Malérargues will be especially busy this summer, as well as the usual workshops, parties, conferences, lectures, exhibitions and impromptu presentations, there is a full programme of performances. We are still working with the details and for more information about the performances.
YOUR OWN VOICE ON THE THRESHOLD TO MUSIC
23.–27. November 2015
A Voice Workshop
with Walli HÖFINGER & Christiane HOMMELSHEIM
Number of participants: 12
In this workshop we will focus on recapturing “music”, out of the hands of the specialists of form and culture, trusting your intuitive competence in music, making it your own, finding your own sense of music, beyond virtuosity and style. You will have the opportunity to explore what “music” means within your voice, and how to allow your own music to emerge. The workshop will include deep physical and vocal preparation, individual lessons and group improvisation, where we will play with the connection of voice and body and voice and perception. We will move into new territory of our voices beyond the areas that we are habitually using, and enjoy the pleasure of singing together! This workshop is open to all.
Roy Hart Voice Workshop
The Un-boundaried Voice.
Deeply Imagine. Fully Embodied.
with Marya Lowry and Phil Timberlake
August 29 & 30, 11a – 6p, Saturday and Sunday, Boston
Join us as we gather to explore and celebrate “extended” voice work: the range of possibilities of the whole voice. Supported by breath, body engagement and emotional energy, we will search for each individual’s unique vocal expression from the subtle to the extravagant, the heights to the depths, and the dark to the light. By connecting body and imagination to vocal impulses, we will explore the voice as a literal and metaphorical instrument of self-discovery, self-expression, and artistic application.
Whether you use your voice as a professional actor, singer, public speaker, in therapeutic work or for the pure joy of your vocal expression you will emerge from the weekend with renewed resources to enrich your practice and enlarge your performance.This training weekend is open to all levels and is limited to 16 participants.
Marya Lowry is an international teaching-artist with over 35 years teaching and acting professionally. She has taught actors, singers and teachers in France, Italy, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, and across the US. She is the creator of “Ecstatic Voice – from Laughter to Lament for Actor Training and Performance”, a practitioner of the Roy Hart Theatre approach to voice for over 25 years, and has served on the MFA faculty at Brandeis University since 1989.
Phil Timberlake is a Chicago-based actor and voice trainer. He has been immersed in Roy Hart Theatre Voice work for over twenty years. Phil was a Fulbright Fellow to France, living and working at the Roy Hart Centre in Malérargues, and received his Roy Hart Theatre Voice Teacher Diploma in 2013. He is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at DePaul University’s Theatre School, and is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework.
Time and Location
Saturday & Sunday, August 29th & 30th
Location: Brandeis University, Spingold Theater Center, 415 South St. Waltham, MA 02453 href=”http://www.brandeis.edu/about/visiting/directions.html”>http://www.brandeis.edu/about/visiting/directions.html
Cost: $225. (Early Bird Discount $195 w/ deposit by August 1)
Deposit of $100. is due with registration.
To Register: Send your deposit and the following information to
Marya Lowry, 60 Tolman St. Newton, MA 02465
Please include your Name, Address, Email address, Phone number and please let us know a bit about you: What draws you to this Roy Hart training Weekend? Please direct questions to either of us, we’re happy to chat.
29 March - 8 April 2015Teacher Training Group (Full)Carol MENDELSOHN - Saule RYAN - Edda HEEGregister
Directed by Carol Mendelsohn, Saule Ryan & Edda Heeg
By selection only.
For more information, please contact e-mail
singer, dancer, voice coach:
At the tender age of five, I began singing in my mothers choirs. But after school I trained as a professional dancer in Berlin and Cannes. For several years I danced in Ballet Companies and independent dance and theatre productions.
Many years later I took on the challenge of singing again. After nearly two years in classical singing, I discovered in 1994 the voice work ot the Roy Hart Theatre, which has inspired and influenced me ever since:
Now I dance with the voice.
My training was enriched by workshops like “voice and movement” by Monika Pagneux (Ecole Lecoq, Paris) and Yoshi Oida (Ensemble of Peter Brook) and many others. With Esther Schwab, Besides other artistic activities, I created the Duo “Esther”Esther”, and the two Esthers sang together for a couple of years.
In 2006 I became member of the CAIRH, and gently began to integrate this rich work in my classes of dance and movement before starting as a voice coach. Now I regularly give workshops and individual lessons in Switzerland and Germany, mainly in Zürich, Lausanne and Geneva. Since 2011, I am also a Roy Hart Voice Teacher.
As a former dancer, I propose to find the roots of the voice in the body, trying to create a playful and confident atmosphere so that everyone feels at ease to go further, towards the beauty of the natural voice, clarity in expression and the joy of being creative.
7 - 12 April 2015Move Sound Objects in Musical Accompaniment Susanne WEINS & Saso VOLLMAIER*register
Directed by Susanne Weins & Saso Vollmaier*
Hours: 36 (9h30-12h30 & 14h-17h)
Price : €490
Participants : 12
Level : intermediary & advanced
We propose to do a series of workshops (4+), focusing on different theme in each workshop, starting with nature; going from analogue technique, to digital… and coming to the pure human voice. Last workshop will be a combination between all the themes, followed by movement and musical direction. Each workshop is also set as unique. The experimental voice, inspired by the sounds of the theme, will enriched the Dialog of expression. While Sašo Vollmaier will work with your voices through musical and vocal direction, Susanne Weins will open and develop your vocal potential through the energy of body, breathing and movement. This workshop series is open to all, especially those, who like to dive into listening and creating unexpected and new world of soundscapes.
Sašo Vollmaier (1982), pianist, accompanist, arranger, composer.
He graduated from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in 2008. During his studies, he came to Paris on the
invitation of Izidor Leitinger, a composer, trumpet player and voice teacher who collaborated with the
Pantheatre at that time. Vollmaier started to collaborate with the Pantheatre as a accompanist and assistant from 2005 – .
From 2007- 2013 he joined the Slovenian industrial group, called “Laibach”, as a keyboard player. He did
concerts with them in the Europe and USA. In the same period he started to play with Slovenian accordionist Bratko Bibič & The Maddleys.
In July 2013 he moved to Paris. He is working on a vocal composition called “Regenerations” in collaboration with Roy Hart Theatre (Malérargues), “La Licorne”, electro-acoustic project with Izidor Leitinger and Luka Jamnik, “Peau de tambour” musical and poetic creation with Viviane Gay, based on the texts by Henri Michaux.
He is developing his own way of teaching voice linked with the piano accompaniment (influenced by voice
work with Linda Wise, Susanne Weins, Izidor Leitinger…)
Vollmaier’s accomplishments include theatre and cartoon scores, arrangements for choirs, marching
orchestras, big bands, as well as a studio musician (Laibach, Bratko Bibič, Silence, Funtango, Slovenian radio broadcastings…)
28 Avril - 3 Mai 2015A l’écoute de nos voix : l’art de l’accordageMarianne LE TRON & Isabelle MARIE-BAILLY * (Phoniatre/Musicothérapeute)register
Directed by Marianne Le Tron & Isabelle Marié-Bailly* (phoniatre/musicothérapeute)
33 hours – Price : 445 € – Participants : 12
Open to all
Stage exclusivement en français
Autour d’une progression pédagogique, ce stage alliera l’approche Roy Hart de la voix parlée /chantée mise en jeu créativement, avec les bases de fonctionnement de l’anatomo-physiologie de l’appareil phonatoire dans ces grands axes :
1er : attitudes, axes et postures
2ème : énergie, inspiration et souffle
3ème : vibration laryngée et poses de voix
4ème : résonance et harmoniques
5ème : émotions, accordage vocal et relationnel
Apportez textes et chansons qui pourront servir de support au cours du stage. Si la météo nous le permet, nous irons chanter dans la nature. Prévoir des chaussures adaptées S.V.P.
Directed by Susanne Weins & Saso Vollmaier*
Hours: 36 (9h30–12h30 & 14h-17h)
Level : intermediary & advanced
Voice, supported by movement is very powerfully connected to expression. First Susanne Weins will follow the creation of origin and personal sources for free soundscapes in movement. Careful listening will already bring the quality of your potential towards expressing, repeating and developing free and structured musical approaches. Saso Vollmaier will lead your awareness for your proposals through his musical knowledge into a creative structure/shape, which will connect to your very personal feeling. Through his accompaniment you will also find new and rich possibility to develop even more vocal ability. In this way, together we will find your creation of the week, which may be inspired by words, text, songs (sent to both of us at least 2 weeks in advance) or a theme of the heart and your interest. If there is a collective wish, this can take place in an open presentation. Sharing our experiences with students in this specific is also as part of our own personal research.
7 - 12 July 2015Personal Presence – Voice & Communication Skills For Business ProfessionalsIvan MIDDERIGHregister
Directed by Ivan Midderigh
Hours: 36 (9 h 30 – 13 h & 14 h 30 – 17 h)
Based upon the actor’s discipline of effective, engaging, and heightened communication, this workshop, focuses on the person as a communicator, addressing voice, body, heart, spirit, imagination, and emotion. Participants develop their natural ability to express feeling, inspire others, and build trust among teams.
Participants learn powerful language, active listening, how to give and receive feedback, empathy towards others and presentation skills. Through the programme, effective communication and compelling dialogue become intrinsic life skills.
The actor has to be clear on the meaning of the text, so that it will come across to the audience. They have to use their voices with enough volume and colour to ensure the audience will listen and also behave in a way that supports their words, as well as having the self-confidence to face the audience and be able to improvise – to think and act quickly under pressure – if something unexpected happens.
All these ‘actor’ skills are also required by business people, and, indeed, anyone who is required to address an audience. The audience may be one person, a group meeting, or a large corporate gathering
Storytelling is also an essential aspect of the work. Everyone has stories which are gathered from their life experiences. The connection between one person and another, between a presenter and the audience, is firmly established by the telling of a personal story.
A founder member of the Roy Hart theatre and senior facilitator for Corporate Scenes since 1992, Ivan has led seminars with wit and style for major international companies including AT&T, Pacific Bell, Nortel Networks, The Gap, Sandia National Lab, Levi Strauss, MacKinsey and Co, is a guest lecturer at The Olin School of Business at Washington University, St Louis, and is senior faculty with the annual Executive Coaching Institute at the Center for Executive Education, University California Berkeley Haas School of Business.
He also spent 5 years (2004 – 2009) in South Africa as a master facilitator of the Brand Ambassador programme for Avis Corporation of Southern Africa and the Brand Champion programme for the Kelly Group and Transnet.
Ivan creates a fusion of humour, honesty, compassion and energy in his work, helping business professionals expand their ‘presence’, and communicate more effectively while developing their interpersonal relationship building skills.
14 - 19 July 2015The Art of Interpretation (Full)Linda WISE, Saso VOLLMAIER *, Annie MURATH *register
Directed by Linda WISE, Saso VOLLMAIER * (musician/pianist) & Annie MURATH * (guest artist)
36 hours (9h 30 – 13h & 14h 30 – 17h)
level: intermediary & advanced
“The Art of Interpretation” – a dialogue between singer, actor, musician, composer and director. How to incorporate Roy Hart extended voice registers in performance – particularly in the intersections of music, dance and theatre. Please send a letter of motivation with your application.
26 – 28 September – 4 days
Zwaantje de Vries lives in Nijmegen, Netherlands, as a voice teacher, performer, actress. She has been connected with the Roy Hart Theatre since 1981. In January 2014 she was officially certified as a RHT Teacher.
She is the first RHT Teacher, with a certification in the Netherlands at the moment. She lived for more then 20 years near Hannover in Germany and had her own Art Institute ‘Am Kanal’. There she initiated a 4-year teacher training for Dansexpressie, a Dutch method for creative dance, including the voice, in cooperation with the ‘Hoge School voor de Kunsten’ in Amsterdam.
Meeting with the Roy Hart Theatre she found the missing link, she was looking for. Close friendships developed, especially with late Marita Günther and Robert Harvey, including exchanges on RHT teaching and RHT performing work.
Enrique Pardo and Jonathan Hart-Makwaia were a great influence on her as well.
“I’m very grateful to have had lessons over many years from most of the founding members of the RHT. Malérargues feels like THE inspiring friend, I would never want to miss.”, is what she says.
“Ones identity is ones biography and the voice expresses that. Coming from a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical family ( Indonesian-Dutch ) I was forced to discover my own identity. The RHT work showed me the most powerful tool to do so .”
And about her teaching she says;
“ I’m deeply touched, each and every time a person discovers the beauty of their own unique voice,. After which the process of integration starts. To be companion on that road is a great gift and the passion of my teaching.”
She studied Visual Arts, Drama and Dansexpressie, and had her own Avant-Garde dance company ‘Zwaantje & Jaap Kleyn’. She performed and exhibited in the Netherlands, Germany and France. She has been guest teacher for drama and dansexpressie at several Universities and numerous other Institutes in the Netherlands and Germany.
She performs with other artists in acoustic ‘Soundscapes’ ( free improvisations with voice and musical instruments ) and develops Theatrical-Compositions in cooperation with artists from different back-grounds and disciplines.
She teaches private groups and individuals and is guest teacher for voice at the Artez, Institute of Arts and in Arnhem, at De Lindenberg, Art Institute in Nijmegen and at a Rhetoric Training in Arnhem.
She speaks Dutch, German, English and a bit of French.
Contact and information: e-mail
German composer born January 24, 1961 in Giessen Hessen ( Germany) Annette Mengel joined in 1980 the Musikhochschule Hannover , where she studied piano with Bernhard Ebert and musical analysis with Helmut Lachenmann . She then completed his training in France, especially with Emmanuel Nunes and then follows Toru Takemitsu in 1998 , the curriculum of the Ateliers UPIC computer music . In 2002, she won the Villa Medici Outside the walls of the AFAA program and stay in Istanbul. His works performed in many international festivals, including Musica , The Music , Manca , are written for small instrumental ensembles and / or voice ( Masal for mixed choir , 2007) and sometimes require electroacoustic devices ( Ezan – Ländler for horn and electronics, 2008 Identification IV for mezzo- soprano, flute and electroacoustic device , 2012). Inspired by Turkish culture , Annette Mengel confronts her cultural heritage and contemporary musical universe with the subtlety of Eastern melodic lines ( Toprak , 2004; human Landscapes , 2009), the Instrumentarium Middle East ( Sabâ – ney for Sehnaz Beste , 2009) and set to music texts of the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet (En güzel , 2000). She has been commissioned by various French institutions (Ministry of Culture, SACEM etc . ) And his music is interpreted by specialized units, such as the Route Together Musicatreize Ensemble , Ensemble L’Instant Donné , The young soloists and Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart . She is also the author of a Master’s Thesis II in Music and Musicology at the Sorbonne entitled ” Neva Kar ” and ” Neva Beste ” of Buhûri – zade Mustafa Itri Efendi . Alongside his work as a composer , Annette Mengel taught successively at the University of Marne-la -Vallée and the Conservatoire de Montpellier.
13 – 17 October – 5 days
Contact: Frédérique le Naour
Tel: 0033 (0)62397 0273
Directed by Ulrik Romer Barfod
Hours: 30 (9h – 14h)
We will challenge and find trust in the richness of the moment(s), explore the freedom in the emptiness and enter a performing situation without a structure. Please bring some material, for example: movements, defined sounds, visions or sensations, that you wish to use as a starting point. If you wish, texts, songs and other structured material will also be welcome.
19 – 23 October – 5 days
Contact: Adriaen van der Veen
Directed by Jonathan HART MAKWAIA
Hours: 38 (14-15 & 19 July: 9h30-13h & 14h30- 17h) & (16-17-18 July: 9h30-13h30 & 15h30-18h15)
Maximum number of participants: 12
Level: intermediary & advanced
Development of vocal and musical creativity with a view to performance. Each participant should come with a working project related to their personal interest in the voice & music. Letter of motivation requested. Priority will be given to those who have already worked with the Roy Hart Theatre.
