Vomitare la Voce: A Master Class

Last week I had the opportunity to sing for Canadian Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka in a Master Class at The GGS. During our sessions she asked:

“Does any one know what ‘Vomitare la Voce’ means?”

Turns out, it means to literally vomit your voice. The things you learn in conservatory!

Master Classes can be such an interesting experience – A visiting practitioner comes in, gives you feed back on your singing as well as offers some interpretative and technical advice. After your all too brief 30 minute session, you are left with some new ideas to experiment with and bring to your next lesson with your teacher.

Luckily, this was my second time working with Adrianne. Her giving nature and warm presence went a long way to put me at ease as I got up first to sing two selections from Schubert’s Winterreise.

The major takeaways from my time with Adrienne were her insistence on the text of the songs, modulating the dynamics to fit the scale of the songs, and spinning the breath to sing long musical phrases.

She will be singing this cycle herself this year, so it was great to get her feedback on both the technical and interpretive elements.

Before I knew it, my 30 minutes came to an end. Never the less, one of the major benefits of Master Classes is that you often learn a great deal from watching your peers. Taming renegade tongues, singing long Italiante vowels and the importance of using consonance to make the language pop were some of the additional topics discussed.

Her session made for a wonderful day of growth and learning – Thank you, Adrianne for all your encouragement!

Well, I have to run now – off to practise some of her suggestions……..


A picture of me with Adrianne post- Master Class. 

Also, check out this video of her singing one of my favourite songs by R. Strauss:


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