Working with me

So far I have had the pleasure of teaching (and preaching!) OP to certain singers and ensembles, both professional and amateur, in France, but I would like, with the help of this website, to offer my services to singers throughout the world.

This instruction or coaching can be carried out in a variety of ways, depending on availability and budget: ranging from simply providing a spoken recording of the texts to be sung (an obligatory preliminary in any case), to coaching by “Skype”, or having me present at rehearsals, recording sessions or workshops and study courses, or even going so far as including me in your production as singer or reciter, as I am able to hear how others are pronouncing while actually singing myself.

​I am not normally very keen on “transliterating” texts into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as, ideally, I prefer my “pupils” to savour and imbibe the sounds I present to them. I also find IPA too rigid, as it doesn’t necessarily capture the nuances and colours that I work on with singers, particularly as it is often necessary to adapt these sounds, according to the way in which the composer had set the words to music. As a singer myself I am obviously better placed than an actor or linguist to understand and solve the difficulties that singers encounter with the English language.

In the recordings that I send I declaim the text in an expressive manner, slowly but not unnaturally so. In a second recording I declaim the text with the rhythm of the musical setting. However, if the pupil specifically requests an IPA transliteration, I am prepared to make this extra effort. The spoken recordings on this website should give you an idea of how useful you will find them, as a first step, before working with me in person. 

I speak German, French, Flemish/Dutch and Italian fluently (Spanish less fluently and Czech very badly, alas). Thorough knowledge of these languages and their development (particularly Flemish and Dutch!) has also played a useful part in elaborating the pronunciation that I propose to singers.