Directed by Agnes DUMOUCHEL & Michèle LAFOREST
Hours : 13 h 30 – 20 h
Price : 540 €
Participants : 12
Stage exclusivement en français
Ouvert aux conteurs qui ont déjà l’expérience de la scène et/ou du travail vocal. En partenariat avec la Nuit du Conte à Thoiras et le Centre Méditerranéen des Littératures Orales à Alès. Il comprend un travail pratique, une Conférence, des Spectacles.
Pour réaliser un travail individuel sur la voix, les gestes, la narration. Échauffements corporels/vocaux en grand groupe, travail personnalisé en demi-groupe. Expérience du public en fin de stage. Entendre son corps sonner, traverser ses émotions pour parler « vrai », inclure sensations et créativité dans la prise de parole. Sur le chemin : Voie, vois, voix et parle !
Plus d’infos sur www.agnes-dumouchel.com (rubrique “stages”)
11 – 14 November – 4 days
Contact: Marieke Maas-Brink
21 - 26 July 2015Human Voice (“Strings of Expression”)Véronique CAUDAL, Orly ASODY & Sulajma BALLINGregister
Directed by Véronique CAUDAL, Orly ASODY & Sulajma BALLING
Hours: 33 (9h30-13h30 & 17h30-19h)
Each sound that we sing is a perfect expression of who and what we are. Our voice is a magnificent instrument with many strings, though some are rarely used. In our work we will try to uncover some of these muted strings, and to discover our unique ‘soul voice’.
The morning sessions will include warm-up, small groups of music atelier and individual singing lessons. In the late afternoon, we will all work together in a form of a ‘Roy Hart Choir’ singing polyphonic songs and improvising.
Open to all.
THE INTERNATIONAL STUDY GROUP OF THE HUMAN VOICE
05 – 09 October 2015 – 5 days
22 – 26 Februay 2016 – 5 days
13 – 17 June 2016 – 5 days
Tel:0049 511 131 9021
NEW START OF:
THE INTERNATIONAL STUDY GROUP OF THE HUMAN VOICE
05 – 09 October 2015 – 5 days
22 – 26 Februay 2016 – 5 days
13 – 17 June 2016 – 5 days
Tel:0049 511 131 9021
01 – 05 June 2015 – 5 days
INTERNATIONAL STUDY GROUP OF THE HUMAN VOICE,
Tel:0049 511 131 9021
16 – 20 November – 5 days
Contact: Benedicte Eneskov
Agnès Dumouchel, who at that time was a teacher of French working abroad in the USSR, discovered the Roy Hart Theatre in 1976, participating in one of the first workshops organized by the group at Malérargues.
She was fascinated by the work – which attends to both voice and body, inner and outer experiences, conscious and unconscious, psyche and the emotions; she joined the group two years later and became a voice teacher and actress.
In 1990, she moved to the Alps. She teaches voice and is a storyteller.
She was elected to the Board in 2012 and edits the quarterly newsletter for active and associate members : “Echoes from the CAIRH”.
For more information: www.agnes-dumouchel.com
In 1994, by a interlacing of paths which we call destiny, I discovered the Roy Hart Theatre. And I discovered in me a singing being, a joyous being that nothing nor no one could stop from ringing out. Trained as a speech therapist, I’ve navigated between this field and amateur theatre, then singing in several choirs in Montpellier, and various vocal groups.
French singer, actress, performer and voice teacher living in Paris.
Born in 1973, she teaches voice in professional drama schools (Atelier Blanche Salant, Point Fixe) and gives private lessons in Paris. She is a voice coach for dance and theatre shows. In june 2013, she released a 2 tracks single with her french song project “Chrysopée”. She performs as an actress for physical theatre contemporary creations and as a performer with VJs, musicians… She is part of “Sororité”, music and performance based trio. She trained with the CAIRH and Pantheatre, and in some other vocal techniques: bel canto, jazz, musicals, slam… She trained physically with yoga, tango, corporal mime and is currently interested in sensorial mouvement.
Teaching blog (in french): http://marylineguitton.typepad.fr
Sororité trio: www.sororite.net
Extracts of her solo piece « Une Étrange Demoiselle », directed by Enrique Pardo.
21 - 26 July 2015From the Voice to Song / From the Song to the StageFlavio POLIZZY, Renata ROAGNA avec Annette MENGEL*register
Directed by Flavio Polizzy, Renata Roagna with Annette Mengel* (pianist)
Hours: 39 (9h30-13h & 15h-18h)
Intermediate and advanced level.
This workshop is for everyone who has already worked with the voice: in song, dance, in the theatre and in the field of communication and teaching, and would like to extend their knowledge in their own artistic or professional engagements. (This workshop is open to all who have attended a Roy Hart voice workshop.)
Please à short CV or letter.
More info : e-mail
1.Mornings — 9h30 – Physical preparation relating to breathing, energy and space, dramatic character of vocal imagination: Collective warm-up and intensive work on breathing: awareness of the physiology of breathing and the production of singing voice. Breath: motor and heart of the voice. Vocal imagination through improvisation: voice and body theatrical exercises, exploration of sound, colours, and the rythmical richness of the voice.
11h00 — Singing lessons: individual and in small groups : The dynamic process from breath to sound; Balance and posture; Capacity to relax and feel your body awareness; Technique of the singing voice: vocalisation, legato, “linea di canto,” developing register capacity, colour and dissonant harmonies.
Afternoon: 15h /18h — Interpretation and stage work (individual): We will take the time to experience the stage – feel it with body and voice as a whole: Personal interpretation of a song; dramaturgic relation between text & notes; expression of the voice; presence, space and economy of silence; staging in relation to the cabaret world (5 days working with a pianist).
Important: We ask all participants before the beginning of the workshop- to propose a personal list of sheet music: arias, lieder, folk songs, popular songs…
Please bring a song learnt by heart. We will propose other works from authors and composers of our choice.
Directed by Marianne LE TRON & Véronique CAUDAL
Hours: 33 (14h30 – 19h30)
Open to all.
The themes covered by the human voice workshops (the connection between voice and body, development of your vocal potential, breathing, improvisation) will be explored and developed, and you will be encouraged to delve deeper into your own creative abilities. Using a variety of means such as songs, snatches of melodies, rhythms, vocal qualities, corporal movements, words, sentences… allow your inner potential to come forth and to express itself. Come and create your own music both to feel a greater closeness with your self and to feed the collective creative process.
Directed by Jonathan Hart Makwaia
38 Hours (28-29-2: 9h30-13h&14h30-17h / 30-31-1st: 9h30-13h30 & 15h30-18h15)
Level: intermediary & advanced
Development of vocal and musical creativity with a view to performance. Each participant should come with a working project related to their personal interest in the voice & music. Letter of motivation requested. Priority will be given to those who have already worked with the Roy Hart Theatre.
4 - 9 August 2015The Teachers of a “Generation”Ian MAGILTON avec Kaya, Marianne, David, Saule, Carol & Saso Vollmaier *register
By Ian Magilton, Kaya Anderson, David Goldsworthy, Saule Ryan, Marianne Le Tron, Carol Mendelsohn & Saso Vollmaier*
24 Hours (9h –13h)
Level: intermediary & advanced
A unique chance to work with six founding members, who constitute the cast of the latest Roy Hart Theatre Production, ‘Generation’. The common theme will be the creation of the performance, which the members of the cast and its composer will approach each in their own individual way.
The mornings will begin with a group class given by the different teachers to warm up the body, voice and imagination. Followed by small group and individual lessons and then music sessions with the composer, Saso.
This is how I came to Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart. I was living in Italy in the fifties. My mother lived in London and she asked me to come over and visit her. So I took my first airplane flight from Milan to London. Flying over the shining snowy Alps in a clear blue sky, my heart was full of excitement.
When my mother saw me, she found me looking pale and unwell. What she saw in my appearance was a reflection of my desperation. I knew there was nothing pathologically wrong. My desperation came from searching for a place and a way of studying theater with very special people who connected art, theater, the sacred and divine with everyday life. Much as I loved Italy and friends there, and had spoken with theater directors, priests, and friends about my quest, nowhere had I found such a context. To please my mother I went to the doctor. This doctor talked about art and acting. His conversation fascinated me. We became friends.
Some days later, I read the Sunday Observer newspaper. Amazed, I saw on the front page a big and intense photo of a man called Alfred Wolfsohn. He was giving a singing lesson to a great childhood friend of mine Jenny Johnson. I was filled with the intense excitement of an explorer who at last knew she was on the right path leading to the treasure.
A few days later, the first treasure manifested. Roy Hart gave me singing lessons which reached into the depths of my body, voice, and soul. Giving me energy, inspiration, delight in my strong voice, immense hope and insight into the meaning of life and art.
The next treasure was discovering that I could sing and become not only an actress but a singing actress. Then followed more treasures. This way of singing opened my ears and eyes, stimulating thinking and feeling: emotion that had been squashed behind a rather monotonous well-behaved voice.
Another treasure was in learning to listen for qualities of sound in our voices that made me discover hidden facets of the personality and begin to perceive the dynamic existence of the masculine as well as the feminine in us and to leam that achieving their union could lead to greater strength and capacity to understand and to love. To love first myself, then others.
The list of treasures is long indeed. Here’s another one: Through the process of singing and giving expression to the dark as well as the light aspects of my personality I could gradually redeem and transform the negative experiences of my life, and get to know and appreciate myself. Gradually is the key word! Despite my youth, I was not looking for “Instant Divinity”… my search had been for a context in which people of a high artistic and human caliber would be my guides and friends. Having found this context with Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart the real work began, side by side with the discovery of the treasures. In my good moments in this life process of incredible vocal exploration that invokes deeper perception and richer emotional sensitivity, I knew there was a chance of continuing to tap my inner strength and confidence and with that, the possibility of closing the gap between my imagination and physical action.
In my bad moments, my doubts about myself swirled around in muddy confusion. When the mud was so deep I didn’t even know I was in it, my teachers informed me in no uncertain terms. So at least this education in self-awareness could cast some light on the confusion.
The slow realization that we are each composed of multiple aspects of the divine and diabolical, and that our Karma has to be recognized and accepted makes sense of out struggles. But joined with the struggles was the inspiration given me in each lesson with Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart, wherein voice is unified with mind and body. Thus giving birth not only to new and vivifying sounds, but to renewed energy, imaginative resources, listening, comparison and better capacity to love and to understand.
During my first extraordinary two years singing with Roy, which included not only lessons in the studio at the piano, but also acting work on plays and special talk meetings with Roy, my dreams were powerful. I had many, many dreams of Alfred Wolfsohn whose photo I had seen on the front page of the Sunday Observer.
Roy visited Awe very often at the apartment on Pond Street in Belsize Park.This was a period when Awe was not fit enough to work in the studio in Golders Green, A couple of times I went in the car with Roy and waited while Roy went to see Awe. Awe’s acute observations concerning pupils and Roy’s own development were instrumental in making Roy emerge from these conversations absolutely radiant.
One particular dream of mine reached Awe’s ears through Roy. This dream bore a relationship to huge step in scientific space exploration; the launching into space of the Astronaut Yuri Gagarin. My dream was this:
“I was standing onstage before an audience of thousands—I began to sing a deep sound, then glissandoing up and up, I felt I had the power of a spaceship, as it rises up into the stratosphere. My sound reached very high, but my feet and body remained firmly on the ground. It was my voice that gave me power. There, facing that huge audience, I felt confident.”
After this dream, I became Alfred Wolfsohn’s pupil. The dream was a portent of my future. I was choosing the way of inner development through voice and relationship to our earth. The vertical aspirations of modem science were not for me. I had discovered this wonderful way of singing and living that Awe and Roy were showing me.
The artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci had already devised his flying machine many hundreds of years before the first airplanes were made. Alfred Wolfsohn conceived his immense vision of the connection between art and science, not in drawing like Leonardo’s but in the discovery of voices that could lead the singer not only to wider vocal expression but also deeper self-knowledge, the quest of ancient and modem psychology. Alfred Wolfsohn knew he was 100 years ahead of his time….
Awe wrote that he was attempting in his field, to find “a sort of BRIDGE between art and science.” “Surely,” he said, “I am not an idiot in imagining that a woman scientist would be fascinated to examine the possibilities of the EQUALITY of the two sexes in a field in which nobody thought that could be possible.” He was speaking of his voice research.
It is clear that Roy in finding his way through his experiences and perceptions of Alfred Wolfsohn’s work used all his gifts and actor’s training to give them VOICE and ACTION. He had, of course, to allow his imagination to help find ways of expressing Awe’s ideas. Roy’s understanding of Awe’s vital approach to voice through expressing not only the beautiful and good, but also the ugly and the SHADOW, led him to create a social structure within his group of pupils that could contain conflicts, likes and dislikes, anger, jealousy, and extremes of tension generated by archetypal domination.
By the way, C.G. Jung’s definition of an ARCHETYPE is, “The residue of ever recurring experience of HUMANITY.”
Roy Hart’s singing students numbered about 15 people at the time of Alfred Wolfsohn’s death in 1962. Already some years before Awe’s death, Roy was giving singing lessons, private talks, and acting classes to those students. Gradually over years, some of the individual singing lessons became groups of 3 or more people. Roy was also meeting with all his students regularly. In these meetings he transmitted Awe’s idea and experiences, linking up to his students’ own experience of their work. Some of the students were professional dancers, singers, actors, architects, teachers, secretaries, a doctor of medicine, university graduates, builders, and business men.
The dynamism in these meetings sprang from the singing lessons in which each student would feel and hear the power and subtlety of his voice and would feel the good changes in his imaginative and physical life, in his attitudes, and his relationships. A growing feeling, listening, and observation of each other’s qualities during the group singing lessons engendered broader understanding and appreciation amongst us.
Here in this work, in this aura, the roots of a new society were being formed. The singing lessons were and are acts of love, wherein all the Teacher’s experience, intuition, and feeling are focused on the pupil who is, first and foremost, a human being of many facets, whatever his profession, race, or creed.
Roy continued Awe’s discovery that, through the fullest vocal and artistic expression of all facets of the personality, ranging from good to evil, happy to sad, and all the polarities inherent in our human condition, his students could develop not only their voice but also their personality. We all witnessed this development manifest in the singing lessons, in the regular meetings, in the rehearsals and in contact with each other outside of these events.
One way of enhancing the awareness of each other was in the practice of invitations. An invitation to a meal, to a talk about dreams, or to hearing how you had fallen in love with that person, and even if the love was not reciprocated, you could mostly expect at least an understanding response. Sometimes the tenor of these private talks would reach Roy’s ears and if he sensed the possibility of a valuable development in the people concerned he would include their dream, or their desires in a big meeting.
In these BIG MEETINGS, rich material always emerged. We began to call these meetings “RIVERS,” which described their flowing nature. Roy led these Rivers for many years and he made it clear that each person was responsible for ensuring their creative quality. So your tone of voice, your gestures, and the content of what you said, however emotional you might be feeling, had to be tempered by respect for the creative flow of the River. This training led in later years to other of us leading Rivers. For some seven years after Alfred Wolfsohn’s death we called ourselves the “Alfred Wotfsohn Roy Hart Speakers Singers.” Then we elected to call ourselves the Roy Hart Theater.
Neither Awe nor Roy was interested in being a “Guru.” Of course this role was often thrust upon them, but they were not after gaining power to dominate others. Their interests lay in the possibility of further human development through this singing process. Development as artists learning to balance the power of opposites in themselves and joining the quest to create a warmer society.
There is a relationship between the beautiful classical singing voice and what Roy described as “a one and a half octave approach to life.” Our work on enacting vocally and physically
the voice of BEAUTY and the BEAST increased our understanding of their connectedness. Of course, we all desire to sing beautifully. Yes! But work on the so-called “ugly sounds;” finding a focus for them in the singing lessons, brought us to deeper, embodied satisfaction in singing, and far beyond the aesthetic demands of the Ego. The voice that can express the music of nature, of animals and of Man’s creations keeps the singer to face his physical being in harmony with the world.
