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A Course in Early Music for Singers and Accompanists:
VOICE AND BREATH, LOOSENESS INSTEAD OF TENSION, FEELING INSTEAD OF SENTIMENT
EXPLORING THE ITALIAN BAROQUE ARIA
8st – 14th July 2013
Mill Osvračín, Czech Republic
The human voice is the sound accompanying an exhalation, and thus if breathing is natural, then the voice will also be natural – and healthy. Everyone can breathe and therefore sing! However, many people do not feel free to express themselves spontaneously and cannot sing as they would wish. Before World War II, Prof. Lajos Szamosi together with Mme. Terezie Blumová developed a method which, using simple means such as restraining muscles that unconsciously tense (thus impeding free breathing – and singing), helped people to recover spontaneous and healthy use of their voices. The process is both liberating and leads to recovered vocal health, because with free breathing the voice resonates optimally with no extra pressure. The vibration thus released is positive for the whole body and in addition, helps improve psychological balance.
Three former long-time students of Mme. Blumová, have continued this teaching method of singing in different parts of Europe, and will give an intensive workshop in the second week of July for singers who are interested in exploring their natural voice and who are interested in Early Music. The course offers singers and accompanists the opportunity to develop a knowledge and understanding of the Italian Baroque aria – the single most important genre of 17th and 18th century solo vocal music. Though participants are free to bring selections from their own repertoires, one of the main features of the course is to engage with the Italian Baroque through a fascinating manuscript: the ‘Estensische Musikalien 179’ (Ms. E.M 179) from the Este Music Collection preserved in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). Course members will receive the sheet music material well in advance. The course for accompanists will be particularly concerned with playing from the figured bass (the standard baroque practice of realising the basso continuo) for which some (elementary) understanding of harmony is expected as well a reasonable degree of keyboard fluency.
The course will be given in Czech, English and Italian, and will take place in the delightful enviroment of a newly reconstructed Mill in Osvračín www.mlyn-osvracin.cz. The final concert will be held in the nearby Staňkov Church. (The course will also offer the options of meditation and Qi Gong/Tai-Chi basics, an ancient Chinese art form of gentle exercises which increases energy flow and relaxation).
The fee €200 includes:
- Daily individual lessons with one of the teachers
- Free access to all classes
- Individual lessons with the accompanist James Gray
- Every afternoon – two hours of collective “musical sharing” (all students and teachers together)
- Participation in the concert, which will be held on Sunday 14th July, at 3 pm.
- A certificate of attendance
- (An optional participation in daily meditation and classes of Chi-Gong/Tai-Chi)
Kontakt for all practical information: Jana Vacíková, Czech Republic, firstname.lastname@example.org 00420 604 319122