|Donata D'Annunzio Lombardi and Sean Christensen|
As an observer and auditor, we noticed impressive changes in all four participants, sopranos Tamara Rusque, Elizabeth Novella and Dorothy Gal and tenor Sean Christensen. We had never heard any of them sing beforehand but were able to compare their performance before working with Maestra Lombardi and after a half-hour of coaching. The methods were new to us and seemed to involve a profound knowledge of anatomy and bio-energetics. The guidance was given in Italian and translated by Glenn Morton, Artistic Director of Classic Lyric Arts.
There was some overlap but each participant was handled differently. Signora Lombardi seemed to know exactly where each singer's tension was located and how to release it. The entire body was brought into play, from the feet up. There was a lot of emphasis on the spine and the hip joint. Singing on one leg with the other swinging back and forth seemed to work wonders, as did wiggling the spine in serpentine fashion.
Much work was also done with the face. Holding the lower lip between the fingers produced quite a difference as did wiggling the upper lip. Who knew before today that showing the lower teeth could change the voice? Or that the diaphragm was connected to the cervical vertebrae? One singer was given a Ricola to hold between her back teeth. Another interesting strategy was to bite the lower lip and vocalize. Lacking the knowledge to understand how these strategies work we are nonetheless sure that the participants who are taking her weekend workshop will come away with a great deal of valuable knowledge. The maestra is not only an amazing teacher but is a gifted artist herself--well known in all the famous opera houses of Italy as well as Paris, Zurich and Stuttgart. How admirable that she is sharing her unique discoveries with the next generation. Bravissima!
© meche kroop