an example of straining. She kicks all kinds of butt when she sings the song, but there are times when I see her sing it and I'm afraid her throat's gonna explode.

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Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-06 15:39:16


"And The Balladeer beat me to citing Sutton's "Gimme Gimme" as an example of straining. She kicks all kinds of butt when she sings the song, but there are times when I see her sing it and I'm afraid her throat's gonna explode. "

REALLY?? I'v never seen her live but hearing the cd, it seems so effortless for her, she doesn't seem like she's straining at all... hmmm...?

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Posted by Hello Gorgeous 2003-08-06 15:40:58


I agree with Amy. Just because Bernadette and Merman are different doesn't make her bad, or actually, strain her voice. I saw GYPSY and she sounded amazing, the best I've heard her sound in a while. Rose's Turn sounded so much better than at the Tony's, about 1,000 times better.

And even if she does strain her voice, so what? That's part of her sound I think. People recognize her because of that. And actually, sometimes it adds to the performance (I think anyway).

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Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-06 15:44:00


ya and patti lupone has that sound that you think her head will explode for singing so loud and powerful but she sings with such ease and confidence, especially in a concert/cabaret settings, it's ridiculous how nonchalant she can be about wailing, and that's why she's queen, lol.

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Posted by Amy Archer 2003-08-06 15:48:27


Help me, Officer! Did you see the run-on sentence that hit me?

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Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-06 15:49:59


ok, if i wanted to be lectured on the structure of my f#$&ing sentences i would go to class. but since i'm not in class let's talk about theatre.

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Posted by Amy Archer 2003-08-06 15:52:16


Cogent writing helps you make your points more effectively.

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Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-06 15:55:23


i suppose so, but too bad this isn't a lectured class, so please lay off the harsh undertones. if you didn't understand, just ask me to explain myself. you know, most people come here to talk about theatre, i dunno. oh, i guess that would be why it's called "broadwayworld.com", not "spelling and structured-sentenced nerds unite." so, now let's get back to business about theatre, shall we? because this post IS about singers who strain.

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Posted by Amy Archer 2003-08-06 16:16:28


Read back a little. There are no harsh undertones. I made a joke about your bad grammar skills, and you leapt to hurl invective. We can discuss theatre to our heart's content, but is it too much to ask for coherency?

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-06 18:13:25


Well apparantly Amy on THIS site,it is . Your post was nothing short of brilliant. You may or may not know this but my biggest pet peeve about the posters on this or any message board (overrun by "tweens") is the fact that they have NO idea what a legend or diva is. They become obsessed with the Broadway equivalent of "one hit wonders". They even become die hard fans of people only "they" know (Jessica Grove'). The whole concept of worshipping someone who they hadn't even heard of 6 months before a hit show and/or Tony (and moreover may never hear from again),is bizarre. They also weren't raised during a time BEFORE "spell-check". Those of us born before the 80's, know the lost art of actually being able to WRITE properly.

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Posted by luluhed 2003-08-06 19:24:09


Well, the person I'm going to mention is not on broadway, but I did see him perform with Pavarotti (for shame). I think the best example of straining one's voice to the point of bursting a blood vessel is Michael Bolton. I know he has legions of fans, but I can't listen to him. It actually hurts my ears.

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Posted by BwayStar2B 2003-08-06 22:55:31


"Well apparantly Amy on THIS site,it is . Your post was nothing short of brilliant. You may or may not know this but my biggest pet peeve about the posters on this or any message board (overrun by "tweens") is the fact that they have NO idea what a legend or diva is. They become obsessed with the Broadway equivalent of "one hit wonders". They even become die hard fans of people only "they" know (Jessica Grove'). The whole concept of worshipping someone who they hadn't even heard of 6 months before a hit show and/or Tony (and moreover may never hear from again),is bizarre. They also weren't raised during a time BEFORE "spell-check". Those of us born before the 80's, know the lost art of actually being able to WRITE properly."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OK...I really don't want to start a huge fight here, but I just wanted to politely ask if you could please refrain from stereotyping "tweens." It feels discriminating to me, because the "tweens" you described were not at all like me. Let's jut try and treat eachother equally, no matter how old we are. Thanks, and I appologize if any of that sounded offensive. :)

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-07 00:04:26


Yes I would like to second the previous comment above about stereotyping "tweens". And this is not the first time I have read this comment. I have read it somewhere else too. I am in my early twenties and a guy, but I don't go gagga over Jane Krakowski cause I think she is hot, or a Sutton Foster because I saw her in Millie, and therefore think she is the best thing since sliced bread. Neither do I always worship Bernadette Peters just because I think she should be praised all the time because she is considered a diva. I like performances of individual actors/actresses based on my judgements and beliefs on how well they performed, and how excellently they display their talents and techniques. Not because an individual performer is the latest craze. Just wanted to get that straight.