During Roy’s study with Awe he gave public performances of T.S. Elliot’s “The Rock” “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” of Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and other pieces, exploring the 8-octave range and multiple nuances. His performances received enthusiastic press reviews. But following Awe’s death, Roy devoted himself to further developing and teaching with his group of students his experience of Awe’ lifework.
Years later, Roy began to perform again whilst continuing his leadership of the Roy Hart Theater. He sang works composed for him by composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Hans Wemer Henze, Karlheinz Stockhausen and other composers. Roy was Awe’s ambassador during his life and after his death. He continued to visit, write letters, invite people to the studio to hear this amazing singing work. Marita Gunther, myself, and others pursued the task of making the work known.
Sometimes I had been in the room with Awe, when Roy would return from these ambassadorial visits with feelings ranging from hope to astonishment and anger at the often obtuse or evasive attitudes at these interviews. Sometimes Roy had thrilling news about deeply interested responses from people of different professions. These pioneer years were punctuated by the world press’ recognition in 1955/56 of Alfred Wolfsohn’s work.Laryngologists made studies of Alfred Wolfsohn’s pupils and found no abnormalities in work. their vocal anatomy, contrary to the fear and criticism expressed by experts in classical singing. Roy had to continue the pioneering work right up to his death in 1975. The Roy Hart Theater continued it. In more recent years, the pioneering has given birth to a lot of recognition and appreciation around the world.
THE ROY HART THEATRE IN FRANCE
As a result of a great deal of discussion, excitement, planning and organizing our transfer from London to the South of France, we started the move in 1974. We were writing a musical play, based on the text by a French doctor and dramatist. When we had all arrived at the half-ruined Chateau de Malerargues we started rehearsing the play L’Economiste (The Economist).
February 1975: a very cold winter and no heating except for 4 gas cylinder radiators that we moved back and forth from our dining room to our theater studio.
Roy had had to make a very difficult choice of those actors in L ‘Economiste and those who would be making meals for over 40 of us. The cast numbered 26 people. Roy said he’d like to have everyone in this cast, but it was not possible on a practical level. Some of the meal makers contributed ideas for the music and additional scenes in L ‘Economiste. All of us met with Roy every evening. Our “Rivers” of London had become our “Rivers” in Malerargues.
Here we are in France, these 33 years. We had not imagined that we would lose Roy, Dorothy, and Vivenne or that Paul would be seriously injured in the car accident that occurred during a tour of L’Economiste in May 1975. We had to face it. The ideas and lifework of Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart gave us strength and courage to continue this work.
I’d like to end this conference with one of Roy’s writings that he wrote in 1947, upon meeting and working with Alfred Wolfsohn——… “I have just spent the most wonderful evening of my life with Mr. Wolfsohn. He made me do and see Othello as he really was. God, never have I risen to such heights. When I got to the death scene with Desdemona I experienced the most authentic and terrifying passion and emotion to-kill! It has made me ‘see’ scenes which I just wouldn’t conceive practically. God! God! I say that man is wonderful…”
With Inki Storleer, Jonathan Hart Makwaia and Ian Magilton W&theSend
a personal appreciation
47 of the Roy Hart Theatre came to Malérargues from London with the high – even mad hopes of being the most profoundly important movement in theatre of the twentieth century. Deep in the mysterious and difficult Cevenol hills we hoped to find the peace necessary to bring soul back to theatre.
Then we were decapitated by a road accident.
We buried our dead, waited, and were confronted with the question, “Do we dare continue without Roy?” The alternative was to return to London, but for most of us that seemed shameful. We voted to persist.
There were then six years of Stalinist communal madness, living on lentils. Half of us went out to work so that the other half could rehearse and perform. It was terrible, but in my life I am proud of those friends and those years.
Then different personalities, different projects began to emerge, leading to what I consider the golden age of Roy Hart Theatre – Six or eight different shows with entirely different styles and goals, and all great. One element that fed this freedom and multiplicity was Enrique’s discovery of the writings of Charles Boer, James Hillman and Rafael Lopez Pedraza on mythology. James presented us a freedom and seriousness of thought that helped us avoid becoming a sect.
It could be said that at that time we were an orphaned theatre in search of a new father, but they were not fathers, they were friends – bubbly, fun inspiring friends. James was never a father, he was a buddy. They came to us via Enrique’s correspondence with Charles and James, then a chance meeting with “Pagilacci” in Ascona. Our opera, Pagliacci was not overtly psychological, it was a “show” and it was good and they loved it.
With this proof that we were not some kind of theatrical weirdos they came to visit Malérargues the following winter. They saw all of our shows including a beautiful and unique performance of Pan by Enrique.
They respected what we had achieved and were working for. They were good friends for many years. Charles introduced the idea of “Myth and Theatre” and he, James and Paul Kugler were star speakers for many of its manifestations. They are great friends of Malérargues and the dreams there.
Years later, just on the pavement outside the Broadway and East 4th street market in New York, I met Margot, James’ most beautiful wife, it was an amazing co-incidence. She immediately invited me to dinner and later to stay with her and Jim in their Chelsea apartment. They were so warm and kind to me that I can never forget. I have dreamt of them regularly over the years since and when I knew that James was dying, that friendship drew me back, without hesitation.
James spent his life facing up to and examining pathologies – for what they could give to life. In the living of his own, ultimate pathology he did not renege.
Thursday 27 October 2011: sitting, smiling, drinking and dining around James’ coffin, wondering about the mystery we had just lived, Nor Hall reminded us of the gate keepers at Dephi who put their finger to their lips as the supplicants left the Oracle – “Ssh, don’t tell”. Or did they mean, “Ssh, don’t try to explain”.
Member Roy Hart Théâtre from 1978. The singing /spoken voice from the singing lesson to the vocal creation passing by the helping relationship ‘s listening. The C.A.I.R.H is a singular stage. We wish for this tool to work for the singing /spoken voice and to be the crossroad of our artistic creations and cultures
Phil is a Chicago-based actor, voice trainer, and vocal coach. He has been working with Roy Hart Theatre teachers since he encountered Carol Mendelsohn, Saule Ryan, and David Goldsworthy in 1992. In 1996-1997, Phil was an Annette Kade Fulbright Fellow to France, living and working at the CAIRH in Malérargues. He received his Roy Hart Theatre Voice Teacher Diploma in 2013.
His acting and coaching projects range from the traditional (Shakespeare, Shaw, new works) to literary adaptations (Edgar Allan Poe, Neil Gaiman, JRR Tolkien) and experimental projects (Frederico Garcia Lorca’s poetry with Blair Thomas puppetry, a TS Eliot re-mix – Four Quartets:Variations with Ariel Artists).
He is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at DePaul University’s Theatre School in Chicago. He is also an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Much of Phil’s research and teaching involves the synthesis of Roy Hart Theatre Voice work and Fitzmaurice Voicework.
Phil is an ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre in Chicago where he has received three Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Pride & Prejudice, Busman’s Honeymoon, and Queen Lucia).
Contact Phil: e-mail
Dramaturg, actor, storyteller, voice teacher.
Mariane Siem became a certified Roy Hart teacher in 2014. Her work with the Roy Hart work started back in 1989 where she as part of her actors training meet Nadine George. The many workshops with Carol Mendelsohn and Saule Ryan since 1996 motivated her to do the teachers training programe.
Improvisation is the core of her artistic work. For many years she has done improvised theatre for children (www.kulissen.dk) and she also teaches improvised strory telling and contact dance.
In her voice work the focus is on listening, playfullness, self expression, creativity, imagination, musicality, improvisation and the relation between the voice and the body in singing, story telling and performance.
Contact Mariane Siem per
The following CD’s and DVD’s can be purchcased online on Paul Silber’s Roy Hart Theatre Archives Website:
– “Dorothy Hart and her fellow women soloists“ (English)
Women members of the theatre performing, includs Jill and Jenni Johnson, Kaya Anderson, Vivienne Young, Clara Harris Marita Gunther and many others
– “The Eight Octave Voice” (English)
Roy Hart and Rossignol, a re-make of the 1973 45rpm disc!
– “Die menschliche Stimme” (German)
Alfred Wolfshon demonstrates his work with his students
– “The Human Voice” (German/English)
an English version of Wolfsohn’s CD above
– “Alfred Wolfsohn – his musical ideas” (German/English)
Another extraordinary find from the past; Includes Marita Günther’s London lecture and Jill Johnson’s remarkable voice
– “Eight Songs for a Mad King” (English)
Roy Hart sings this great soloist work
– “If…..” (English)
Roy Hart: is interviewed with extracts of the theatre’s works of 1974
– “Description of an Inner Experience” sung by Roy Hart (No Language)
Composed by Meinhard Rüdenauer
Contemporary solo opera in three movements. 1. Solitude 2. Contemplation 3. Union. Written for Roy Hart in 1972
– “….and man had a voice” (English)
a demonstration of the voice and work of Roy Hart by Roy Hart
– “Roy Hart en francais” (French)
Roy Hart performing in French in the last year of his life A NEW 9th TRACK HAS BEEN ADDED SINCE JUNE 2010 (Interview avec Serge Béhar et Kaya Anderson)
– “Roy Hart Theatre – preverbal” (No Language)
a live recording of a performance given by the theatre
– “The Albatross” (English)
group vocal work of this great story directed by Paul Silber
– “Roy Hart in deutscher Sprache” (German)
Roy Hart performing in German. Notably the work of Paul Portner
– “Informally yours….” (English)
Paul Silber sings his summer concert with Jomathan Hart at the piano. Also as a DVD
– “The Wild is Rising” (English)
Jonathan Hart sings and plays his own compositions
– “Aethelgar” Roy Hart (English)
multitrack recording. “Mask and portrait”(No Language) RH Theatre
NEW July 2010 The story of the first English Abott in 964 Roy Hart, this is the only multitrack recording ever
Videos VHS Pal and/or DVDs
– “The Rock” (English)
Roy Hart performing TS Eliot’s “The Rock” as a DVD
– “The Theatre of Being” (English)
Roy Hart directing a rehearsal available as a DVD
– “Alfred Wolfsohn, the man and his ideas “ (English)
by his student , Sheila Braggins (36 p)
– “Celebration of Life” (English)
the story of Roy and Dorothy Hart by Paul Silber and Clara Harris (Book 51 pages with audio CD) OUT OF STOCK
– “The Impossible Dream Refound” (English)
a work of fiction by Paul Silber (126p.)
– “Célébration de la vie” (French)
the story of Roy and Dorothy by Paul Silber and Clara Harris Hart (51p + audio CD)
The article is reprinted with permission from the “Voice and Speech Review”, where it was first printed in 2009.
Deep Song–A Personal Journey into Ecstatic Voice and the Art of Vocal Lamentation
Twenty years down the road of my life as an actor and theatre voice trainer, I found myself, Persephone-like, standing at the edge of a precipice searching the darkness for mysteries obscured by the bright lights of structured progressions and methodologies that had supported me for so long. My experience with voice and singing was governed by solid, well-organized systems designed to promote healthy, focused, resonant, conventionally acceptable sounds. Anything “other” was strictly outcast. Whether acting in classic or contemporary plays in regional theatre or teaching in professional actor training programs, I had begun to feel caged in, held hostage by the culturally accepted uses of the voice and thwarted by the limits and restrictions of theatre voice training as I understood it. Something was missing. Words–inspiring, forceful, magical words–called me and enticed me into the theatre along with soaring passions, aching truths and stories that careened from the heights of rapture to the depths of despair. But where was the howl beneath Medea’s rage-filled curses? The scream of Juliet’s horrified “Stay Tybalt, stay!” The groans of Hamlet’s existential tirades, or the barely concealed hysteria of Amanda Wingfield’s desperate effort to force her dreams upon her disaffected offspring?
Like the poet and feminist, Adrienne Rich, I hungered for “…more crazy mourning, more howl, more keening”. I yearned to hear sounds that would reveal the rough truths beneath the word, and was frustrated by a culture that seemed satisfied with a logos divorced from the naked hunger that impelled it. If I felt that our voices were shackled and marginalized expressing conventional truths, even when words and situations were explosive, I was not alone, as I recognized this same desire for full-throttle vocal expression in some of the actors that I trained. I wanted to tear open forms and expose the primal impulses, the underbelly beneath carefully crafted words; I wanted sounds that cut to the bone.
I occasionally heard sounds that expressed this longing–in uninhibited, raucous laughter or in unleashed fury in street brawls, sometimes from animals, occasionally in open-throated singing, but seldom on stage. If the words existed to describe these sounds–words like shrieking, howling, crazed, guttural, raspy and earsplitting–then the sounds must also be somewhere out there. Hiding under a rock or at the bottom of the abyss, perhaps? I needed to hear those sounds, sing and celebrate those sounds and invite others to the party. Where was Hades when I needed him? Well, if he wasn’t going to come and abduct me, introduce me to the mysteries of the vocal underworld, I would have to make the journey on my own.
The voice is like a mountain with many caves; go into all the different caves there are.
– Peter Brook
The first stage of my quest led me to the mountains of North Carolina in 1990 for a 6-day immersion into the Alfred Wolfsohn/Roy Hart Theatre approach to the voice. What I experienced there exasperated and confused me, and cracked open the ground of all I held sacred about the voice, inviting me into the hidden mysteries. Time-honored “truths”, my sanctuary of assurances, in short, nothing less than my hard-earned pedagogy, was now suspect. For example, the Wolfsohn/Hart “singing lesson” was not prescriptive, nor limited to gender-specific modalities of the singer’s range. Instead, the whole voice became an arena for excavation. Body, sound and psyche were a trinity through which sound was accessed, often resulting in the willing abandonment of our commonly held principles of “healthy” vocal production. Participants vocalized every conceivable sound (including some that were inconceivable to us at the time). Both sounder and witnesses were engaged in the surrender and struggle either to audibly express or consciously internalize the heights, depths, beauty, beast, agony and ecstasy of their inner world. In this setting, I discovered and freely reveled in sounds that could genuinely reveal the darkness of Medea’s rage, such as those “broken” and “corded” utterances hiding in the silent cavern, the “break”, between my head and chest voice. Or her shattered mother’s love expressed in the sublime simplicity of the angelic soprano released on the descent from peeps and squeaks exhumed from soundings explored in the uppermost octave of the piano.
Another epiphany came when, in an attempt to connect to my low “masculine” pitches and timbres, I unwittingly began to vocalize the unsounded groans of silent labors and birth events of my children many years earlier. Emerging from these experiences, I knew that I would never be satisfied with less than the essence of my whole Self revealed through my voice. The well-acted, but polite, sounds uttered in the theatre would no longer suffice.
I questioned my ability to integrate this new experience into my known world. Would these sounds have meaning for other actors and audiences? Do they, too, secretly long for the precarious edges of vocal expression? Could I eventually utter sounds that I heard from others but that my own body refused to access? How would I pursue this principle of the 8-octave voice in a world of the uninitiated? Did I have the stamina and will to pursue further training and incorporate it in my teaching? These were some of the questions that followed me down the mountain from this transformative week. To say I understood little about this approach to voice would be exceedingly generous; understanding and integration would be long process. I had arrived hoping for a bit of inspiration and unwittingly found myself an initiate. It seemed that I now had a choice–savor the memory of this experience and move on, or forge a new relationship with my voice and teaching methodology that would be neither easily satisfied nor augmented. I chose the latter.
In addition to continued study with Roy Hart teachers in the US and France, I immediately sought ways to expand the boundaries of my personal performance work. This included singing with a small group of classically trained, Boston musicians who were exploring a variety of musical languages, including microtonal sound art compositions. The instruments included steel cello, bowed cymbals and other metal objects, flute, violin and a glass organ tuned to a symmetrical twenty-three tone octave. Over a period of four years, we performed these sound art pieces in experimental theatre venues, offering me the opportunity to break out of constricting forms as I explored “extended” voice merged with microtonal singing. Singing microtones proved a challenge for me, since my western ear faithfully guided me to familiar harmonic modes such as thirds and fifths. But the leader of this group, an innovative and determined musician, helped me learn to hear and sing “between the notes”. I found the exploratory tone of this unconventional work to be both personally and artistically liberating. Our inquiries evolved to include texts that would invite extreme vocal use while telling recognizable stories; the works of Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, and classical arias (deconstructed) were among them.
