Contemporary Performance Practice
Last night I attended Nashville in Concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall. It was a phenomenal gig, energetic, emotional, enjoyable, and it got me thinking…
Contemporary music performance for singers is such a different beast from musical theatre or classical. I often talk to young musical theatre performers about the need for their movement on stage to be dramatic, not musical. As a classical singer myself, I pretty much spent 20 years trying to erase all indication of vocal effort from my face and body. But in contemporary music, performers do the exact opposite. Every high note, every harmony, every key change is choreographed with movement and facial expression, which results in a connected, emotionally-charged performance that draws the audience in with its authenticity.
So I’m wondering, is contemporary music the only platform where a singer can truly be themselves on stage?