What makes an interesting performance?

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By Jennifer O’Donnell, Voice Instructor

Have you ever wondered what makes one singer more interesting to watch or listen to over another? Aside from the obvious appeal of a beautiful vocal instrument, what makes an interesting performance is the ability to connect to the listener by telling a story. When we perform a song, an aria, or anything at all we are always telling a story. How effectively we communicate that story determines how interesting our performance is. The best way to do this, is by discovering all the details of the story by asking yourself a few questions. Who am I, What am I saying and how do I feel about it?

Who are you? Are you narrating the story as it is unfolding or are you telling it from your own perspective? Are you young or old, strong or meek? What’s your favourite colour, food, or book? As you begin to fill in all of these blanks a character will begin to emerge and that will inform how you deliver the poetry or text of the song you are performing.

There are endless questions you can answer to develop your character and interpretation, and each song will require a different approach. The more questions you answer, the deeper you will understand the song and the richer your performance will be.

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