I had the pleasure of meeting opera singer Renée Fleming at the NATS Conference in Chicago last month. Ok, it was definitely more than a pleasure – it was more like a fangirl moment!
I think every singer, no matter what genre, has heard of her. After all she is a very public figure from singing at the Olympics in 2009 to singing the National Anthem at the 2014 NFL Superbowl. She is a regular at the Metropolitan opera and other world stages. In short to quote from her website: “One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence.” If you want to know more about her and her extraordinary accomplishments visit her website here.
At the conference Ms. Fleming conducted a masterclass with aspiring singers, answered many questions at a Q&A and performed for us in concert. I would have really liked to have an in-depth interview with her, but all I managed was a few questions while she signed an autograph and we posed for a picture together. (And it’s a horrible picture of me – I look like a deer stuck in headlights. Maybe I was that starstruck?)
Anyway, through all these events I did glean some of her views on wellness and advice for young singers.
On the need for fitness for singers:
Ms. Fleming’s own performance day rituals:
On protecting your voice while traveling:
Favourite straw vocalization (to find out about straw exercises go here):
Favourite form of exercise:
Recent fitness adventure:
Dietary habit/way of eating:
And finally a bit of advice to young singers:
During our photo op I explained, that I missed out asking her questions at the Q&A by one person. They cut off the questions just as it was my turn at the mic. I told her that I had this little blog, The Fit Singer, she replied to me, “Well you certainly look fit”. I asked my questions and she said that it was too bad that I didn’t get to the mic because they were great questions worthy of discussion.
If you are looking to get the whole skill set, which includes being fit for the physical demands of the stage, taking preventative care of your voice and maintaining your image, then join me for the Total Singer Challenge starting September 5. Click here.