Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much

Scooter
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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.
Updated On: 8/7/03 at 12:48 AM
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Al Dente
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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.
Gothampc
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Bernadette is known for straining. She missed many performances of "Into The Woods" because she was hurting her voice.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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TheBalladeer
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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
"Someone tell the story...Someone sing the song...."
seabyrd
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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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moljul
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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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Al Dente
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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.
seabyrd
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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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Al Dente
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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.
Hello Gorgeous
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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"
~*Christa*~ "Don't ya wanna be the life of the party?" Idina Menzel, THE WILD PARTY
seabyrd
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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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TheBalladeer
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Bravo, Seabyrd. Bravo.
"Someone tell the story...Someone sing the song...."
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robbiej
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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.
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
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TheBalladeer
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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.
"Someone tell the story...Someone sing the song...."
broadwayguy2
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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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robbiej
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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!
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
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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...
Updated On: 8/7/03 at 03:58 PM
seabyrd
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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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Al Dente
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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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MasterLcZ
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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.
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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robbiej
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Al D

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

I man never recover re: re: Broadway Singers who strain too much or force too much
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
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Al Dente
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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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robbiej
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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?

"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
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Al Dente
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Don't worry, Suzanne is just as blonde and clueless as ever!