ONE ON ONE WITH GINA
conservatory trained, empathetically minded
after returning to the USA,
I decided to be an advocate for transparency in opera.
Until that point, I went along a fairly linear path: from my small town of Wilmington, Delaware, to conservatory in New York City, to being in the YAP (young artist) circuit, to finally breaking through to life as a managed, professional opera singer.
I spent most of those early years trucking forward, not fully understanding the mechanisms of my own instrument, singing unsustainably, taking too many opinions too seriously, and putting anyone who had more credits than myself on a pedestal (struggling with imposter syndrome).
The glamour and the prestige that are often associated with the career are only two colors in a vast kaleidoscope.
Photograph by Scott Areman
Along with her first-hand experience in rebuilding and understanding her own voice and mechanism, Gina has extensive experience teaching students of all levels and ages. In her hometown, she is a traveling faculty member with the Music School of Delaware and she has held reoccurring classes of up to 45 students at the only arts-concentrated public school in the State of Delaware.
She has her own voice studio and frequently travels between Delaware, Philadelphia, and New York City to coach. Gina's unique experience and introspection is particularly activated when coaching those who would like to reignite their joy in the art form.
- No two paths in music are the same.
Too many of us rely on the Almighty Stereotypes ("I have to sing at the Met") to suffocate our paths, rather than personally forging our own. In this inauthentic dance, expectations will inevitably always remain unmet and we miss out on the liberation of listening to our own voices (literally).
- Many musicians want to make music the “right” way.
Often a side effect of too many opinions and higher education, making music intuitively has usually been censored out of us. We must remind our minds and bodies how to make music our way. Once we do, we then learn to accept the circumstances that come as a byproduct of our ownership.
- Many people do not fit into their own idea of what opera is.
We as a culture (specifically the USA) often have a skewed idea of what opera is: an elitist world of socioeconomics that otherwise would have never welcomed most of it's core singers due to their backgrounds. This skewed idea is often so embedded within our cells that we do not present our real selves in our work.
- Imposter syndrome is real.
The people you look up to in the business experience imposter syndrome too. This belief system does not discriminate with it's prisoners :)
- A performance degree does not entitle one to an active performance career.
Though it is a worthwhile degree, it only offers the baseline of what it will take to build and sustain a career in this business, on or off stage. Understand the transferable skills you’ve learned and be innovative in applying them to things you never imagined before.
- All styles of music have value.
Many classically trained people feel shame or reservation about liking, listening to, singing, and transitioning to other styles of music that aren't classical.
- Practice is not consistent, but it builds consistency.
Sometimes practice is an exploration of joy. Sometimes it’s, well, scales. Many people feel stuck in their practice and artistry.
mentorship & voice lessons with Gina
Favorites recommended for any singer, ranging from cold prevention, to the best neck support pillows, to suggested reads.
Note there are no scores listed. We recommend supporting smaller print businesses like www.classicalvocalrep.com
What really happens when we sing?
Have you ever seen a photo of vocal folds?
Here is the 4-1-1 on phonation.
Click for a free, downloadable PDF.
Warning: includes graphic image