(End of rant)

Now.....I really think Bernadette is an excellent Rose in this revival of Gypsy....there were times during a performance where I saw her straining. Particularly in "Everything's Coming Up Roses". Then there were other nights that this wasn't an issue. Being an actor myself, I know that there are just going to be nights/performances where you are not going to be able to give a 100%...and I am not saying that all performers/actors don't...but you have to take into consideration things such as fatigue, illness, environment....and it is really hard sometimes. But I feel all *professional* actors and actresses try their damnest every night to give a consistant and excellent performance, but sometimes other factors might affect that. I say all this to say that, sometimes there are reasons why a singer might "strain" and although you might feel it's poor technique, doesn't mean that it is non-existant...it just means that it's being tweaked to fit the cirumstances, what ever it/they might be.

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Posted by Scooter 2003-08-07 00:48:55


balladeer, i doubt you truly know what you speak of. i don't think you know at all what it takes to perform at the level Sutton does (for example) 8 times a week. ergo, i doubt you know of 8 girls you went to school with that could do what she does. reading your second post on this subject softens my stance on you a bit, but to single out Sutton was i believed a little bold.

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 07:35:01


Thanks for re-posting my thread in its entirety bwaystar2b. I feel it was good enough to post 2ce. And thanks for proving my point.

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Posted by Gothampc 2003-08-07 07:38:13


Bernadette is known for straining. She missed many performances of "Into The Woods" because she was hurting her voice.

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-07 10:37:00


Scooter, I am not trying to single out anyone. I just used Sutton as an example in my previous post, and then decided to expand on my example. There are plenty of performers that could be referenced....I just used her as an example because she is the first that came to my mind at the time. And, I DO know what it takes to perform eight times a week, and I DO know that it is difficult. Especially in a show that involves heavy dancing and singing. And I am NOT trying to discredit anyone. Maybe you should re-read my original post. And I happen to be one of the people who DON'T easily put people on pedistals for minimal work. Sutton is great yes, but I am not going to worship her and make it seem as if she is some phenomenial talent that can't be touched. Sorry. Yes, I will admit that she is on Broadway, and deserves to be, and is incredibly talented - but there ARE people out there who can do the same thing she does. And probably better. As for your assessment on what knowledge I have, or who or what I know, that's your opinion. As long as I know what I know, I could really care less of what you think. Take care, and have a nice day.


Cheers,
The Balladeer

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Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-07 11:34:56


It's because Bernadette is carrying her chest voice higher than it should go..........and she has a little voice that is being pushed harder and higher than it was meant to go. She has a very odd voice to begin with - doesnt sound well trained in terms of technique.

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Posted by moljul 2003-08-07 12:15:27


Wow. I'm not even sure how to react to the concept that Bernadette Peters' voice is "little". I'm constantly in awe as to how a voice so big can come out of a body so tiny.

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 12:39:55


Seabyrd, which Bernadette Peters are *you* talking about? That was so far away from the truth, it's nonsense. Say what you will about BP but "small" does not come to mind when needing adjectives to describe her voice.

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Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-07 12:49:15


Are you people serious? If you had a mic attached to your body, you'd sound like Godzilla too!! How can you say she has a big voice? Until you hear a voice without a mic, dont tell me BIG.

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 12:54:46


And you are an expert...HOW?

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 12:57:06


If that's the case, than I literally shudder at the thought of listening to Kristin Chenoweth or Sutton Foster or Audra McDonald without a mic. What a horror! They sound thin and strained as it is. You're way off.

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Posted by Hello Gorgeous 2003-08-07 13:37:15


Yes, how can you say her voice is little? Even with a mic, she must have tremendous power to sing some of those tunes.

