To Smoke Musically In A Car
published in: Opera, General
|Malin Byström, Photo: Peter Knutson|
Salzburg holds a very special place in my heart for a very special reason. It was here, in the summer academy at the Mozarteum in the late nineties, that I met my voice teacher. He would have, and still today has, a massive importance for my development as a singer. I had received a big scholarship in Sweden and dedicated the summer to find a person that would help get my voice going the right direction. Such a horribly difficult mistery the human voice can be! Somehow I was sure my instrument was hiding a lot of possibilities, but ah, to find someone to help me get rid of the obstacles! All those little tensions that in time could mean the difference between career or no career.
So here I was in Salzburg, to do, not one, but two courses. The first teacher being the great dramatic mezzo/soprano Grace Bumbry, the other the wonderful coloratura Wilma Lipp. Both of them great personalities, but none of them “the one” for me. But then there was this coach at the Bumbry-class, who kept telling me he couldn’t here me. That I sounded like an old lady. That I must start with the text, not the pretty sound … all very irritating, and … very true. I asked if he had a studio of his own, booked a ticket to Lugano, where he happened to live, and I have been studying with him ever since. Bit by bit, building my voice to a dependable friend, not an unknown someone that can fail me anytime. Jonathan Morris is his name.
So … here I am in Salzburg again. This time concentrating on smoking musically in a car, kissing one collegue while making sure another collegue doesn’t see me, lying convincingly to my fiancee. All very important skills for the Donna Anna of this wonderful Claus Guth-forest. All the time making sure I do my utmost to express the fantastic lines of the music being given to me.