Davida Kagen offers solid, time-tested, healthy classical vocal technique for all disciplines and voice types - opera, musical theatre (belting, mixed voice and legit) jazz and pop - starting at around age 10 to professional upkeep. Audition technique, acting and diction coaching, breath control, fear issues included. Preparation for college and grad school entry auditions, local, national and international vocal competitions, Young Artist Programs, role preparations and solo/ensemble. Successful long-time students include revered professionals who are singing at all local theatre and opera venues including the 5 Avenue Theatre, European and U.S. opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera and pursuing pop recording contracts. Over 35 years teaching and professional performance experience in the U.S. and Europe. Davida maintains a vocal studio in her home in Kenmore, Washington while also teaching voice lessons around the greater Seattle area including Bellevue, Redmond, Sammamish, Mercer Island, and Kirkland among others.
My thoughts on keeping a sense of awe* for your art:
*awe (ô) n. A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might.
Does any of this strike a chord for you? Perhaps the dread part? If you want to be a singer then it must change. You will grow or you will fail. I believe we must create a sacred space around that which we do, to educate others around us that this is something special.
“Pay attention! This is important!” A singer says “Give me this attention and I will give you a great gift. I will delight you. Awaken emotions in you that you need me to awaken, that you may be afraid to express yourself ”.
When someone, anyone stands up to give the gift of singing, or any music for that matter, to an audience and that means any audience, I believe it is a sacred act quite like praying. Even if one does not believe in a higher power, per se, it is as though we say to our audience: “Here is a part of me. It is very precious. Honor it, for I honor it. Do not abuse it and I will not abuse it. I have done my homework. I have trained and paid attention and asked questions and sought answers. This is my gift to myself and you.” It is a transcendence. A rising above the mortal coil. As a singer we have the possibility and responsibility to lift our audience and ourselves above the mundane, the average. This is our challenge. Our task. Our mission.
Now this does not mean that it cannot be a lot of fun, too. We can express supreme silliness, be goofy, act the fool or the lunatic, embrace irreverence. We are allowed to express whatever the composer or lyricist indicates. One needn't try to not look silly. It will always backfire on you. Just be real.
And with that we are lifted up. It is our power. It should not be abused. It is about taking chances -- pushing further than we thought we could go. Being real. That is the art.
Great gang of gals from the Zürich Opera Studio, 1980 from left to right: Pianist, Patricia (Patty) Martin, mezzo soprano, Vivian De Andrada, soprano, Patricia Fournier, soprano, Davida Kagen, soprano, Susan Ball, and mezzo soprano, Janni Silcher.