A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A cappella lessons

When we first set about creating an a cappella opera, one of the concerns was that the voicestra would tire out. I may be speaking too soon, but this has turned out not to be the case. We have had two very long work throughs (four hours each) and the group is still going strong. So it appears that as long as the registers are reasonable for the voice types, an a cappella group has a lot of stamina.

The way the piece was written, I put lots of breaks in it--places for people to rest out. Sometimes, I have alternated sections--sopranos for a bar, then echoed by mezzos, for example. This actually creates learning confusion. With a cappella it appears that "the more the merrier" is the best policy. If everyone is singing frequently, it enhances the intonation and everything sounds more assured.

Live and learn. And edit. Edit!

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