I’m absolutely swamped this week with recital prep, so here’s a quick little quote from Kelli O’Hara in Classical Singer magazine (October 2021) regarding authenticity:*
“The biggest advice I ever give is this authenticity thing, which is to be who you are and not make yourself into something you’re not, vocally or otherwise, ever. Because, again, so cliché … but no one’s you but you. There’s nothing like the catharsis in being totally and authentically you when you’re performing.”
*Note: you probably won’t be able to read the entire article unless you’re a subscriber.
Another great quote from the same article, also relating to being authentic:
“The tool of heart, which is what I fall back on when I say, ‘Oh gosh, can I hit this note?’ Well, if I mean the word, I can. And if I crack because I’m emotional—and that’s the other thing in musical theater—cracking is horrible, but we get over it, as opposed to it ending our careers. We don’t think about it.”
Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, and Laura Benanti are three of my favorite contemporary musical theater singers, and I think the thing you can say about all three of them is that they are authentic. I’ve seen both Kelli and Audra in person (actually, within the same week!) and I look forward to the day I see Laura perform live.
Technique is important, but if you don’t believe what you’re singing, then what’s the point?