During this time, I was also incorporating Roy Hart-style training into my MFA theatre voice classes. To provide them with a forum to apply their extreme voice training, as well as challenge my own ideas about its practical use, I directed a non-traditional production of Garcia Lorca’s, Yerma. We searched for ways to audibly reveal the chaos smoldering just below the surface of the rational syntax of language, and to express it within the context of a full-length play. The evocative artistic use of extended voice by the actors in this production confirmed for me the primacy of voice, in all its colors, as an undervalued, creative element in theatre.
Reach your hand deep into life and what comes up is your subject matter.
The theme of the suppression of the human voice in our culture, mirrored in the theatre, continued to feed my shifting pedagogy as I pursued new inspirations and directions for performance opportunities. In 1999, while researching a new theatre project based upon the earliest mythology surrounding Medea, I uncovered a link (of which I had been unaware) between the ancient, legalized silencing of women and what I perceived as the deeply entrenched and ongoing silencing of women across cultures–in homes, churches and synagogues, the street and the work place.
This link connects us back to the 6th century BC when the physical and vocal presence of women was being systematically outlawed from the public arena for the “good” of the burgeoning democracy. The final gag was securely in place when the Athenian lawmaker, Solon, silenced the last legal expression of women’s voice allowed in public–her free participation in public funerary events–her vocal rites of lamentation.
What was so powerful, so threatening about this form of female vocal expression that it had to be silenced? Could it be that feminine sound was detrimental to emerging ideas of democracy? More urgently, what exactly was this fear-inducing sound produced by grieving mothers, daughters and wives? What was ritual lamentation and why was it so dangerous to organized society? The concepts and multi-cultural expressions of misogyny were not unfamiliar to me, but I had understood it primarily in relationship to the personhood of woman. Now I wondered how much it also related to her unique vocal timbres and ways of expressing herself: to her mystery, her ungovernable, unquenchable lust for life and her uniquely un-masculine contribution to it? What was it about her voice–literally and metaphorically–that was so dangerous?
Detailed examination of these questions lies beyond the scope of this essay and can be found in numerous resources (some, suggested at the end of this piece). However, three things called me into this new crack in the earth: the possibility of discovering and liberating the censored voices of ancient lamentation, its creative potential in actor training and theatre performance, and its relevance to the principle of Roy Hart’s “8-octave ideal” for voice and life. The preceding years of vocal exploration would be the candle to light my descent into the underworld of taboo vocal lamentation.
This journey has taken me from ancient Greece and Israel where both men and women once practiced public expressions of lament freely and unashamedly (called moirologia and quinah respectively), to pre-Christian Celtic Isles where the sharp cries of female mourners (caoineadah or keening) announced and accompanied the death-watch among friends and neighbors, to its eventual silencing in these lands. Embedded deep within cultures around the globe–from the Balkans to Scotland, from the Tamil women of Southern India to South America and Africa–mourning practices survive in public gatherings of women (and men) who continue to sing, chant, weep, protest, rage, blame and bargain while their physical acts of breast-beating, hair-tearing, rhythmic swaying, and knocking on graves, bravely sound the cries of human bereavement. The loss of this oral tradition is felt most keenly in areas where the logos word, defined by reason and persuasion, reigns supreme and the Mother Tongue, the primary voice of women, has been supplanted. This is evident in most of Western Europe, the US and the many countries where imperialistic influence dominated throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
The suppression of public women mourners exists more vehemently in countries where religion and politics joined hands to curb the influence of women, the Middle East and Ireland, among them. Purposeful, active and assertive, public lamentation was indeed dangerous to the established order within some communities. For example, for centuries, Greek women used the passionate vocal sounds joined to highly structured, poetic laments to claim their right to the body, story, and property of dead males and to stir the family to revenge, releasing violence upon violence, as seen in the Mani clans of the Peloponnese. Although frowned upon by the religious and political structures of recent history, in many rural parts of Greece and the world, the age-old lament songs still resound at funerals, and women continue to assert their birthright to live out loud. When placed in the context of duty, tradition and disempowerment, is it any wonder that women still cling to this ancient tradition, holding sacred the public, aural expression of their deep song in its richness and glory?
I was provoked and fascinated by the craft required and artistry inherent in these varied traditions of lamentation ceremonies. They offered uncharted territories for investigation and a way to broaden my venture to vocal boundary breaking; not least of all, it offered significant potential for theatrical impact. That this genre requires a certain audacity, galvanizes and unleashes strong energies and provokes powerful responses in the listener–in a way no rational argument can hope to accomplish–all became stellar reasons to pursue its voice, unearth it, and return it to the vocabulary of modern life and theatre.
The artist never really knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.
–Agnes de Mille
The early stages of my research were governed by the written word, including an array of academic writers, ancient Greek plays and poetry, the Old and New Testaments, modern fiction, films, ethnic stories, indigenous musical styles, and interviews with foreign-born friends and students from lamenting cultures. I quickly learned that, despite the range of resources available about lamentation, aural models of it are scarce; its beauty and terrors lie submerged beneath mountains of the written word. My search would demand a deeper descent into the intuitive muck of creation if I was going to unearth the particular sounds, melodies, timbres, rhythms and structural forms of lamentation across cultures, physically embody them, and give them voice.
To that end, I initiated a formal time of study with a game and gifted group of MFA actors (Brandeis class of 2002), with two years of extended voice work to undergird our venture. Their third year of voice training provided an opportunity to branch out from my established pedagogy; and ritual lament seemed like a solid training opportunity for all of us.
In this familiar environment, I led the graduate actors (and they led me) through explorations of the physical life, sounds, images and stories I had culled from a wide variety of descriptions and snippets of samples. We worked with personal, metaphorical and theatrical scenarios. They sang, wailed, howled, barked and sobbed out original responses to my novice offerings. Guided by ancient Greek structures, we explored group aspects of lament, working with antiphony, drones, soloist with choral support and free improvisation. We played with vocal ornamentations and timbres and musical elements found in ethnic and non-western vocal traditions, many of them familiar from my previous forays into ethnic music. All found new application when incorporated into lament. For example, we practiced singing slightly up from the note, a method used in Russian peasant singing, or singing in the high, light head voice, familiar in Japanese female singing. To find the “cacophonous” quality of lament, we practiced singing off-key, using a known melody to contain us. We explored the provocative sounds available in the cracks, peeps and register breaks of the voice. In doing so, we developed new listening skills, expanded individual vocal expressiveness, and exploded formerly held beliefs about what constitutes “beautiful” music making. For my part, I found a bridge to the ancient sisterhood of the female voice and secured my commitment to wander further from established assumptions about acceptable theatre voice work.
The occasional stumble defined new learning opportunities. As an example, it quickly became apparent that the emotionally available, highly sensitive actor needed stronger structures than I provided in the early stages. Emotional reactions would, of course, arise in response to the evocative music that we were making, but they were never “manufactured” or encouraged for their own sake. Avoiding personal histories, or theatrical events that mirrored them, was important for the willing lamenter and led to establishing metaphor as the foundation for the work. Additionally, an ethic of self-care became fundamental to protect the over-eager. The work was exhilarating and, I believe, deepened the intimacy among the group as we explored this terra incognita together. Fumbling about together deepened our trust for each other and respect for the value of our mutual pilgrimage.
These were baby steps, but from this work I developed a template that could be used to invite interested parties to accompany my own odyssey into the world of lamentation. In my experience, the absence of effective vocal lamentation expressed in theatre productions was evidence that many actors and directors were uninitiated in the process and possibilities of this style of communication and were, more than likely, even a bit intimidated by its power and force. As an actress in mainstream theatre, I had always been unsure how far I dared go in a given rehearsal or performance and without a structure, form and permission to support me, I seldom dared to push the limits. I have often heard this dilemma recounted by other actors. So, offering my investigation to colleagues in the theatre to assess their appetite for lamentation seemed like a natural next stage in the journey.
The theme of the 2002 Giving Voice Festival in Wales, UK was the ‘voice politic’. This international festival provided an appropriate setting in which to introduce my approach to lamentation to theatre practitioners. This inaugural 3-day workshop, and those that followed, validated the importance of this work within the profession and confirmed my conviction that others would find the realms of lamentation personally invigorating, vocally challenging and applicable to theatre training and production. Equally true was the larger belief that by exploring lamentation practices and sharing our deep songs in community, we could awaken a visceral connection to our ancient stories and stir a desire to enlarge the too-small images we often hold of ourselves. Dangerous voices…indeed!
Wisdom comes to us in fragments. –Aeschylus
Early in my process, I discovered an invaluable lesson: the array of lamentation languages is only one side of the coin, since heightened vocal expression takes many shapes. Flip the coin and along with the sobs and howls of rage and desolation, blame and bargaining, live the cries and shrieks of euphoria, exultation, and blessing. These, too, open the voice, body and imagination of the would-be lamenter, giving a needed balance to the darker world of lamentation. And so I broadened the scope of the work to more actively embrace the joyous side of ecstatic voice.
This understanding of the two-sided coin was reinforced by the Hebrew expression of complaint and lament viewed through the Biblical Psalms, which also suggested valuable insights into structure. Unlike the capricious gods and goddesses of the neighboring Greeks, the Hebrews believed they followed a personal God who, upon hearing their voices, would ultimately deliver justice and mercy. This invited a no-holds barred verbal exchange with their God. The passion and vehemence of their lament songs were considered an act of worship. The form of these complaint psalms, however, is not one of unboundaried rage and anger. As evidenced in Euripides, Medea, and through the ages to the cyclical blood feuds recorded among the Mani clans of the Peloponnese, a limited focus on vengeance and retribution isolates the aggrieved and unleashes powerfully destructive forces.
Lament psalms characteristically move from a vigorous expression of outrage or complaint, to petitions, and then to an expression of personal pain. This progression eventually resolves into rejoicing and thanksgiving for God’s past faithfulness and, even while in the throws of anguish, hope for the future. This structure provided an emotional evolution for the grieving process, thus preventing them from getting “stuck” in an endless cycle of anger or self-pity. In conditions of anguish, this process may have been repeated time and time again, but the initial vocal, emotional dissonance always found harmony in the hope of awaited rescue.
As we navigate the territories of lamentation today and apply it to actor training and production, this ancient structure, developed by these nomadic people of the Middle East, reminds us of the need for balance. Like most explorers, we search the mysteries and chaos of the darkness in order to serve a larger goal–that is, to ascend and give form to the truths we discovered there.
In the next section I will suggest components of lament and a few guiding principles for developmental exploration. With regard to the voice, I will offer an overview and a palate of vocal sounds without attempting to describe them in detail. Trained voice users will have their own methodologies for accessing the voice and I will leave this to each one’s particular understanding of the voice. I will use the terms exercise and inquiry interchangeably to describe exploratory approaches. I do not intend to suggest that what I offer is the right way, it is an evolving approach that emerged from ten years of studio work with theatre practitioners and curious participants from a wide range of nationalities, ages and experience. And while I believe it has elements that will serve interested parties from many backgrounds and sensibilities, the primary guidepost for me continues to be its application to actor training and theatre production. My approach to practice and training remains an investigative process; there is no formula.
Part 2: Guiding Principles for Exploring Ecstatic Voice and Lamentation
The soul’s joy lies in doing. –Elenora Dusa
I have chosen not to introduce available primary samples of lamentation early in a workshop setting, as I want to avoid limiting the participants’ unique vocal and imaginative responses. We work from a blueprint consisting of basic principles including: a wide variety of timbres, placements and ornamentation; traditional and imaginative metaphors and visual pictures; social norms and commonly used musical structures. Guided by this template, the novice lamenter will discover his particular path to lament. Without fail, each working situation results in stunning and original improvised compositions. Starting from the standpoint of asking questions rather than providing answers, I save listening to primary source examples for the end of the workshop.
Journey in Myth and Metaphor
Due to the heightened nature of ecstatic voice and its application to lamentation, I have found that placing the work solidly within a theatrical setting serves a very important purpose. For the participant who has some trepidation about the personal nature of the work and concerns about the potential for invasive psychological tampering, framing our explorations as a mythological and metaphorical journey offers reassurance because imagination becomes the resource material rather than excavating personal misfortunes. In much the same way that the center circle of the ancient Greek stage was a sacred space to be tread upon carefully, so the work of lament invites special treatment. Giving voice to deep wellsprings within may be therapeutic at times, but it is not therapy. Establishing a “sacred” space within a framework of storytelling plants our feet on solid ground while, at the same time, freeing us to soar upward.
Like Odysseus, we, too, have encountered hardships on our journeys “home” to the deep song of lament. Our starting point becomes an active, private reflection upon this odyssey. For example: What mountains, waters or plains did you cross (e.g. literal: the Appalachian mountains, or metaphorical: mountains of fear, the waters of self doubt)? Whom did you leave behind (loved ones, responsibilities, unresolved conflicts, or the “critic” that prevents personal growth process)? What sacrifices did you make (emotional, personal, financial, logistical)? What “siren” called you to this place (new adventure, a retreat for self-care, a need to howl, laugh and shriek in a “held” environment, or the mystery of unknown yearnings)?
I agree with Frankie Armstrong’s compelling assertion that singing is the birthright of all. To that, I would add howling, sobbing, raucous laughter, screeching with ecstasy and moaning our sorrows. Many of us have lost touch with these harmless sounds so integral to our health and wellbeing. Like La Loba, the wise old woman who wanders the earth collecting bones, the lamenter also has “bones” to sing over and breathe back to life. According to the myth of La Loba, when she had gathered enough bones, she revived them with singing and witnessing until, transformed, they were able to move back out into the world alive and whole again. Developing a working relationship to the components of lament, within a controlled environment, offers men and women the opportunity to sing over the bones of their lives–the hopes deferred, the abandoned dreams, the disappointments–and, in the process, renew their vitality (See Suggestions for Exploration). Because it is deep, personal, and occasionally precarious work, our approach requires a healthy dose of humility and self-awareness, the permission to work at our own pace, and a theatrical scaffolding to support us.
Components Of Lament
Free Air: Breathiness
One problem I needed to address before I could successfully share the lamentation work with others was how to facilitate a safe, but expeditious, journey to the vocal edges inherent in lamentation for those participants inexperienced in the practice of extended voice. Many elements of Roy Hart extended voice work have been valuable.
The use of free air, or breathiness, is one example. In the lament workshops, I have found that it serves two essential purposes. First, vocalizing with an abundance of breathiness stimulates and connects the vocalist to her breath by inviting its generous release and replenishment. Second, singing with free air helps melt tensions, whether they result from anxiety or an established pattern of vocal push or strain. An attribute seldom encouraged by traditional Anglo-American theatre or musical voice training, breathiness invites access to the soft, vulnerable qualities of the voice and subtly invites the singer into both physical and emotional states of release. Combine the warming, releasing and healing qualities of free air and it is easy to imagine its value as a stepping-stone to ecstatic voice.
Additionally, I apply this free breath to vocalized images of cooing, sighing, mountain winds, the child-like timbre of a disembodied head resonance (think Marilyn Monroe without the sex) and the airy quality of the flute. These sounds prepare the singer to play with the flutter-like, unstable pitch fluctuations evident in mourning practices. Taken a step further, when connected to rhythmic breath inhalations and images of sobbing, these breathy sounds open a gateway to the high pitches of anguished weeping, eruptions of wailing, and the “Greek screams” written into ancient tragedies (such as the familiar, “aiee”). Connected, unforced, free breath is a starting point for the limitless range of colors invited by lamentation.