I too shutter to think about how Sutton Foster sounds without her voice, since "everyone sounds like Godzilla with a mic"

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Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-07 14:53:14


Nevermind - I guess you're not singers with trained voices. If you were, you'd know the difference between shouting, straining, forcing, over-reaching............and not projecting without some serious amplification. Case closed.

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-07 15:02:29


Bravo, Seabyrd. Bravo.

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-07 15:17:37


Case ain't closed, Seabyrd.

You can say A LOT about BP's voice. She pushes, she strains, her throat looks like a road map when she sings. You can say every last one of those things and I would not in any way disagree with you But to call her voice 'small' just seems strange. You can't really use the amplification argument because, since, the mid to late 60's performers have been amplified. No one on Broadway today is trained to perform without amplification. Her voice fills the house. Part of that is amplification and part of that is the sound she produces, just like everyone else on Broadway.

I know people who hate BP. They can't stand the sound of her voice. Fine. I won't argue. There are performers that love other performers that I can't stand. Big deal. You can even think BP has a small voice. But to use the amplification argument weakens your point because amping a performer is standard.

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-07 15:38:02


Robbiej, I would have to respectfully disagree with you on your comment about actors today being trained with the intention of using amplification. Well, I guess if you meant learning how to balance their own voice levels with that of their amplicated voice with a mic, then, yes, that is true. IF they can already pretty much project without a mic. But I am assuming you meant something else. I was taught, and my teacher(s) always stressed the importance of being able to project without a microphone. In fact, any teacher that tells you, "Don't worry about projecting your voice too much, because you will most likely be miked." Is already teaching you bad habits, and you should run away from them. Being able to project your voice is a fundamental part in singing. Otherwise, how the heck can a singer be heard without it? Believe it or not, whether you want to be on broadway or not, there is going to be a time where you are not going to have a microphone, or a microphone alone will not help you in projecting a sound. I am currently doing a show right now where I don't always have a body mic, and have to be able to project my voice to the back of the house. To assume that it is normal to rely on a mic, and not have the ability to project is a bad misconception of singers.

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Posted by broadwayguy2 2003-08-07 15:43:44


I worked briefly with a voice teach who once took me out onto the stage of a 1,500 seat theatre and had me sing a song so that she could hear me from the very last row of the theatre. She, and I, am a firm believer that having the technique to do that is very important. relying on a microphone is not a good thing. What happens if your mic goes out while onstage?? In the middle of a song??

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-07 15:50:42


Balladeer,

Of course I'm not saying singers shouldn't project. That would be just plain silly. But the reality of the situation is every single Broadway show (including La Boheme...and most, if not all, dramas) are miked. Do singers have to be prepared to sing without amplification? Of course. I've had two professional jobs (one off-Broadway, one regionaly) where we did not use body mics (the regional had two floor mics). Everyone in both shows were prepared for such an occassion. We were all well trained.

But that wasn't even the point I was making. I was actually saying seabyrd used a flawed argument in discussing the size of BP's voice. All of Broadway uses amplification. Of course it's still important to project and use a full sound, even with mics. And you, my friend, have actually helped prove my point! Thank you!

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Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-07 15:58:07


whatever, i thought we were among friends talkin bout theatre, but i guess spelling and grammar is more important. it's all good. i see where most people's passion lies, and it's not with theatre...

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Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-07 16:00:10


At last! A couple of people on this board who GET IT! I believe the original question dealt with opinions of who is straining..........you wanna wreck your voice? Strain it so we can see those muscles in your throat stand out like ROPES!! Ever hear of opera singers whose careers have been cut short by singing roles beyond their capabilities - and bigger than their voices could handle? But that's another subject for another day. Whether my argument is flawed or not, I still say BP does NOT have a big voice, but she has managed to hang on - so good for her.

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 16:03:08


Well seabyrd, you must not be *that* in demand as a "singer" if you're able to sit on this board all day cranking out insults and nonsense about singers' whos' *shoes* you're most likely not even good enough to shine. And forgive my ignorance(blatant sarcasm intended) but are you people INSANE saying that crap about mic's versus no mic's? I've never heard such a load of crap in my life and no, I'm not a pro singer BUT I DO have a brain inside the confines of my skull, even though at present time, it is BAFFLED at the stupidity of some posters on this thread.

