Singinmad @ Theatro Technis

Voices unite


Being part of soprano Kate Radmilovic's workshop Singingmad ( means that, give or take a few weeks, ready, confident or not (are you, ever, completely ready anyway?), you get up on that stage, in front of an audience, against the mics and under those bright theatre lights to show us friends, family and the rest of the scary crowd what your passion is all about.
And it ain't easy.
A bunch of vocal students of all levels and ages, either fairly new, or under Radmilovic's baton for a while now, gathered at the endearingly shabby Theatro Technis, in Camden, to prove they can put themselves out there.
Having arrived at the third and last part of Singingmad's spring concert, I was present at only a dozen-plus songs, presumably pretty telling of everything else I had missed. Ranging from Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys to Dylan and Nina Simone, the songlist became a platform for an eclectic range of talent.
As expected at a public students showcase, any mistakes, lack of experience, skill or talent, for that matter, become brutally obvious. And the audience is not just there to be entertained, but also to understand (and forgive).
Personally, I find mistakes, lack of experience or skill rather trivial, as long as there is passion. But I don't forgive trying to be what you are not. A student's biggest problem is usually lack of identity, more than skill. If you decide to play the performance card, student or non-student, be ready to take it all in - insensitive criticism and all. It's good making your dream come true, but it's the reality of it that will make you a better performer. That's where I stand.
Without any wish to hover over any student's expressive/vocal inability or missteps, the moments I took with me on my way home were these:

1) Ability met sensibility in Sarah O'Brien's Angel - a solo goodbye to a full five years of vocal training (she joined Singingmad as a complete beginner in 2007). I guess it was worth it.
2) Helene Daouphars' Nature Boy; or how a quiet, humble delivery can steal the show.
3) Daouphars (again), Gayle Haddock and Asha Kingsley's Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy; a saucy all-girl trio in total synch.
4) Haddock's solo Papa Can You Hear Me also proved that it pays to be given - even to a treacherous devil of a vocal part.
On that note, there's probably hope for us all.
But, wannabe singers, beware: All hope (and training) crumbles the moment you pick the wrong song.
That's as kind as I can get...

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