Sound Stands Alone
In actual fact, the soundscape used to create expressions of mourning is emotionally neutral, and can be explored purely for pleasure and discovery. Freed from expectations to emote, each student is able to gauge her own readiness to enter the risky territory of full imaginative engagement when intentions, actions, and strong points of view are added later in the process. Further, the actor is encouraged to side step those hazards caused by forced emotionality, namely squeezing or pressing the vocal mechanism.
…laughing and crying / you know its the same release
Laughing is a cornerstone of my personal approach to all voice work. It engages the breathing muscles and warms the voice. Laughter calls us into play, fosters a genial, sharing atmosphere, softens our over-achieving inclinations, and helps create the empathetic, communal space so crucial for “holding” the work of lament.
We all know how to laugh; there is no right or wrong way. And its anarchic quality makes it a good partner for lamenting. From the beginning, I have used it as a way into sobbing. Early in the process the actors learns that, with little more than a change of point of view, the same sounds associated with laughter and joy become sounds of anguish, grief and rage–the reverse being equally true. Listening with eyes closed establishes that, without visual clues, it is often impossible to distinguish sounds of sorrow from sounds of hilarity, further reinforcing the assurance that it is not necessary to experience extreme emotions in order to practice lamenting.
Shifting Points of View
The voice is only one element in the story-telling process; context and physical gestures will greatly assist the lamenter’s intended purpose. For this reason, I invite the actor to explore point of view shifts in the earliest inquiries, one of the first being laughing/crying. We will continue to shift points of view as we explore all other vocal components. It does not matter whether the actor is moaning low in the chest resonance, ululating high in the head resonance, or exploring broken sounds, I continue to reinforce the power of the point of view as the primary source of communication, not emotion.
Group Work and the Issue of Vocal Fatigue
Another challenge is that many colors of lament are placed in and around the passaggio, the transition area (“gear shift” or “break”) between the chest and head voice. This area offers a rich palate of sound possibilities, but because it is a part of the voice frequently avoided (even by trained professionals), the vocalist may tire quickly. Additionally, bright, high-pitched “feminine” sounds–in both women and men–are a prominent vocal feature of lamentation. These, too, can be tiring, but because they are also exhilarating, many participants would work in this area for prolonged periods, if allowed. It is important to limit the amount of time devoted to any given area of vocal exploration to avoid preventable stress.
I remind participants that it is natural to tire when exploring a new or different kind of vocal/physical expression. Experiencing fatigue at the end of a session is neither a sign of damage nor a signal that the participant has worked improperly. When extending the usual mode of voice work, the student may, indeed, not always work in a “clean”, perfectly healthy manner. I believe that it is possible to be too careful and that, in order to embrace the boundaries of any work, we have to be willing to falter and flail a bit. Vocal damage results from repeated misuse and a few miss-starts will not produce lasting effects. I also reinforce to the participants that they are the custodians of their process; they are working for their own personal interests and growth and are free to limit participation in whatever ways they feel necessary.
When the participants enter into small group work, I suggest that they work with the vocabulary of sound that they are able to produce fairly easily on a given day and save the less accessible sounds for another time. This helps avoid potential problems for the over-eager who may be inclined to force the voice to generate sounds before the body and psyche are able to support them.
It is also important to note that since most of my workshops range in number from ten to twenty (or more) participants, they must be cautioned not to “compete” to be heard in the large group; this is a subtle and often, unconscious impulse. It is best to avoid a prolonged interval of large group work. I prefer to introduce elements of lament vocabulary, allowing the group to explore them as a whole, and then break into small groups for further experimentation, incorporating the established vocabulary in relationship to others. Consistently placing the various vocal aspects of lament into a structure, with communication at its center, reinforces the active and communal characteristics of lament while providing short resting times when the group is listening and witnessing the explorations of others.
Whole Voice Playground–Warming Up and Preparation
Playful warming up body and voice in preparation for lamentation include:
• loosening and softening the body; grounding legs and feet; opening ribs; releasing the pelvis and engaging the abdominal muscles
• integrating sound and breath: panting, light and dark breath; toning, sighing, warming, glides and glissandos; easy exploration of range and timbres of the voice, i.e., what’s readily available?
• chuckling, laughing, guffawing
• warming up different resonating chambers
Registers, Resonance and Timbre
For simplicity, when referencing vocal registers, I will use the familiar terms head voice (including soprano or feminine sounds in both women and men), and chest voice to describe the area of the voice used primarily for speaking by both men and women. Despite their subjectivity, I will rely upon commonly used words for qualities of resonance and timbre–light, soft, dark, warm, bright, nasal, and so on.
Beyond our dependency upon the breath to carry vibrations of the voice, the sound of breath itself can be exploited for aesthetic and dramatic effect. It serves as a rhythmic component or, as mentioned above, as a source of aural color (dark breath or light breath).
Spoken, Sung, Chanted and Declaimed Voice
Used in combination and in a continuum, the lamenter blurs the boundaries of these vocal alternatives, leaping or gliding from one to another, exploiting one element or blending them, as he is inspired. For example, in heightened moments, spoken text expands to declamation or sung sounds. The ecstatic eruptions of the ancient Greek scream flow more organically from the vocal energy behind declaimed text than from conventional delivery.
Before the lamenter works with scripted language, we explore moving through the elements of lament vocabulary by employing our own invented “babble” language and combining it with intentions and points of view. I use the term babble to describe any variation of spoken, chanted, or sung sound released on a stream of changing vowel shapes with consonants added to imitate language. Often referred to as “gibberish”, the babble stream takes on a resemblance to language when it is influenced by the speech rhythms that flow naturally from intentionality and points of view. Unhindered by literal, logos words and their contextual meaning, the actor is freed to bypass the intellect and express from a more primal state.
The use of animal imagery is common in traditional laments. The wide variety of sounds emitted by birds are wonderfully provocative–from high, light cooing to dark, screeching soprano qualities–so I include this imagery in the vocal explorations. Poetically, wolves represent those on the outer margins of society, the outlaws, and are frequent images found in Greek poetry depicting this status. Archetypically, the howling wolf calls to the disenfranchised loner in our psyche. For men and women, howling like wolves offers inspiration and open throated access to strong, free colors in the voice. Additionally, access to resonance colors though the imagery of dogs barking and bears growling holds a central place in my approach to the work.
Singing Off Key
For most of my workshop participants, the notion of singing “off key” is an easily recognized departure from the norms of western musical standards, including our cultural assumptions about tuning, melody and harmony. However, because it is difficult to communicate the emotional dislocation of grief or outrage on the beautifully sung harmonies to which our ears are accustomed, I exploit singing off key as an effective means of embracing the dissonances involved in certain aspects of lament. By establishing a melodic line, the singers can explore bending it musically and blending dissonances with others. This simple inquiry forms the basis for a number of vocal inquiries that follow.
Call, Cries and Clamors
Calls are generally full-voiced expressions directed to animals, humans and divinities. Herding peoples create individual calls “understood” and followed by their flocks. In the human realm, we recognize them from the stentorian quality of the train conductor’s “all-aboard” to rural calls summoning men to their labor. The heart-stopping beauty of the Muslim call to prayer echoing across city streets is another example. Cries express the full range of ecstatic sounds emitted by an individual. They include a range of whoops and yips of both joy and anguish. Wavering, high-pitched cries called ululations are commonly heard throughout Africa, the Middle East and parts of India. These utterances, emitted in worship and secular celebrations, are also used in war cries. Clamor describes multiple cries of a group. The power of three or more wailing women crying out in pulsing, high pitched, dissonant sounds affirms the potential of this “weaker vessel” to ignite revenge and violent reprisals within her community. Equally powerful is the danger suggested by the clamor of male voices rising in war cries or public gatherings of protest.
Open Hearted Chest Resonance
This timbre of this sound is most often found in the ethnic singing styles of Eastern Europe, Slavic people, and the Middle East. It is a strong, open, free sound. The quality was developed, in part, from calling across mountains and fields, as it carries well. The singing group Kitka and a wide ranges of traditional Balkan music magnificently render this particular resonance. It requires an open throat, full body connection, strong breath support and deep physical relaxation. When applied to this vocal quality, ornamentations broaden the lamenter’s vocabulary.
Strong Feminine / Soft Feminine Sounds
Working with strong feminine sounds in all accessible parts of the actor’s head range is both empowering and energizing. It is also an important element in our vocabulary. Once the actor has warmed up her voice, the possibilities in this register are limitless. Hooting and howling in the higher pitches (the OO sound helps locate it firmly on the hard palate) opens easy access for many women and men. With the hoot/howl, explore adding strong pulses and sob qualities; alternate these with light, soft soprano sounds for variations.
Within the strong feminine placement lie a plethora of heart-rending, evocative and sometime terrifying sounds. Vocalizing in these tones gives meaning to the term “dangerous voices”, exposing the potential power within the women (or men) releasing them. It is an anarchic, unruly place, and harbors cries, shrieks, whoops, calls and ululations. It also generates energy in the room like no other vocal quality!
The counterpart to the strong feminine is the soft feminine; it encompasses the same placement and same notes as the strong feminine, with less volume, and more free air. By adding cooing, soft sobs (pulses), a wavering pitch, or babble language, the lament takes on a vulnerable quality oppositional to the power displayed above. Adding small, broken sounds to the soft feminine is effective and, for some, easier to sustain. For both men and women, this color is often the denouement of a full-throttle lament, the calm after the storm.
Vibrato is an ornamental aspect of the sung voice, although not considered so in western or bel canto style singing, and therefore, I invite the vocalists to exchange vibrato for straight tones as we explore sung sounds. When the many varieties of vibrato are added as ornamentation, our vocal vocabulary is immediately enlarged. The high-pitched, forced vibrato is one example. Often heard in cries and clamors, it heralds an array of ecstatic noises and can be expanded further by adding vowels and changing registers from chest to head while keeping the strong pulse of the vibrato. (This sound is heard in Native American ceremonies and a range of Asian cultures, among others.) It can be both hauntingly beautiful and deeply disquieting. Combinations of vibratos (also referred to as “pulses”), trills and melismas offer the lamenter colorful choices to express her desired intentions.
Ornamentations common in the ethnic singing and lament traditions of the Balkans, Greece and neighboring countries include variations on the release of the final note in a phrase; they enhance the richness of the melodic line and include:
• releasing the final voiced note in a phrase into a forced pressure of breath;
• releasing the final voiced note in a phrase on sustained, pulsed tone, flicked up in pitch to head resonance, then allowed to fall back to chest range;
• releasing the final sustained note in a phrase into high pitched yips or short screams, quickly cut off at the end.
The Mysterious Break
Metaphorically, the register shifts in the voice are the locus between worlds, a region where imagination, inspiration and memory live. In this place, both the singer and the song are open to new, often unfamiliar vocal possibilities, as she releases familiar controls of vocal placement. The yodel, used for a variety of effects across cultures, occurs by allowing the voice to move rapidly between chest and head registers without attempting to smooth the transition. It can be sounded powerfully or softly utilized for its own effect or as a passageway for exploration of the break. Variations of the yodel, cracks and broken sounds are highly evocative and effective for expressing pain and rage.
I use the term polyphony freely to describe distinctly different parts sung in a small group lament. In modern day mourning practices variations within groups reflect different musical traditions, ranging from highly organized to a seeming cacophony of multiple voices. Some consist of a structured, if uncomplicated, melodic line sung by all the participants. Others display a musical line that serves as the hub from which the lamenters improvise and elaborate. Some incorporate an instrumentalist who provides a melody while the voices add varieties of sung words, cries and clamors. In other traditions, one hears a continuum of sung, declaimed and spoken lines, punctuated by sobs, cries, pulses of breath and audible inhalations. To my ear, however, even the cacophonous sounds of raw, unstructured grief carry a unique melodious quality–however loosely one understands that word.
When organizing small group lamentation inquiries, I suggest that each participant choose one element of our vocal and physical vocabulary. For example:
• lamenter A, sustains a drone while rocking and swaying
• lamenter B, works with a continuum of soft inhalations released in high, light sob-like sounds while gently striking her chest
• lamenter C, is the “soloist” using declaimed babble erupting at irregular intervals into sobs, cries or ululations, combined with hair tearing.
Within this structure, they improvise a 3-part lament song.
With the drone, one voice holds a sustained pitch. At the end of a breath phrase, she may add a subtle ornament, such as a sharp exhalation of dark breath or a high-pitched yip. In a lament, the drone may be used to provide continuous vocal support throughout.
Some Thoughts on E–Motions
Emotions on stage are a tricky business. The pitfalls are well known. Either the actor can’t connect to them or falls in love with his own emotionality and indulges them, making the scene more about his emotional life than about telling the story.
For the actor-lamenter it is critical to trust that, unless he is holding on to them, emotions have a life of their own–they move. The Latin root of the word “emotion” is emovare and means, “to set in motion”. When emotions arise, and they will, given the sounds and images with which we are working, we must remember that the lamenter need neither encourage nor discourage them; emotions are neither good or bad, right nor wrong, they simply exist. If emotion is allowed to “ride” the sound and affect its color and quality, it will move through; it will either intensify or shift to something else, but it will not get stuck.
As an example, this scenario was borrowed from a recent exploration: The actor begins with a specific intention, for example, “to challenge God about the loss of a missed opportunity”. He chooses deep inhalations, breath pulses with high, light sound and babble language as his vocabulary. After a brief time exploring this action, he finds that the inner emotional experience or his intention begins to shift. He follows the shift. The sound begins to reveal outrage; he allows it to grow louder, more guttural, finally building to high pitched shrieking. Again, he follows this path, exploring it freely. Soon another shift begins to move through the actor towards self-comfort (a legitimate action); he explores this action state until it has found fulfillment and suddenly he is, for the first time, weeping freely, grieving the loss while staying on voice. The first part of the journey was necessary for him to contact the sadness under the anger. Regardless of the emotions arising, he kept the “text” moving on the broken sounds and stayed connected to his intention to communicate this sorrow to his partner in the scene, in this case, his God. For some, the lament may cycle back to the start place, led either by the actor’s inner life, or side coached by me as a means of helping the actor close the lamentation. Or the lament may find its own organic end point. Throughout the explorations, I do not hesitate to side coach if it seems appropriate to offer suggestions, affirmations, or to question the lamenter’s comfort or unease at a given moment.
Listening to and following the internal experience of sound helps the actor avoid forced emoting and keeps him actively present to the journey. He is both act-or and act-ed upon, initiator and receiver. He is never a passive recipient of the experience.
For the actor called upon to express heightened emotions on stage, this ability to “follow the voice” by allowing it to shift and change without controlling it, prevents him from one-note acting, a concern expressed frequently by actors working with heightened
text. When using a script, the playwright has verbally organized this forward movement for the actor. In improvised lament, the actor’s ability to balance the both forward movement and emotional expression is enhanced by practice with non-literal, babble explorations.
Across cultures, specific physical manifestation of grief and protest are easily recognizable. Introducing these elements to our vocal and imaginative inquiries offers the third facet of the trinity of elements: voice, imagination and body. It gives the actor-lamenter something to do and connects him bodily to his story.
Beginning an exercise with a physical gesture before releasing sound (e.g., gentle, rhythmic breast-beating, hair tearing, swaying, a gentle rhythmic fist-pounding upon the ground), helps establish the corporeal world, but more importantly, by engaging the actor’s body, it promotes the free flow of energy fundamental to healthy vocal production. Like the voice, movement patterns will change as the lament story develops, but it is important to establish a physical life at the outset. With regard to theatrical productions, we should not underestimate the extent to which the actor’s physical gestures heighten and support the imaginary connection of the audience to the story.
In much the same way that the communal aspects of actual mourning rites draw the grieving one into a supportive and empathetic community where she can find solace, escape isolation, and provide structure for her grief, the same is equally vital in theatrical explorations of this work.