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Posted by MasterLcZ 2003-08-07 16:15:47


The best case I can think of of trained vs. untrained voices were my first two times I saw THE PRODUCERS with Nathan & Matthew. I love them both, but I was unexpectedly impressed with Brad Oscar, who I think has the strongest, best trained voice of all the original cast members - a rich and powerful voice which can growl and belt with ease. I may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure Nathan never had extensive voice training. If he had, it might have prepared him so he would have not been bedeviled by the throat problems he underwent late in the run. He's not alone in this - the great Betty Hutton (also an untrained voice with a similar high-voltage belting style) also developed polyps in her throat and actually underwent a dangerous throat operation in the early 1950s to remove them.

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-07 16:26:39


Al D

Are you turning on me? Clefting my heart in twain because of my mic argument????

I man never recover

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 16:35:00


I would NEVER turn on someone who has Joyce DeWitt as an icon. Wait a minute, are you really (gasps) SHE? :)

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Posted by robbiej 2003-08-07 16:55:02


Al!

DON'T BLOW MY COVER!!!

Suzanne Sommers is out there. And she's mad. Very, very mad.

If I wake up dead tomorrow, with a thigh master wrapped around my throat, you'll feel terrible, won't you?

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Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-07 17:57:44


Don't worry, Suzanne is just as blonde and clueless as ever!

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Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-07 23:13:29


Al, most of the posters who have responded to the question of who strains when singing have been civil. You seem to take this all terribly personally when it's just an opinion poll - whether you know it or not, singing correctly is a science as well as an art and you seem to know nothing about either. Those who do have responded in a knowledgeable manner and have kept the rabid fan aspect out of it. May I suggest you do the same?

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Posted by Scooter 2003-08-07 23:31:13


Ask any sound guy on Bway and he would tell you he would prefer a singer to sing like they would if they weren't mic'd in order to achieve the most "natural" amplified sound. That's not to say that performers can't then learn to push the dynamic ranges of their voice using the mics in both directions. And there are perfomers, i.e., Colm Wilkinson whose voice you wouldn't be able to hear if his mic went out. So to make a blanket statement in this argument, as in many, is to be incorrect. Training the voice requires you to train the full voice. Singing off the breath will dramatically affect the health and tone of the voce. Just as screaming and straining will.

And this takes us into the argument that everything today is OVERamplified due to many factors.(Audience expectation, orchestration, electronic instrumentation, rock & roll)

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Posted by broadwayguy2 2003-08-07 23:44:27


Actually, I read an interview with several sound designers who said that teh main reason for such loud amplifation in many shows is the automation in the set pieces and lighting equipment. they have to make the volume a certain level to cover the sounds of some of the motors and cooling fans needed for the automated effects.
although, there are some shows were the loud sound is due to the style of the show ala RENT.

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-08 01:53:52


Robbiej,

I understand now, I was assuming you meant something else. And of course, now that I know for sure what you were actually saying, I completely agree.

By the way, for everyone - I just saw Gypsy again tonight, for the first time since I saw it in Previews in March, and I must say that Bernadette was incredible vocally tonight....It was the best I have ever heard her in the role...and I think that is partially due to the fact that she is definitely feeling better, and she has become more comfortable with the role.

There were even moments where she seemingly sang certain notes higher than indicated in the score on purpose. One example that stuck out was in "Everything's Coming Up Roses" It was fantastic. And I was especially excited that she belted the "C" That most Rose's don't sing at the end of "Some People". I was completely impressed.

Now I have to admit that before I was a little skeptical about her vocally way back in late March during previews, but I am a man who can admit when he is wrong, and I was wrong! And I am glad, because I want her to be good! She really did an amazing job vocally. And, we won't even begin to talk about her acting, that would take up another long post....in short, it was nothing short of fantastic.

This I CAN say about Bernadette.....the woman can do anything she puts her mind to. People doubted her ability to do this part, and she wowed a lot of the nay-sayers. I at least gave her the benefit of the doubt, and was impressed for the most part in March, but tonight, she just BLEW me away!

Oh, and I got to meet a fellow poster on this board by chance...cabarethead. She was really cool.

Everyone...let's not blow this debate out of hand and get too personal and petty. It is an interesting topic where there is an opportunity to learn from each other...let us not turn it into the "Battle of the Broadway Divas".

