- Past Performances
- 2006 and Earlier
The vocal techniques that are traditionally employed both in opera and in Broadway musicals evolved out of the necessity to be heard over an orchestra in a large hall. Many years ago, only those who could sing loud enough might become successful. Those who could also sing beautifully might become famous. Alas, not everyone who would like to sing can generate more volume than an orchestra, and this is especially true with children, who are often encouraged to sing louder by "belting" notes at the upper reaches of their chest voice, a practice which can result in damage to the vocal cords by young adulthood ("Annie Syndrome"). Fortunately, microphones have become so versatile and discreet that they can be used in almost any stage application without interfering with the performance. Traditional techniques for generating volume are no longer required. Now it is only the beauty of the singing that needs be of concern. The North Cambridge Family Opera uses small wireless microphones to amplify all soloists, so that singers can concentrate on making a beautiful sound and let the engineer worry about the volume. Children (and adults) are instructed to let their voices float upward into their natural head voices on high notes, thus encouraging good vocal habits and protecting their voices from damage.