I would like to offer a picture of how this plays out in a theatrical setting. Even working with imaginative circumstances, the lamenting actor may find her emotions swelling to the edge of her capacity to contain them. Through previous instruction, careful side coaching and guided practice, the choral group or witnesses learn to use their voices to draw the lamenter back into the safety of the group by gathering around her physically and over powering her vocally. The lamenter allows others to carry the lament while she regains her balance still remaining inside of and present to the story. Thus words intended to deny or suppress emotions never need be spoken since the lament is constructively shaped by the give and take of the group in their role of supportive witness and guide. Within the workshop setting, it is awe-inspiring to see women and men, relatively new to each other, use this structure to improvise with sensitivity, and to observe the beauty of this age-old tradition alive in the contemporary theatre.
Suggestions for Exploration
Over time, I encourage participants to work freely with imaginary circumstances or bits of their own stories, invested with metaphor. I do caution lamenters to avoid emotionally explosive and unprocessed situations and events. Some possibilities include:
• lament of the throat (what I didn’t say)
• lament of the feet (places I have never traveled)
• lament to raise the dead (a part of your psyche)
• lament of the sirens or lament of the furies (both were marginalized communities of women, feared for the sound of their voices)
• Cassandra’s lament (Electra’s lament, David’s lament (2 Samuel), etc. Use bits of texts and the circumstance of the story.)
Choose an active, intentional reason to explore your lament, for example, to challenge (Self or Other), to chastise (Self or Other), to expose an injustice, to comfort. Even as you set out to pursue an action, your emotions and intentions are likely to shift, evolve and change. Let it be fluid.
Re-centering and warming-down is a crucial element in the process; it encourages the actor to shift out of one state and into another. It is done at frequent intervals during a workshop or rehearsal, when finishing one exploration before beginning another, or at the end of a session. Warm-down techniques include toning of all kinds: yawning, sighing, moaning, purring, small glides and humming. These gentle soundings beckon the vocalist back from the edges, emotionally, physically and vocally. In The Way of Woman: Awaking the Perennial Feminine, Jungian practitioner, Helen M. Luke, reminds us that primitive societies understood the importance of creating rites designed to aid transitions from one life activity to another. To the same end, we use toning and re-centering moments as we shift in and out of strong inquiries.
Tribal Communion and the Land of Memory
As already alluded to, the imperatives within the “tribe” governing rites of lament are varied. Some are bound by a sacred duty to honor the dead in song; others lament to assist the deceased’s journey into the next world, while others must sing over the physical remains until the soul has fully departed from the body. But it is also an acknowledged time of passage for the living who must continue on in this life without the beloved. The physical gathering together of the tribe is an essential aspect of both authentic lamentation practices and theatrical explorations.
Written accounts of mourning rites across the globe stress both the active and communal aspects of it. Photographs of men and women engaged in mourning practices reveal them gathered in groups, connected physically and relationally. Field recordings, interviews I have conducted and both literal and fictional accounts, underscore the significance of multiple voices sounded in a mutually supportive communal gathering. And while I am not suggesting variations do not exist, to a large degree, gender paring are globally represented. Two memorable images are contemporary Greek men singing a two-part, antiphonal lament swaying together with arms around each other’s shoulders, and the “crying clusters” of the Tamil women. In this tradition the women gather together, squatting in a circle with arms embracing each other, weeping together for the deceased. For each newly arriving woman, the circle is opened to literally embrace her into the cluster.
Lamentation invites her followers into a liminal space where time slows, listening deepens and memory opens out. In this slowed down space, the lamenter is able to re-visit and perhaps integrate experiences previously glossed over, rushed past or avoided through the act of acknowledging and voicing them within a welcoming community.
Ecstatic Voice and Actor Training and Beyond
With twenty years devoted to personal study, performances and the teaching of ecstatic voice and ten years devoted to its relationship to ritual lamentation, I am fully persuaded of its value for actor training. If we desire to train actors willing to risk, eager to venture into unfamiliar territories, we must incorporate into their preparation a space to experience the thrills and terrors of this enormous “yes”, a space where they can explore the undiscovered country within their own essential beings and express it creatively.
For all of us, regardless of our reason for study or intended use, the doing and the witnessing aspects of ecstatic voice and lamentation are generous and generative acts. We come along side each other in our search for ways to connect with and make audible our inner experience. I believe that by opening our voices to the outer limits of the human experience, we grow, we heal, we become more empathetic, more available to others, and thus, more essentially human.
I would like to close with a few words from Anna Akhmatova.
…And the power that propels the enchanted
Voice displays such hidden might,
It’s as if the grave were not ahead,
But mysterious stairs beginning their flight.
Alexiou, Margaret. Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974.
Danforth, Loring M. Death Rituals of Rural Greece. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982.
Foley, Helene P. Female Acts In Greek Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
Goff, Barbara E. Citizen Bacchae: Women’s Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, 2004.
Holst-Warhaft, Gail. Dangerous Voices: Women’s Laments and Greek Literature. NY: Routledge, 1992.
Loraux, Nicole. Translated from the French by Corinne Pache. Mothers In Mourning. Cornell University Press, 1998.
Wege zur Stimme
Reisen ins menschliche Stimmfeld
Unverzagt Verlag, Köln 2008
English résumé of my book “Wege zur Stimme” (paths to the voice)
The book is divided in two big parts, the first under the title “Voice and Thinking”, the second entitled “Voice and Personality”.
In the first part I try to talk about the philosophy of the voice, whatever that can mean. I start with a chapter about the question how we can talk about the voice at all. What kind of subject is “the” voice? I use an idea of Gilles Deleuze and F. Guattari who write about the distinction between copy and map. The old way of philosophy was like making a copy of the things they were intersted in. But since there are great doubts if the mind is able to copy the world philosophers look for other ways of describing what we do if we think as philosophers. Drawing a map – the suggestion of Deleuze – is one way that seem to fit to the thinking of the voice very well. If we draw a map it is something that can be prooved only if one goes into the “countries” or fields that are described in this map. So it doesn´t make sense just to read about the voice. You have to use it, if you want to know something about it and the map can be a good orientation, but not the “truth”. (It is not easy to give a short abstract about this issue. But for me Deleuze has been very helpful. Although he never talks about the voice of course!)
In the next chapter I show that the voice has never been a subject for philosophers in our history. It was always seen as part of a language theory, in other words, the voice has always been in the shade of the language. You can say this started with Platon (but one could also start with Parmenides or others). I talk about his view (!) on the voice, later about Herder, who was one of the first who saw the meaningful qualities of the voice independent from the language. Then about Derrida who started to make the voice to a subject in french Philosophy although he was more interested in written language.
In the next chapter I discuss the concepts of the so called beautiful voice in european history. I talk about the voice of the castratos, of the angels, and of the moment when the women came on the scene to sing. Afterwards I try to explain Wolfsohns idea of the whole voice or the human voice and I use some ideas of Nietzsche to make it clearer. Not so much the thoughts that Nietzsche had about the voice, although they are very close to Wolfsohn, but Nietzsches way of thinking morality. His attempt to think from the other side of good and evil. This is very much like Wolfsohn trying to find the human voice without judging about beautiful or ugly.
Then I talk again about the way philosophers could think about the voice and I present the idea of a “singing philosopher”, because I am sure that one cannot understand the human voice in only thinking about it, you also have to use it yourself!
Then I talk a bit about my idea of the “Stimmfeld” the voice field, in which all possibilities of the voice are potentially there and structured in some form.
The second part of my book starts with a discussion about the image of the voice as a mirror of the soul. I do not agree with this image and I would prefer to call the voice an echo of the soul.
Then I discuss the idea of the strange parts in the voice that seem not to belong to oneself.
The next chapter is about “physiognomie”, a kind of strange “science” that began with Aristoteles, was pretty important during the time of enlightment in Germany and in the beginning of the 20th century. It is about the idea that the body (and the voice) can tell you something of the character of a human being. So for instance the form of your head can give you information about your inner qualities. This is an idea not far from what we do in the voice work, because we see a relation between voice and personality, but the relation we are interested in is very different from what physiognomy wants to say. We have to be aware that in the singing process the voice – with its stories behind – always is confronted with an ear that has its own history of listening. What you hear tells you something about the listener as much as the voice tells you about the singer!
Then I talk about voice in modern Psychology in the beginning of the 20th century when some people started to use voice recordings to analyze voices. Karl Bühler, a psychologist and philosopher from Vienna is one of them, Paul Moses an other one. Again the result of the discussion is my conviction that analysing the voice in a scientific way doesn´t lead to valuable knowledge about the voice. Valuable for the process of liberating the voice. You need to have the relation of singer and listener with their stories behind and not a scientist who stays behind.
The next chapter is about the idea of a healthy voice. What could this mean? Are there relations to the idea of the liberated voice?
In the last chapter I talk a about the art of the extended voice. What is the artistic value of the voice we are looking for? Do we have to look for meaningful sounds? I say: yes, but people like John Cage (who I adore very much) says no!
Here I discuss Roy Harts big contribution to the extended voice art and I compare it with Antonin Artaud. In between this chapters there are three letters that I have adressed to Alfred Wolfsohn, in which I tell my story of looking for my voice and at least partly finding it. There are also small anectdotes, stories, thoughts and quotations added everywhere in the book.
by Amy Rome
Currently Amy Rome’s post-doctoral research rooted in both the praxes of fundamental Roy Hart and it’s development through Pantheatre’s approaches, examining the relations between voice and body, is available at:
What is the voice embodied? How is it possible to understand the voice as a gesture: a movement perceived as body? What are the creative processes of expressing voice? An interdisciplinary study into the artistic training and performance of voice, the aim of this thesis is to explore these research questions by examining three contemporary voice practitioners in conjunction with my practice. The practitioners, Noah Pikes, Enrique Pardo, and Linda Wise, are original members from the Roy Hart Theatre (1969-1990). Founded in the 1960s on the pioneering work of the German musician and voice teacher Alfred Wolfsohn (1896-1962), Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre extended Wolfsohn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to voice training within theatre practice. This investigation brings together the practices of Pikes, Pardo, and Wise for the first time to explore a lineage of Wolfsohn and Hart’s work. Examining the practitioners’ interdisciplinary methodological approaches to voice training and performance, the research reveals how these original members of the Roy Hart Theatre are challenging conventional methodologies to the way in which the voice of the actor-singer-dancer is trained through practice.
If you want to know more contact: Amy Rome
Dark Voices: The Genesis of Roy Hart Theatre
A NEW AND REVISED EDITION
by Noah Pikes
Published June 1st 2004 by Spring Journal, Inc.
Paperback, 174 pages
Price: 25 euros
George Steiner called him a genius. Harold Pinter saw an enormous creative intelligence, Peter Brook a unique theatre researcher. Composers Maxwell Davies, Henze, and Stockhausen were all inspired by his six octave voice. However R. D. Laing, founder of “anti-psychiatry,” refused to hop, skip, and jump for him. His name was Roy Hart. He was the inspiration for an artistic community from about fifty diverse and disaffected individuals which brought art into life and more life into art. That group became the Roy Hart Theatre and Pikes was a founding member of it.
Dark Voices shows how the current interest in voice–its origins, its potential for extension, for therapy, and personal development–began with the pioneering work of Hart and his teacher Alfred Wolfsohn. After WWI Wolfsohn seemed to suffer from “war neurosis” (now known as post-traumatic stress syndrome) and found a cure through his own voice. As a Berlin Jew, he had to escape to London in 1939 where he continued to work on his voice research. Dark Voices quotes from interviews and Wolfsohn’s own unpublished writings to present his vision of “The Voice of the Future” and its place in his ideas on human psychology.
Dark Voices tells Wolfsohn’s and Hart’s remarkable stories, their ideas, practices, and achievements, as well as of Pikes’ own path through a dark night of the soul to get to the Roy Hart group of the 60s.
This first volume of Dark Voices ends in 1975 when the group sells everything they have in London and moves into a half-ruined château in the south of France. Shortly afterwards tragedy strikes the group. A second volume will relate how they survived this tragedy and became an internationally acclaimed theatre company valued for their teaching and technique; aspects of their work which continues to the present day.
Paul Silber was the lone survivor of the tragic accident in 1975 which ended the lives of Roy Hart, his wife Dorothy, and the actress VivienneYoung. This book is a home-edition, embellished by original writings and sketches. In it Silber looks at the life and person of Roy Hart and his wife Dorothy. It comes with a CD of extracts of previously unedited sound recordings of Roy and Dorothy, compiled from the Roy Hart Theatre archives.
Price: 20 euros (includes postage and handling)
Contact Paul Silber at e-mail
Nota Bene: Available only as an ebook and CD. The limited edition of 100 copies of this publication have been sold out.
Voix de l’inouï – Le travail de la voix au Roy Hart Théâtre, hier et aujourd’huiMarianne Ginsbourger, 2000
‘THE PROPHET OF SONG’
The Life and Work of Alfred Wolfsohn
by Paul Newham with Overture by Marita Günther
published 1997 by Tigers Eye Press (London & Boston)
” Wolfsohn became Charlotte’s first love – Indeed, he was her idol; she worshipped him as a father, a lover, a teacher and a spiritual emissary. She was a highly gifted painter and Wolfsohn spent many hours nurturing her belief in the significance of her life and in the worth and value of her paintings. In fact, it was only her art that saved her from an all, consuming melancholia.
But the third and most important process of that period occurred in response to Wolfsohn’s recognition that the only way to further develop his investigation into the voice was by taking on his own students and experimenting with what he had learnt – that the voice was ‘capable of expressing itself over a much wider range, emotionally as well as dynamically’.
During his time at the Salomon residence, Wolfsohn took on a number of students, some of whose voices he believed had been ‘broken by years of wrong training’ and others whom he described as having ‘suffered mental damage’. Referring to this latter category Wolfsohn wrote:
” I discovered that you cannot make progress and succeed unless you are able to correct and alleviate the mental damage they suffered, to build up their belief in themselves and their own strength.”
His development during that time brought him to formulate a fundamental link between the artistic process of singing and the psychological maturation of the individual. ”
Paul Newham, London 1997
PROGRAMME DE FORMATION DE FORMATEURS DES PROFESSEURS DE VOIX ROY HART THEATRE
Policy Revised Dec 18th 2011
POLICY FOR THE TRAINING OF ROY HART THEATRE VOICE TEACHERS
This is a structure for candidates to gain the education and experience needed to become a Roy Hart Theatre voice teacher. It is a general statement of principles. Regulations and requirements are set out below. PRINCIPLES Alfred Wolfsohn/Roy Hart/Roy Hart Theatre voice work places the accent on the individual. Many of the human and artistic values arising from this approach are not easily measurable, but are understood to be essential and stand at the centre of the teacher training. The teacher/pupil relationship and personal reflection are important in the work of extending the range of the voice and its expressive capacities. ALL TEACHER TRAINING CANDIDATES MUST:
- · Have completed the minimum of 300 hours of group training required for a Roy Hart Theatre General Certificate. They should also be on their way to the 30 hours of individual lessons required, but these can be completed after beginning teacher training.
- Have a Roy Hart Theatre teacher as a mentor who is approved by the Teacher Training Committee (TTC). The mentor proposes the candidate to the TTC, oversees the candidate’s progression towards becoming a teacher and ensures that the candidate maintains an active involvement in the CAIRH.
- Have an understanding of the vocal work and philosophy of Alfred Wolfsohn, Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre.
DURING TEACHER TRAINING CANDIDATES SHOULD:
- Complete the 30 hours of individual lessons required for a Roy Hart Theatre General Certificate.
- Continue to receive singing lessons on a regular basis. The candidate should have experiences with a wide range of RHT teachers.
- Attend workshops at Malerargues where the notions of pedagogy are studied and discussed or attend alternative teacher training workshops approved by the TTC.
- Give a minimum of 25 lessons supervised by an approved RHT teacher followed by feedback.
N.B. Hours of Teacher Training Workshops and supervised lessons shall be recorded by the trainee and sent to the mentor and the TTC. Reports of the Teacher Training workshops shall be sent to the mentor and the TTC. Any important information from the supervised lessons should also be conveyed to the mentor.
- Have a physical meeting and discussion with the mentor within the first year of training to ensure that the course is the right one for all parties. A report of this meeting should be sent by the mentor to the TTC.
