Master Class with Jane Eaglen
Merola Opera Program 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010 | 7:00 - 9:00pm | Herbst Theatre
Last night soprano Jane Eaglen gave a master class to 5 singers before an audience of Merola supporters. Ms. Eaglen is a positive, encouraging & voluble teacher, & the Merolini clearly like her. Her coaching focussed on the sound of the voice.
Baritone Sidney Outlaw sang "Sorge infaust una procella" from Handel's Orlando. He has an eager personality & a bright voice. He impressed Ms. Eaglen with his ornamentation, which he had come up with only shortly before the class, in an operatic version of cramming. Mezzo Robin Flynn sang "Ces lettres!" from Massenet's Werther. Ms. Eaglen told her that the key to high notes is to "squeeze your bottom," then added, "I don't have a big bottom. I have big high notes."
Bass Kevin Thompson sang "Il lacerato spirito" from Simon Boccanegra. His voice is deep, wide & just plain sexy. Ms.Eaglen asked him to smooth out his sound, even if that resulted in slightly mushy diction. Tenor Kevin Ray sang "In fernem Land" from Lohengrin. This was new music for him, & he struggled more than the other singers, his voice sounding squeezed. Ms. Eaglen could hear him tightly sucking in air & tried to loosen up his breath. Finally, soprano Janai Brugger-Orman sang the "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka. Her voice is viscous & luscious, & Ms. Eaglen tried to get her to avoid abrupt vocal shifts.
I found the class interesting, even though I do not sing & did not understand a lot of the technical instructions. All the Merolini have polished presentations already, & Ms. Eaglen often got quite picky in her observations. After the event I was introduced to Eleazar Rodriguez, just briefly enough for me to tell him how much I enjoyed his Tom Rakewell earlier this year.