Creativity + Intelligence

I like creative people.

I like smart people.

So I like creative, smart people. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many in my life, both as a performer and as a teacher, and to be friends with quite a few as well. I saw this quote by Albert Einstein, and I couldn’t agree more:

Right now I am working on Sunday’s presentation for my musical theater history/performance course, From Tin Pan Alley to Today. This is week 4, and my focus is on the 1970s-1980s, and what is referred to as the “Concept Musical,” as well as on the “Mega Musical.”

The former is linked to my favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim. As I discussed in a recent blogpost, Sondheim has a very specific approach to composition from which I think most of us could benefit in areas other than art. His concepts for shows are specific and often a little unusual. I think most of his shows would make excellent fodder for the Facebook game, “Explain the story of a musical badly.”

  • Man turns 30, can’t decide who to marry
  • Old showgirls never die, they just cheat on their husbands
  • Vengeful barber kills unsuspecting clients while his practical landlady cuts them up for pies (gives a whole new twist to the idea of mincemeat)
  • Unattractive woman becomes obsessed with hot soldier

You have to be both intelligent and creative to make musicals like these work, and work beautifully.

Honestly, I could spend the entire class on Sondheim alone (I could spend the entire course on Sondheim alone), but I suppose I should give some time to Claude-Michel Schönberg, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Maury Yeston, because they wrote a few things during this time period as well as well (and they pretty much embody the idea of the “mega-musical”).

What composer or writer or actor (or non-arts person – creativity is not only to be found in the arts) inspires you the most? Feel free to comment below!

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If you want to have fun and find your voice while being smart & creative, there are a few openings in Mezzoid Voice Studio, either as a voice studio or in one of my upcoming courses. Touch base with me here to get more information.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

What do you think?

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