Updated: Feb 23
In Flagrante does not, unusually, suffer from the lack of Tenors. In fact, it is the largest section of the choir, especially adding the Lady Tenors too!
Is this why Eamonn has given the Tenor section the opening lines in the Dream songs, (The Impossible Dream and Daydream Believer)? The Lady Tenors are very upset they don’t get to sing from the beginning. Maybe one day their dream will come true.
Emmy winner and Tony nominee Kelsey Grammar starred as Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote in English National Opera's new 2019 production of Man of La Mancha at the London Coliseum. Wow!
Ricardo stepped in last night to guide us through the ‘Dreams’.
Although both songs are very different tempos, with The Impossible Dream being a very dramatic bolero timing and Daydream Believer being much lighter with a swing style, there are many similarities in how they are sung as follows:
The Tenors start must be confident and strong so the very first words can be heard clearly. No sliding the notes at the beginning, keeping them crisp and concise.
Getting the endings of the words following through and placing them securely on the rest stop. This prevents lots of hissing sounds when singing words ending in ‘s’ and giving a precise sound rather than a muddy finish to the phrases.
Rhythm is also important, especially with well known songs. No Karaoke! Sing the same rhythm in harmony. We are a choir, after all!
The dynamics of loud and soft, crescendos and decrescendos. The art is building up slowly from very, very soft to very, very loud but with a regular soft and loud in between; a bit like a club sandwich!
Ensure you save enough energy and volume for a real contrast otherwise it will all sound the same and a little boring, not just to sing, but also for our audience to hear. The Impossible Dream ends in a very loud dramatic manner.
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437 boys applied and the rest is history. The first TV episode aired December 1966.
Unlike Impossible Dream, Daydream Believer gradually builds through the choruses, but finishes very quietly and gently. When singing softly, make it sound tender and sweet (dolce, like an Italian dessert).
Getting the balance right; with a large tenor section and 1st sopranos boldly singing out the tune they do tend to dominate the songs, so if those sections sing a little quieter and the Lady Tenors, Altos and 2nd sops sing out louder and good blend of sound will be produced.
As usual the Tenors are not always on the tune, although they always try and sneak in the tune rather than a harmony – beware and mark it in your scores!
Everyone gets an Ooh in these songs. Listen to them on the voice tracks and be ready for them. For some reason, I always find them more difficult learn. If the same notes had words, it would be much simpler, in my opinion, but as a 1st sop who usually has the tune (with words) it is probably just a mental block for me to overcome!
We are sounding great and it is the little things mentioned above that will make us exceptional and, with practice, we will achieve this.
Let’s show Eamonn that we can perform and exceed his expectations!
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney)
Remember rhythm is important. Rhythm functions as the propulsive engine of a piece of music, and it gives a composition structure.