Cheers,
The Overly Elated (due to Bernadette's amazing performance)Balladeer

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Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-08 02:06:37


Al Dente,

One question? I am confused....please enlighten me....what is so stupid about proper vocal technique? What is stupid about learning to project one's voice if you are a singer? Your post to seabyrd baffled me, as you bunched a lot of other people, who you did not specify, by the way, as stupid, based on the criteria that they have discussed proper vocal technique and the importance of projecting.

And trust me, no offense, a lot of performers can be wrong in the way they perform, and in the usage of their technique or lack thereof. Whoever used the Nathan Lane example, used an excellent example. For the Producers, Nathan had been doing a LOT of screaming at the top of his voice (literally), and singing way beyond his means vocally. He even admitted this. And this was part of the reason why he left the Producers, so he felt, prematurely.

So to make a long story short, PROPER technique is important. It is not something stupid, or it is not a way to throw a dig at a performer when discussing it either. It is a legitimate part of discussing, or reviewing, or critiqueing (sp.?) a performance.

I hope you didn't take any offense to this post, as I was not trying to start an arguement. Just trying to clarify.


Cheers,
The Balladeer

re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by TheaterBaby 2003-08-08 02:22:40


First of all, on that whole grammar note, not everyone who was born after 1980 needs a spellcheck. I was born in 1982. I find simple grammar mistakes to be quite annoying as well. My biggest pet peeve is people who end their sentences in prepositions.
I did find that "Run-on sentence" line to be very ammusing.

Now, back to the topic. Yes, Bernadette does strain at times; but who cares? Her voice is amazing. Why did she have to be the first person someone mentioned reguarding this topic? There are singers out there who don't strain at all; and yet cannot even compare to Bernadette's unique and wonderful voice.

Also, just because some of you may have been vocally trained in a professional manner does not give you any more knowledge of what sounds good and what doesn't. A mute man can still hear and understand, even if he can't speak.

re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by King Stevos 2003-08-08 03:55:43


Bernedette(sp): In my opinion, has a bad voice, but thats not what makes her wonderfull, I hate her voice but love her performance, the whole package is what matters. If a person is straining their voice so be it. But there comes a time when one either has to leave the role, or learn how to do it right. Nathan is a great example but an even better one is Adam Pascal. He screamed his way through Roger killing his voice, and had to be asked to leave the show because he was getting bad off. Yet to fix this he went out and got himself some training, as you can tell by the fact that he sounds much better in AIDA. IMO

STEVOS

re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by popcultureboy 2003-08-08 06:47:39


Adam Pascal. He screamed his way through Roger killing his voice, and had to be asked to leave the show because he was getting bad off.

Was this before or after they asked him to open the show for three months in London?

And why has nobody mentioned the Queen Of Strain, Jennifer Holiday? I know someone who was an understudy in the original run of Dreamgirls and JH was always out because she kept ruining her voice.

re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-08 10:50:57


My point exactly. You want me to dignify you(seabyrd, theballadeer) with a response on a board that's overpopulated with nitwits who will never even be fortunate enough to be in the chorus of an *off* bway show? (yes, I'm aware that was a run-on sentence). WHEN was Adam Pascal asked to leave Rent? WHY would anyone playing a Broadway house be asked to sing WITHOUT a mic? All the lessons in the world are not going to make you a great singer, if you don't have the talent for it to begin with. And if you're all such seasoned pro's, how do you have time to be here? Shouldn't you be out performing in some cavern, without a mic?

re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-08 11:22:40


You've again made yourself very clear, Al. There is no point in continuing any kind of dialogue on this subject because you react entirely on emotion and can't seem to discuss it rationally. Nobody is knocking a performer who strains -- we are just addressing the original question, as well as why it occurs. I don't think you understand. As I said, you are reacting emotionally, probably because of your devotion to the theatre which is fine. However, it doesn't advance a discussion or lend any insight! By the way, insulting people who have knowledgeable opinions or practical experience doesn't work in your favor. You don't think certain performers strain their voices? Fine. This whole subject has certainly made for a lively discussion and I have appreciated reading the intelligent, for the most part, responses. (Nothing personal) LOL

re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by TheBalladeer 2003-08-08 11:57:38


Al Dente,

I wasn't trying to start an arguement with you, but I must tell you, you are very immature and YOU are the one who doesn't know what he/she/it's talking about. You fly off the handle when people are trying to be civil to you, and you blatently insult others for no apparant reason. Everyone on this thread for the most part discussed the topic in a civil manner. Not everyone agreed with each other, but were able to support their arguements intelligently. You have yet to do so. Here you come and start dishing the insults. You need to learn to listen and respect others' opinions, before you start being rude and trying, (note: trying is the operative word), to insult others. Grow up.

