After years of denying it, I suppose when your voice teacher suggests you look at singing Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) it’s time to admit that avoiding high notes isn’t leading anywhere. It’s been a long road of choosing not to walk into the fear, but in reality I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. It’s quite liberating. And perhaps a little enjoyable to know that I’ll be proving a lot of nay-saying singers of my past wrong. Through my degrees at university there seemed to be this cap at the top of the staff, and why go any higher if you can’t get that part right?
Turns out I was probably just working backwards.
When I was about 8 years old, living in Singapore, and entirely lacking in desire to be a singer (I was set on being an olympic gymnast at the time) I remember an encounter I had with my mother. We were walking in the parking lot of our apartment complex and I was enjoying the echo affect of singing like Mariah Carey in what I had no clue was a whistle register. Wide-eyed she turned to me and said “never stop doing that- you don’t want to lose it.” My mom had studied voice in college and taught music privately in in the classroom. I think she realized that I was hitting notes far higher than she could fathom and realized that maybe there was something special there.
Another encounter happened much later during my undergrad. I was warming up in a studio when Sarah Lennertz, a fellow vocal performance major, burst through the door and said “girl, you got high notes.” It was kind of thrilling (and shocking) as the thin nature of my upper register had always been a point of contention.
More recently, after several weeks of struggling with A’s, B’s and C’s, my coach was astonished to find that my D’s were halfway decent. Maybe there was something up there after all!
So here I am, embarking on a journey I assumed would never begin. I’ll offer my best friend the benefit of knowing that an “I told you so” is in order.