- Begin co-teaching when the mentor considers that they are ready. Before the end of the probationary period the trainee must have completed a minimum of 30 hours of co-teaching in workshops with an RHT teacher approved by the TTC.
N.B. Co-teaching is defined as: Involvement in the process of a workshop directed by a RHT teacher, including planning, teaching and reflection outside the teaching hours. There should be at least one session where the trainee and the teacher can benefit from working together. Co-teaching hours do not include the hours when the trainee is watching the approved RHT teacher lead, but are the hours the trainee actually teaches.
- Prepare and present a performance/piece of theatre in front of a public, or have been involved in such a creation.
NB. The Roy Hart Theatre Voice teacher’s diploma is not automatically awarded on the completion of these requirements. The mentor will request an assessment when they consider the candidate to be ready. PREPARATION FOR ASSESSMENT:
- The mentor shall request an assessment in writing to the TTC when they consider that the trainee is ready. The TTC shall inform the Conseil d’Administration.
- The TTC will appoint an assessment panel of three.
- The TTC shall inform the trainee, panel members, office and Conseil d’Administration of assessment dates.
- The panel shall inform the mentor, trainee and other relevant teachers of the assessment schedule.
DURING THE ASSESSMENT:
- The panel will meet with the candidate’s mentor. Any other teacher who has been important in their training could be present.
- The panel will interview the candidate. The mentor should be present for part of the trainee’s interview. Other relevant teachers can be present for part of interview.
- Candidates will be required to give 2 singing lessons.
- The mentor should be present for at least one of the lessons.
- The assessment will be spread over 2 days.
- The mentor should be present for the final meeting with the candidate.
AFTER THE ASSESSMENT:
- The panel will inform the TTC and the Conseil d’Administration of their recommendations.
- The Conseil d’Administration will vote on the recommendations and shall inform the TTC and mentor of their decision.
- The mentor will convey the panel’s recommendations and the vote of the Conseil d’Administration to the candidate.
- Upon the approval of the Conseil d’Administration, the candidate may begin to teach as a Roy Hart Theatre voice teacher.
- The new teacher must continue to refer to their mentor, receive lessons, complete their co-teaching hours and follow the recommendations of their assessment panel for a probationary period of at least one year.
- Just prior to the completion of the probationary period, the head of the panel and the mentor should inform the TTC in writing that the candidate has fulfilled all the requirements of their probation.
- After probation, with the recommendation of the mentor and approval of the Conseil d’Administration, the trainee will receive their Roy Hart Theatre voice teacher diploma.
GRIEVANCE PROCESS In event of difficulties between the Candidate and the Mentor:
- The parties discuss the difficulty between themselves.
- If the dispute is not resolved, the aggrieved party may approach the TTC for resolution.
- if the aggrieved party is still not satisfied, they can apply to the Conseil d’Administration for resolution.
- If the candidate believes they have not received a fair assessment process, they may make a written appeal to the TTC and then to the Conseil d’Administration.
EXCEPTIONS Any exception to a policy regulation must be made in consultation with the TTC and the Conseil d’Administration. AMENDMENT PROCESS This policy may be amended by vote of the Conseil d’Administration.
Directed by Ivan MIDDERIGH, Marie Paule MARTHE & David GOLDSWORTHY
36 hours – Price : 486 € Cancelled.
« This dangerous and exciting journey into the eight octave voice, that is to say into sound, has been undertaken with the primary aim of discovering the source of the word, to which my theatre is returning. » (Roy Hart)
Voice and Musicality proposes to question, within a teaching frame, the musical relationship between the pre-verbal and the word to which Roy Hart wished to return. With the support of archival material and RHT teachers who originally came from London, the students will learn how to teach the extension of vocal registers (Eight Octave Voice) and the meanings that arise emotionally and artistically in a voice beyond words.
Voice and Musicality is an advanced level , pedagogic workshop designed for registered RHT teacher candidates but is also open to participants who have already a knowledge of the RHT voice work and who are willing to be taught by RHT teacher candidates and veteran RHT teachers.
Reminder : Any person interested in presenting their candidature to the RHT teaching Training Programme must have acquired the RHT General Certificate. This course counts towards the General Certificate for those people interested in earning one.
Directed by Ivan MIDDERIGH with Marie- Paule MARTHE, Beth Mc GEE* & Jennifer MILLIGAN* (guest teachers)
72 hours (free day : 30 May) – Price : 972 €
This workshop offers a unique opportunity to work with Professor Beth McGee, coming from Cleveland Case Western Reserve University on speech and texts combined with Roy Hart Theatre voice work with Ivan Midderigh and M-P Marthe, and a technique of improvisation known as Viewpoints as practised by Jennifer Milligan from Cincinnati Conservatory and Naropa University. This workshop is open to all levels, but it can be structured to allow those who know the work or have worked with us before to go deeper into the techniques.
Please bring a song and a text learned by heart.
14 - 18 Février 2015Vocal Technique, Traditional Song and ImprovisationDavid GOLDSWORTHY, Marianne LE TRON & Benat ACHIARY* register
David GOLDSWORTHY, Marianne LE TRON et Benat ACHIARY*
Hours: 30 (9h30 – 12h45 & 14h30 – 17h30)
Improvisations, the study of traditional songs, and songs brought by the students, collective body and voice warm up, work on breath, individual vocal training, freeing the voice, exploring the connections between song and poetry, interiority and exteriority.
We will work towards giving life to song and improvisation.
Creativity is at the heart of this work which engages “body and soul”.
For more information : +33 6 72 71 45 96 or e-mail
Directed by David Goldsworthy & Marianne Le Tron
30 Hours (14h -19h)
Open to all
An open workshop to to engage “pleasurably” with sound and breath, the speaking and singing voice, creative expression, improvisation;
– collective body and voice warm ups with vocal “games” and improvisations.
– individual vocal training in 2 small groups
– collective singing and improvisation “laboratory”
Directed by Margaret PIKES, Marie-Paule MARTHE with Gianluca PEZZINO * (pianist)
33 Hours : 9 h 30 – 12 h 30 & 14 h 30 – 17 h – Price : 495 €
There will be a presentation at the end of the workshop, open to friends and participants of other the workshops.
You are invited to bring one or two songs with which you are already familiar and would like to work on. Please send a copy of the sheet music before 2th July to CAIRH (C/° Beatrice – workshop Margaret) Château de Malérargues – 30140 THOIRAS – France
18 - 23 August 2015A Thousand and One Voice/ Vocal Improvisation on StageFlavio POLIZZY & Annette MENGEL*register
Directed by Flavio Polizzy & Annette Mengel* (composer, pianist)
Hours: 36 (9h30-13h & 15h-17h30)
Level: intermediary & advanced
Please send a short CV. or personal letter and for more information : e-mail
A workshop for everyone, who has already worked with the voice; in song, dance, in theatre, or the field of communication and who would like to extend their knowledge in their own artistic or professional engagements. Preference to those who have previously attended a Roy Hart voice workshop.
Mornings: 9h30-11h30: Physical preparation relating to breathing, energy, space, dramatic character of the voice; voice and body theatrical exercises, exploration of sounds, colours, and rythmical richness of the voice.
11h30-13h: Work with piano accompaniment: individual and small group singing lessons; techniques of the singing voice: vocalisation, legato, “linea di canto”; increasing register capacity, colour and dissonant harmonies.
Afternoons: 15h-17h30: VOCAL IMPROVISATION ON STAGE. We will take the time to experience the stage – feel it with the body and voice as a whole. We will experiement with vocal improvisation in different systems: solo, duets, trios, quartet… Songs, texts and images will be our inspiration.
**IMPORTANT. Please bring personal texts: from poems, theatrical monologues, letters, stories, etc. Songs, arias, lieder, folk songs, popular songs; painting reproductions… images.
Ralf Peters, born in 1964, is a voice performer and voice teacher from Cologne/Köln (Germany). While studying philosophy he met the Roy Hart teachers Paul and Clara Silber and started to work with them intensely.
He works as radio announcer and does literature readings. He has a internet portal with recordings of readings (www.hoerfeld.de)
In his institute “stimmfeld” he and his partner Agnes Pollner teache voice work for everybody from those who think they cannot sing to professional singers and actors.
He offers workshops for authors to learn how to present a text.
He gives seminars to people in the nonartistic professional world (Voice in job)
His work is strongly rooted in the tradition of Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart. Freeing the voice is not a question of technique but of listening and allowing the voice to move where it wants.
As a performing artist he is looking for new “languages” and ways to use the extended voice on stage.
Together with Agnes Pollner he is the artistic director of the ensemble “KörperSchafftKlang”, that creates theatre, music and performance productions with and around the extended voice.
He is the president of the association “stimmfeld-verein”, that supports the activities around the extended voice and the artists included.
As a Doctor of Philosophy he is always keen finding words to write about the singing process – as much a never-ending story as the singing process itself!
See “Wege zur Stimme” Unverzagt Verlag 2008 (www.unverzagt.com)
Ralf Peters: e-mail
Jean-Claude discovered Malérargues and the Roy Hart Theatre voice teaching in summer 1993, and liked it immediately. He came every summer since then, and some winters too. He was among the first batch of people awarded the RHT General Certificate, during the first members’ week. He has served in the Board of Directors since August 2007, and is treasurer of the association since August 2009. Outside, he is teaching/researching multimedia in a university in Paris. He also acts, sings, writes poetry and even some music. He is also a fan of 5 rhythms dance. You can reach him at e-mail .
Jonathan Hart Makwaia is the son of Dorothy Hart and stepson of Roy Hart.
He has witnessed multiple phases of the voice work’s evolution, from Alfred Wolfsohn’s last years to the present day. He has been central as a performer, composer and teacher in the Roy Hart Theatre’s history and remains committed to the work’s development as it extends to younger generations.
Photo: © Hanna Lippmann
Of Spanish origin, born in Valencia in 1955, I discovered the voice work in Malérargues in 1995. I return regularly to work, among others, with Jonathan Hart-Makwaia and Rosemary Quinn.
I am part of the project “Muttersprachen/mother tongues”, a piece for 15 voices directed by Agnes Pollner and Ralf Peters, performed first in 2009 at the Théâtre de l’Orangerie in Cologne.
I live in France in a suburb west of Paris where I administer the schools of my town.
I was elected to the Board in August 2010.
Born in México City his professional activity range from acting, producing, directing, coordinating cultural events and teaching.
He started his career as an actor, focusing primarily on the work of masks with Canadian director Glennys McQueen and subsequently with French director Jean Marie Binoche. In Body Awareness Center, he teaches a degree in movement Analysis with Rudolf Laban´s technique. As stage director and producer he has performed multiple projects for theater, opera, music and television. He teaches the voice class of the theater degree at Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa (Autonomous University of Sinaloa) and directs the deaf theater company in Culiacan Entre Manos.
Founding member of the 1st deaf theater company in Latin America Seña y verbo, founded in 1993. Founding member of Grupo Piensa, dedicated to the implementation of creative processes for institutions, and universities .
Experience With Roy Hart Theatre
In 1982 I met the Roy Hart Group in a theatre festival organized by UNESCO in the city of Zacatecas, México. I had the great opportunity to attend a workshop with Kozana Lucca. In 1986 Richard Amstrong came to México City and I took a course with him and also had my first individual lessons.
Two years later, Richard came back to México City, and once again I attended his workshop. Those first experiences allowed me to continue exploring the Voice with profound meaning, as learned from Kozana and Richard.
In 1995, as a stage director of opera I start to work in a different way with singers, trying to help them find a communion of voice, body and emotion. In 1999, in the II Encuentro Internacional de Teatro del Cuerpo, I came in contact once again with Kozana. It was during this workshop that I and several other persons decided to create a group following the philosophy of Roy Hart and asked Kozana to be our Mentor. In that process, our group “Son Voces” presented a performance called “Voces Secretas y Profanas”. In 2000 I became the Voice teacher in a special training course for actors. I began to give voice lessons in different universities, schools and institutions, teaching according to the principles of the Roy Hart Company.
As a consequence of our experience with Kozana the group “Son Voces” organized encounters with many people interested in exploring the Voice.
During those years Kozana was very closely in touch with us and several times came to México City in order to follow up on our process as a voice teachers. In 2001 Kozana came to Mexico and worked with the group for one full month. We also assisted her in several workshops in Mexico City and Oaxaca.
• In 2002 “Son Voces” created a new show called “Suseso Creativo.”
• In 2003 Enrique Pardo and Linda Wise travelled with “Pantheatre” to Mexico. With them I discovered new ways to work the Voice.
• In 2004 the experience with “Pantheatre” motivated me to start teaching Voice to dancers, as well as continuing to work very hard with my group, performing as well as giving conferences.
• In 2006 Kozana was invited by the University of Hermosillo to come to México and the group Son Voces Shared the process with Kozana.
• In 2007 I travelled to France to attend a workshop with Jonathan Hart and obtained the RHT voice teacher certification.
• In the summer of 2008 I shared a workshop with Kozana in Malerargues about voice and sign languages
Richard Armstrong’s work as teacher, director, and performer has taken him to over 30 countries. He has been part of the music theatre faculty at the Banff Centre, Canada since 1985. He is currently Associate Arts Professor for New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing at the Tisch School of the Arts and teaches for theatre companies, universities and opera schools around the world: www.richardarmstrong.info
Ulrik Rømer Barfod was born in Denmark in1963. While studying music at the University in Århus (Denmark), he realized that the voice is not only an instrument for speaking and singing, but also a tool which can open doors into imagination and creativity. In his teaching he uses songs and texts to explore the personal and unique voice of each individual. He is a member of the Centre Roy Hart and lives in Hannover, Germany, and in Malérargues. He teaches in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, England, and Greece.
Albino Bignamini was born in Italy in 1955. He is a Italian actor, director and voice teacher.
He studied theatre in Italy in Milan. He began the work with the Roy Hart Theatre in 1978 with Kaya Anderson. He has been teaching voice and theatre since 1994. He became a Roy Hart Teacher in 2009.
He lives in Italy where encourage people to explore and develop there special individual voice.
Albino Bignamini : e-mail
Veronique is musical pedagogue and a singer. She works in a music school since 18 years, where she teaches musical awareness and music to classes of schoolchildren. She is she involved with very varied musical projects in the school context. She is a singer and plays guitar and she recorded her own compositions and arrangements of children’s songs in a CD called “les jeunes pousses ” (“the young seedlings”).
She also participated as an actress and singer in two shows. The one for toddlers and young children « Douce écaille, poisson bleu » (“Sweet tortoiseshell, blue fish”) and the other “La Bonne Odile” (“Good Odile”) where she performed songs, surrealistically staged in a vocal trio with piano accompaniment.
Since September 2008, she sang in a vocal trio “Izvan” polyphonic songs of the world with a predilection for singing songs of the Balkans and the Caucasus: Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Armenia, Albania, Hungary, Russia …
Since 2006, she teaches voice to adults drawing on the work of Roy Hart Theatre in workshops and since 2010 she is also teaching individual lessons.
Contact Veronique Caudal: e-mail
Kevin Crawford is a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre company, whose ground-breaking influence on contemporary Voicework for theatre is internationally recognized. He toured extensively with the company for over twenty years, during which time the company received several prestigious prizes including an OBIE award in New York and the Prix Jean Vilar at The Printemps des Comédiens.
Kevin was a director of the troupe for a four-year period before moving to Ireland in 1993, where he was a full-time member of faculty at the School of Drama, Trinity College, on the Professional Actor Training program. In Ireland he taught and collaborated with a large number of theatre, dance and musical groups, and has been a guest facilitator at the Abbey (National Theatre). In 2001 he was awarded an MA in Voice Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama (London).