You talk about "tweens" and associate them with all this negative, stereotypical behavior, but YOU are the main offender when it comes to this. The way you respond to others displays juvenile behavior and a juvenile mentality. You must be a miserable person.

Finally, I will end my discussion with YOU on this topic, by saying this: I am not criticizing anyone's performance because I envy them, or feel that I am better than them, or to be rude. People are entitled to their opinions. Not once have I gratuitiously bashed a performer because I felt they "didn't sound good" or their "vocal technique made them sound bad" I happen to be a fan of Bernadette, and others who DO strain...even Nathan Lane, but did you see me viciously attack Stevos when he said that Bernadette's voice was not very pleasing to him? No. He has a differing opinion, and that's fine. No need to call him on it, or try to insult him because of that. He's human, and has formed his own opinion.

Now, I am going to ignore you, as I have spent too much time argueing with someone as silly and petty as you are. And, for the record, I do have a life, and I have performed, quite a lot. And I wouldn't be able to comment on anything If I haven't and didn't know SOMETHING about this topic. I admit, there is always more to learn, and no one person knows everything, but I am pretty sure I know a hell of a lot more than you do, and it is quite evident in your ignorant posts. Have a nice day.


Cheers,
The Balladeer

re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by sharon1 2003-08-08 12:29:58


Since I have no technological knowledge of using a mic on stage. I was always of the belief it was two fold. One if the singer could not project well, and needed assistance. Or two, could project very well and was of assistance to save the voice over 8 shows a week. Is that too naive? Oh I forgot the 3rd reason. Already mentioned. The noise of moving setts, etc.

re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-08 13:10:37


Here's a well-earned standing O for YOU, Balladeer. Your responses have been right on the mark!

re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by JohnPopa 2003-08-08 15:12:02


One thing being lost in all this is that the act of 'making the singer louder' is really not even relevant to the use of microphones, at least not anymore. Keep in mind: the orchestra is mic'ed too. What the sound systems allow is the sound designer to have better control over the ENTIRE sound of a show. He can properly blend the singers with orchestra and has a better control over levels and the mix. If it's an amplified singer over an unamplified orchestra, it just turns into a battle of volumes, that's not sound design. If it's just cranking up a quiet singer, that's not sound design. Microphones, obviously, only amplify what's there. I don't think a quieter singer is a lesser singer, any more than I think a louder singer is a better singer. It's not relevant to the discussion of their projection, their tone or their singing craft.

The technology of sound is very complex nowadays and the use of microphones helps create a more polished and effective sound, regardless of the volume.

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by Scooter 2003-08-08 16:33:25


John, I disagree that it creates a more polished sound. The biggest reason we have amplification as due to the orchestrations and style of music being used now, using as you mentioned, amplified instruments. Due to that, to create a 'balance', singers muct be mic'd. But regardless, micing distorts the natural colors and subtleties of the voice. The best scenario would be to have acoustical instruments and unmic'd voices from trained performers who know how to use them in theatres that have strong acoustics (another lost art form) So to me, mic's are a necessary evil in today's theatre. Unless composers begin to write and demand acoustical orchestration.

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-08 16:51:52


Gosh, I guess you told me where to go seabyrd and balladeer. I suppose I should go hang my head in shame and lick my wounds as I am so deeply humiliated that I may never again post. Pa-leese!For the record balladeer, I did not "slam" the "hot" Stevos for making that nonsensical statement about BP, I was rendered incredulous over his musings on Adam Pascal. I am so humbled by the lessons you two have taught me about manners, microphones, proper tween board etiquette, what "pros" do, etc... Thank you. I am forever in your debt. I'm not about to lose much sleep over what a few posters on a board, whos' most popular thread thus far, is entitled, "king Stevos is hot". Thanks for the laugh though.

