Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crossover

I love being what some refer to as a "crossover artist." All it really means is that you are good at more than one thing: you excel as a singer in multiple genres. Being one such type of performer gives me the opportunity to stretch different vocal mechanism muscles (really!), hone my precision and technique, challenge myself musically and intellectually, and keep from being bored singing in one style. The main thing I keep in mind is that I strive to be an expert in whatever style I'm singing, rather than dwelling on the "C" word ("crossover"). I sing "classical" or "legit" soprano repertoire (baroque and contemporary art music mostly, but also classic and romantic period material in 6 languages) from the standpoint of being a specialist in those genres rather than as a jazz singer dabbling in crossover. Likewise, I sing jazz from the perspective of a specialist in that genre, calling to mind the greats who have gone before me in that field. The result is that when people who have heard my jazz work hear me in a classical recital or oratorio soloist capacity, they hear very little similarity between my "two" voices. There are foundational, technical and physiological differences in how one correctly sings in each genre, and I am fortunate to have studied (and taught) these differences very carefully. That said, let it be known that not everyone can successfully pull off crossover work--one must be committed to purity of the musical art and to years of training in each particular genre to truly succeed. For instance, an opera singer cannot merely sing an album of Gershwin material to call herself a jazz singer, or to even call that project a jazz album. Likewise, a jazz vocalist would require several years of training in classic technique, singer's diction, "legit" repertoire and music history before attempting this difficult body of work. Study and thorough familiarity with both jazz and classical art forms, their histories and their correct deliveries (partly based on understanding how the vocal mechanism is properly used in each style) are of paramount importance to cultivating an artist truly capable of executing masterful performances in both jazz and classical genres.

For information about my jazz career see www.tishoney.com.

For information about my career as a lyric soprano soloist, see www.myspace.com/triciaoney.