Masterclasses with professional artists form an integral part of training at the College, preparing students for the reality of working in the industry.
Last month singer Lisa Gasteen and piano accompanist Simon Lepper gave masterclasses to vocal students to help further develop their vocal and performance skills.
Vocal Masterclass with Lisa Gasteen
Australian operatic soprano and Cardiff Singer of the World 1991 winner, Lisa Gasteen, shared some trade secrets with final year and masters vocalists in a two-hour masterclass.
“Being a professional means your lowest has to be higher than everyone else’s highest.”
From dialing down basic techniques to advice on muscle memory and posture, the singer stripped back the vocalists performances giving clear, concise advice on how to perfect every note.
Final year student Sioned gave us her impressions of the masterclass.
“The masterclass with Lisa Gasteen was brilliant. She was really professional and quite firm, while being fun and jokey. It meant I was able to relax and be myself and so I got much more out of it.
Lisa gave loads of advice on breathing control and ‘support’ while singing, and showed how much harder I needed to work to get the best result.
For me, one of the best things about the masterclasses is getting professional advice on choosing the right repertoire. I had great personal advice from both Lisa Gasteen and Simon Lepper about which repertoire would suit my voice.”
Performance Platform with Simon Lepper
Simon is the official accompanist to BBC Cardiff Singer of The World and a regular coach in the vocal studies department of the College.
In last month’s masterclass, Simon worked with vocal students on their interpretations of pieces of music.
Post-graduate vocal student, Martina Kueng, trained with both artists in each session and gave some insight into the process.
“Working with accompanists is different from working with singers. In the Performance Platform with Simon, rather than concentrating on voice techniques, we focused on perfecting performance techniques and interpretations, learning to perform music how it should be in the end.
I was very happy to work with Simon Lepper. He’s such a brilliant pianist and brought such a high level of musicality to the masterclass.”