Artist Interviews #1 - Rise of a Diva - Amanda Caban
Steady, nimble vocalization pierces the hearts of each and every spectator. Down from a dazzling stage, a deluge of emotion cascades. A talented singer drowns the audience in a flood of inspired, harmonious reverberations. The show hath commenced and its impressive display leaves a lasting impression on all who bear it witness.
In its source tongue, the art of 'Opera' means 'work,' which comes as no surprise since its practitioners make no small effort to express themselves through it. Singing well has always been a great challenge to master, but few forms of bel canto demand such discipline as the Opera. No small bit of kudos is to be given to those sufficiently devoted to the art to achieve gorgeous tone and understandable expression.
In particular, rising Opera star, Amanda Caban, has loads to offer the world of music-lovers with her own lovely performances of time-tested classics.
In this first installment of the 'Artist Interviews' series, we will delve into her story, her motivation for adopting such a wonderful art form and her own personal advice for budding musicians as well as a few of the musicians she personally admires.
Here's what she had to say:
How long have you been singing?
I've been singing in church and school choirs since elementary school, but I started taking private voice lessons around 12 or 13.
Do you play any instruments? If not, do any interest you?
I have some embarrassingly bad piano skills. I'd LOVE to improve on that.
If you could offer a young or novice singer looking to get into Opera advice, what would it be?
This is a hard industry. You've gotta be totally in love with opera and totally dedicated. I'd say persistence and practice is key. Practice every single day, record yourself, and get with a great teacher. If you feel uncomfortable with the things your teacher is trying to get you to do, speak up! A great teacher is your biggest asset; bigger than the name of the school or the prestige of the program.
What is your motivation for singing?
I mean. I guess my motivation is that I hate everything else. That's a joke. Sort of. But seriously, I feel like I couldn't do anything else - I only feel accomplished when I am accomplished in voice. It's fulfilling. It's thrilling. Its disappointing. You experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. But when you are a really great performer, you're able to step away from yourself and let the music and poetry speak.
It is your job as a performer to engage someone and portray the intention of the composer to the best of your ability. At the end of the day, it's a form of entertainment, and you must make someone feel something. You must allow them to escape from themselves through you. Otherwise, what's the point?
What musicians or artists do you most admire?
I admire so many classical and non-classical artists and feel so inspired by all forms of music. I'm obsessed with Beethoven. Like unhealthy obsessed. I even have a Beethoven tattoo. I love Dolora Zajick, she's an accomplished dramatic singer who has started a wonderful program encouraging and guiding young dramatic voices. I also love Jessye Norman. I had the pleasure of seeing her live here in Atlanta not too long ago.
As far as non-classical artists... I love Rufus Wainwright. Such inspired and insightful lyricism. I also really love Janelle Monae. She can really write an album. Her albums actually remind me of operas in her impressive story telling, arch, climax, and postlude. She's really brilliant.
Best of luck, Amanda! And to all you readers, be sure to check out her recordings. Keep your ears open for new music and stay odd!
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