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
Posted by broadwayguy2 2003-08-08 16:56:46


Al Dente, why do even post here?? You have mad it quite clear numerous times that in your own dilusional world, you think you are miles above anything this board has to offer, so why do you continue to post here?

re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by Slash 2003-08-08 17:05:41


Reading this thread has reaffirmed my belief in three things:
A. I love Al Dente and RobbieJ.
B. I hate King Stevos.
and C. For the most part, you are all idiots.

re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by Seany 2003-08-08 17:26:56


Oh geez...look what I've started!

re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-08 19:12:20


Wait a sec, BG2, you're starting with ME? I've gone out of my way to avoid busting your chops after that series of pm's you sent me long ago. I am confused by your actions. Are you implying that the "gloves" should be off? As for things I believe in:

1. I love Namo, Slash, Duane Reade and etoile and only stay here bc of them.
2. I am pretty much revolted by a few others.
3. EVERYONE should commit to memory the PROPER spelling of D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y. It's shocking how many people misspell that word.

re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by broadwayguy2 2003-08-08 20:52:21


No, Al Dente, I am not starting with you, getting an attitude or anything. I am not being men or anything. I am being genuine. You felt the need to start imsultimng me when you came here and you have showeed 'restraint', but you freguently provide commentary on how you are 'above' everyone on this board. Why should you, or the rest of your "gang:, spend time around peopel that you feel you are above. That is just a genuine question. I know that I don't like spendimng time with people I consider to be idiot because I think it is a waste o my time.

re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by Al Dente 2003-08-08 21:08:34


It's really not worth an arguement. I'll stay until I want to go.

re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by TheatreNut 2003-08-08 23:03:57


I agree 100% with JohnPopa. At least in every theatre production I have ever been in, or have been associated with, the sound technitions are always trying to find that perfect blend. The sound crew's primary job is to balance the orchestra within itself, balance the vocals onstage with the orchestra, and balance the cast within itself. That is why when one person's mic goes out, there is mass chaos in the sound dept to get it fixed. It it not because they can't be heard or such; it is because that ruins the sound design. That is why it is called sound design and not amplification. Sound is just like lights in the theatre. The Lighting Director doesn't just turn on the lights. It is a set pattern to find the "perfect" blend of colors on the stage. The sound is to find the "perfect" blend of sounds. I've been sound designer for many productions and that is what I do; Work hand in hand with the music director to acheive perfect sound quality. Trust me it is a lot harder to balance the music without microphones and pick-ups. Balance is the first fundamental to music.

And Bernadette NO LONGER has a "small" voice. She has really expanded her voice. Some of us had the chance to see her in her earlier days when her voice was not as big. So I want to say that she DID have a "small" voice. (At one time)

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by Hello Gorgeous 2003-08-09 12:15:58


I agree. Bernadette DID have a small voice, even though I haven't seen her when she did. I have about every recording she has ever been on, and there is a huge difference from "Dames at Sea" to "Rose's Turn", a VERY big difference.

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-09 12:42:14


Okay - I guess when I think of "big" voices, I think of Marin Mazzie and Judy Kaye..legitimate, classically trained, perfectly placed, with seamless registers, and powerfully produced without strain. But the comparison is pointless.... To each his own idea of "big" I guess!

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Broadway Singers who strain or force too much
Posted by seabyrd 2003-08-09 12:48:41


P.S. The voice darkens with age, too, so Bernadette's "Dames at Sea" and "Gypsy" would be different. Im not sure how much more powerful it would get without pushing it beyond its limits, resulting in vocal problems, damage, etc. etc. Gotta give her credit though for a long career.

Just a note
Posted by radactor03 2003-08-10 12:49:19


Just to let you know he was never asked to leave Rent or anything like that at all. Just wanted to clear that up don't want anyone starting something that is untrue.

re: Just a note
Posted by popcultureboy 2003-08-10 16:34:09


We know. We already covered that. Thanks for your input though.

re: re: Just a note
Posted by MisterRussell 2003-08-15 15:47:24


Michael Ball.

I thought he was gonna blow out a testicle when he sang "Love Changes Everything" on the Tonys.

re: re: re: Just a note
Posted by robactorguy 2003-08-15 15:48:50


when was this? the year that aspects was nominated or later? and how could he blow out a testicle??? j/k