Tonight I had the good fortune of attending a masterclass at the University of Western Ontario featuring Maestro Gary Thor Wedow, a very gifted maestro of impress; his CV reads like a wishlist for classical musicians around the world. And tonight, Nicole was selected to perform an aria for him from Handel’s Rinaldo… little knowing that Maestro Wedow is evidently quite the authority on all things Handel.
A circulated biography this evening referred to his gift of challenging his performers while accommodating them, and I can happily confirm that to be true indeed; six performers sang for him tonight, and in each case he molded a rounder, more enjoyable performance. While advising the assembly of students and appreciators like myself, he guided each singer through truly assuming their piece, dispensing wisdoms at times technical, at times emotional.
In Nicole’s case, it seemed as though there wasn’t much if anything in the way of technique to critique; he advised her instead to deliver the words in a spoken manner, to assume the dizzying highs and the disdainful lows of the words themselves. He then had her sing them in such a way, to embrace the passion of each word and syllable, and to my mind it lent true insight into the character she was portraying. Oh, but I also had a sheet in front of me with the translated text…
In all, it was a very interesting and rewarding use of two hours, and even I walked away with great advice and insight into my own meager vocal techniques, so the demoing process could change for the better when it comes time to lay vocal tracks down. Very good evening.