On his return to France in 2002 Kevin was appointed Visiting Lecturer at the Université d’Artois at Arras in the north of France, before joining Accademia dell’Arte as a founding member of faculty. Directorial credits include “Savage Love”, “Tongues” and “War in Heaven” for Hendrix College (Arkansas) , “Wolf’s Bride” for Kuopio City Theatre (Finland) as well as “The Bacchae” and “Oedipus” for the Samuel Beckett Centre (Dublin), “Racines dans l’Air” for Théâtre du Renard (Paris) and “Merlin” for Compagie Amadée (Strasbourg). Recdently he directed “The Persians” for Teatro Pietro Aretino, Arezzo.
Currently Kevin directs the MFA in Physical Theatre Program at the Accademia dell arte, Arezzo, Italy in collaboration with Professor William Biddy, Head of Graduate Studies in Theatre at MUW. He is a contributor to Professional Actor Training programs in Sardinia, Holland and France, and has been a guest teacher for the International Workshop Festival, The Vastavox Congress and Myths of the Voice.
Contact : e-mail
Passionnée et curieuse, elle se plait à visiter les différentes formes du spectacle vivant : théâtre, chant, danse. Après avoir été co-fondatrice du Roy Hart Theatre à Londres, en France, elle joue Max Frisch, Lorca, Giraudoux, Thomas Bernhard, Philippe Minyana. Avec Fred Personne, elle tient le premier rôle de plusieurs pièces et chante Victor Hugo, Léo Ferré et Jacques Prévert. Roland Petit lui offre le personnage de la mère Mac Miche dans son spectacle Les bons petits Diables, mis en musique par Richard Galliano.
Au cinéma elle est l’interprète principale de six films réalisés par Marcel Hanoun récemment célébré à la cinémathèque française.
Elle chante toujours : improvisations, comédies musicales pour enfants, théâtres musicaux et récitals dont Les Chansons Realistes et la bande à Bruant à Montmartre. De sa voix sensible, habitée et personnelle, elle crie ses coups de cœoeur pour les grands qui ont marqué tant la poésie que la musique. Elle participe au disque de Claude Antonini consacré à Maurice Rollinat dans l’anthologie de la Chanson Française, et à l’anthologie de la poésie érotique chansons et poètes dirigée par Bernard Ascal.
Ses trois albums, Lucienne Chante les Poetes, Mots d’Amour et AIDE MEMOIRE, sont distribués par EPM et sélectionnés par le Printemps des Poètes. AIDE MEMOIRE vient de recevoir un coup de cœoeur de l’Académie Charles Cros.
Elle a toujours animé des groupes de tous âges et enseigné théâtre, voix, interprétation, communication. C’est comme une seconde nature complémentaire de la création.
Formation permanente (AFDAS), créativité et développement personnel, réinsertion, sont les grands axes de son travail avec ACP la manufacture Chanson.
Sa formation récente en médiation artistique à l’INECAT lui a permis d’élaborer une forme originale d’animations musicales interactives. Elle développe cette pratique entre autres dans les services de gériatrie des hôpitaux, autour de ses récitals Gourmande, PIAF, chansons de poètes.
I was 28 years and teaching French literature in Moscow when chance meetings put me on the path Malérargues. Fascinated by the work of Roy Hart Theatre that mixed voice and body, interior and exterior, the conscious and unconscious mind and emotions, I stayed 12 years in this artistic family. Added to the voice work there was dance with Dominique Dupuy and clowning with Jean Bernard Bonang and Bertil Sylvander’s Bataclown, those long-standing partners of the Roy Hart Theatre.
Thus I became a voice teacher and actress in the troupe.
With all these experiences, I have chosen the path of story telling, thus putting my love of language in the service of performing. I tell stories and teach storytelling, voice, and clowning all over France and abroad. Why this approach? Because finding one’s voice and one’s inner clown gives life to the story.
In my workshops, training and creation are intimately linked. I center my work on the person, what it has to offer, what emanates from it in order to achieve an authentic art form. I direct the work of breath and voice to that of speech, that of the storyteller, of the actor. Some story characters have voices “coded” impressions perceived by the ear that put us immediately in the presence of the archetype: of the witch, the ogre, the princess, the king, of the child. Not to mention the voices and sounds that can be found for different animals or those tales of magical characters and fantasy. It is interesting to look for them through the work of voice and body developed by Roy Hart Theatre in order to incorporate them into the narration. I alternate between the vocal work itself (the pre-verbal, the sung sound or issued or declined in the scale of the piano) and the work of the narrative where the sound is integrated into the narrative, in its raw form or “refined”.
Jonathan Hart Makwaia, son of Dorothy Hart and Chief David Kidaha Makwaia, and stepson of Roy Hart, was born in London in 1957. He has been close to the voice work since he was a baby, with memories of Alfred Wolfsohn and the early Roy Hart Theatre. When he was 12, watching the company perform And, he had the revelation that the human voice could redefine music. He began to attend meetings and rehearsals and at age 14 started singing lessons with Vivienne Young. In 1975 he moved with the company to France and composed and performed in L’Economiste. Over the next decade he served as composer, musical director and performer for many landmark Roy Hart Theatre productions, including La Tempête, De Vive Voix (chosen by the Ministry of Culture to represent France on a tour of Latin America), Pagliacci (OBIE award, New York), Kaspar (1st prize, Rencontres Charles Dullin – Villejuif, Paris), Music For Marsyas, and Moby Dick (Jean Vilar Prize, Montpellier). During this period he also spent a year in Tanzania, visiting his father, chief of the Sukuma tribe, and exploring his East African roots. He began performing solo concerts for voice and piano in the 1980s, integrating contemporary, classical and African influences with his Roy Hart Theatre background (available on CD at amazon.com, The Wild Is Rising). He began as a teacher in Malerargues in 1978, and has been on the faculty of New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing since 1988. He has performed in over 20 countries and led workshops in over 30. Jonathan is married to Rosemary Quinn and has two daughters, Mariana and Alice. He remains dedicated to the voice work and its evolution.
Photo: © Hanna Lippmann
Anne Heeg is an actress, singer and voice teacher.
She is has both trained as an architect and actress and played in the ´90s in different theatre companies in Germany.
She started at the Roy Hart Theatre in 1988 and worked with Marita Günther, Robert Harvey, Rossignol, Kaya Anderson, Jonathan Hart-Makwaia and Rosemary Quinn. Later she received her formation as a Roy Hart teacher from Marita Günther and Robert Harvey. She teaches voice and movement herself since 1994.
Foto: Alex Lipp
In 2002 she opened a studio at the Kampnagel Theatre in Hamburg, Germany, where she teaches voice and movement for individuals and groups. She gives regularly workshops all over Germany.
The main objective of her work is to explore and develop the individual potential and expression of the human voice. Her teaching aims at the awareness and interplay of the voice, breathing and the body, in search for an individual expression of life, to make the inner voice sing.
Foto: Alex Lipp
Edda Heeg was born in Germany in 1967. She studied music, singing, and the violin at the Hannover Conservertory of Music, and music, movement, and contemporary dance at the Folkwang Conservertory in Essen. She began to work with the Roy Hart Theatre in 1988, primarily with the late Marita Günther and Robert Harvey, who were founding members of the Roy Hart Theatre in London. She has been teaching voice and movement since 1994 and gives workshops in Germany, France, Denmark, and England. She became a Roy Hart Theatre teacher in 2003.
She opened a centre for voice and expression in Hanover, etage2, in 1998. This Centre works regularly with other teachers from Roy Hart Theatre. Edda has worked as a singer and performing artist in various projects in Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as in performances at the Roy Hart Centre. Her latest work at the Centre has been as a performer in Cabaret Salamandre from 2007-08, which was directed by Flavio Polizzy.
Edda’s voice work covers a wide range of expressivity and musicality. Her main concern as a teacher is to help the student find their own vocal potential and style. She believes that: “The voice is not just an instrument – the voice is you.”
Roy Hart Voice Centre Hannover
etage2. Zentrum für Stimme und Ausdruck
Mechthild Hettich is living and teaching in Bremen, Germany. In 1989 she started to explore her voice with teachers of the Roy Hart Theatre. Her main teachers have been: Marita Günther, Robert Harvey, Jonathan Hart-Makwaia and Rosemary Quinn.
Since 1996 she gives lessons on voice at several levels: a) Absolute beginners (also people who think they cannot sing) are welcome, b) people who want to explore their voices in all colours and c) musicians, who are interested in the connection of voice and instrument.
Mechthild Hettich’s deep correlation to nature roots in her first profession as a gardener and garden-architect. Nature and voice is another focus in her teaching and performing: She created several “gardensongs“ and accompanied herself with the accordion.
In my teaching I emphasis on the connection between movement, inner imagery and voice. I am always happy to find ways to bring out all the different colors of the voice and how to set them into an artistic context.
I started my artistic path in 1993 studying “New Artistic Media” with focus on performance art with Prof. Ulrike Rosenbach at the Fine Arts Academy of Saarbruecken, Germany. Along with my studies I worked as a dancer and performer in various dance-projects. Since 1996 I develop my own performances with movement/air-acrobatics, video-installation, sound, colored light and voice. I have performed my work in different european countries, but mostly Germany.
During 2005 and 2006 I wrote and performed a theatrical performance with the help of Judi Wilson/Montpellier, herself actress/Roy Hart voice teacher and director. Since then I am involved with artistic writing processes connected to voice.
Lately I collaborated and performed in the “Fermata Project”, an international theater-project, produced and directed by Barbara Simenson/Denmark and composed by Laila Skovman/Denmark.
I teach Performance Art, Movement and Voice since 2006. I have taught in Germany, Austria, France, Denmark and Spain. Since 2010 I am also a Roy Hart Center Voiceteacher at the Center.
I live and work at the old estate Reichenow (close to Berlin), surrounded by artists from different fields.
My mothertongue is german, but I also teach in english and french.
Photo: © Hanna Lippmann
After completing her studies of video and performance art at the Art Academy of Saarbrücken, Christiane Hommelsheim began creating voice performances in which video plays an important part. These works include her 2010 live/video performance, shadows, fairies and me, created in Berlin and in Brussels.
Christiane also works as a singer, actor, and video artist for several dance and theatre companies in Germany, France, and Belgium, where she has frequently collaborated with Théâtre Agora (St. Vith) and Théâtre de la Vie (Brussels). She has been a member of the Roy Hart International Artistic Centre (Malérargues, France) since 2006 and teaches voice.
She regularly conducts workshops in Germany and abroad, gives private lessons in Berlin and does vocal coaching for theater and dance productions.
Photo: © Hanna Lippmann
Nuria Inglada Cardona (born in Barcelona 1968), actress and theater director. Degree in Dramatic Art by Institut del Teatre (Barcelona). Head of Theater Direction Department in Esad (Galicia). Her field of research is based in the personal connection of the artist and his or her artistic expression. She believes that creativity is a quality of every human being, and also likes working with non-professionals in order to help them to recognize their creativity and to let it grow. She is interested in the therapeutic power of art.
She has been working with Roy Hart Work since 2001 and is in her probationary year of becoming a RH teacher in summer 2011.
Marya is an American actor, singer and voice trainer. A teaching artist for over 30 years, her primary area of exploration has been the integration of traditional and non-traditional approaches to voice, singing and acting training.
Marya pioneered the development of Ecstatic Voice and the Ancient Art of Lamentation for actor training and performance, which includes ethnic and non-western singing styles. Her Ecstatic Voice and Lamentation workshops span the US – including Boston, New York City, Chicago and California.
Internationally, she has conducted voice, text and acting workshops in the UK, Greece, Canada and France. Her workshops serve actors, singers, voice teachers, therapists and anyone interested in personal vocal exploration. She has coached actors on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, Shakespeare and Fringe Festivals.
Marya has been on the faculty of Brandeis University’s Professional Actor Training Program since 1989. Other university teaching includes graduate actor training programs at the Universities of California, Naropa and DePaul.
As an actress, Marya moves freely between traditional and experimental vocal and theatrical genres, performing in classical, contemporary and experimental theatre in the US and Canada. She is a founding member and resident actor with Boston’s award-winning Actors’ Shakespeare Project. (www.actorsshakespeareproject.org)
Trained in ethnic Balkan singing techniques, she toured Bulgaria singing traditional Bulgarian folk music with Divi Zheni, under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska.
Marya is a teacher and mentor to incarcerated women and girls.
She began studying with Roy Hart teachers in 1990, has been associated with the Roy Hart Centre as a guest teacher and performer since 1992 and received her RH Teacher diploma in 2011.
Marya believes, along with the poet Shelley, that “the soul’s joy lies in doing” and she delights in the unique journey of discovery with each individual student and collaborator.
Carol Mendelsohn was living and working in Israel in 1981 when she met members of the Roy Hart Theatre. Born in the United States, she moved to Israel in 1973 as a teacher and spent 5 years in a kibbutz and five years in Jerusalem.
Attracted by the the voice work of the Roy hart Theatre, she moved to France in 1983, joined the group and followed their training to become an actress in the company and a voice teacher. She still lives near the Centre in France with her partner Saule Ryan.
She has appeared as an actress in various productions: An adaptation of Moby Dick by Melville written especially for the Roy Hart Theatre with original music by Jonathan Hart and directed by Linda Wise. Moby Dick toured mainly in France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. An adaption of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaiken’s “Tongues” with Saule Ryan and Jean Pierre Boistel (percussionist); A European Union supported performance of Euripides’ “the Bacchae”, directed by Barbara Simonsen from Arhus, Denmark. Created a duet performance with Judi Wilson, directed by Rosemary Quinn; based on the story of Helen of Troy and her sister, Clytemnestra. Co-produced the original creation “Fermata”, based on the story of Charlotte Salomon and Alfred Wolfsohn.
Theatre is a passion that inspires her teaching. Her originality and generosity as a voice teacher have inspired many students. She is now the chairperson of the Teacher Training Committee for new Roy Hart Theatre Voice Teachers.
Today she teaches in France at the Roy Hart Centre; Bergen, Norway; Aarhus, Denmark; in the U.S.A. at Florida State University: Asolo Conservatory; University of Wisconsin; University of Minneapolis, University of Delaware and Naqropa University in Boulder Colorado. In 2010 she also taught in Cairns and Sydney, Australia.
Carol Mendelsohn: e-mail
Paula Maria Aristides de Oliveira Molinari
Ph.D. in Communication and Semiotics at PUC / SP (2010) – the line of research culture and media environment is Master in Speech and PUC / SP (2004), Practice Specialist degree in Instrumental and Singing for the School of Music Carlos Gomes and Roy Hart Voice Teacher held by the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart – France (2008). He is currently coordinator of the graduate music course and graduate course in Music Education, a professor in the course of history with the History of Art, studying music with the disciplines Structuring Language and Music, Music Perception, Vocal Technique and Pedagogy Wolfsohn, Complementary Instrument and Piano in nursing program with the discipline of Scientific Methodology in the course of post graduate degree in Art Education with the disciplines and methodologies Musicalization Limpo Paulista School FACCAMP. She is a professor of John Paul II School of Marília – FAJOPA in an extension course in Liturgical Music and Song and teacher in the diocesan seminary of St. Pius X in the discipline of Liturgical Music and Singing. CELMU Professor of Vocal Technique with the courses, music theory and musical perception. It’s musical adviser CNBB and MEMBERS of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Education Apredizagem FACCAMP / WEA. She is the founder and director of the International Theatre Latin Wolfsohn and Hart Voice Work.
Elena Lucca is a Biodance System teacher and supervisor at both participants and professors level. Her activities are developed in Argentina and several European countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Switzerland.
Elena has a PhD in Environment Management and Ecology gained at Avignon University, France, with studies in Peace and Development Gained in Spain. She is teaching this subject in Master’s module in several universities en Argentine and European countries.
She also is in charge of the Local Agenda 21 actions in Argentine.
In Art she proposes environmental poetic perception through audiovisual media work.
Since 1990, she taught with Kozana Lucca the annual stage of Voice, Colour and Environment, at Malérargues for the CAIRH.
Jesús Muñoz Saiz studied at The Drama School of Valencia (Spain) and worked with teachers from different companies as Odin Teatret and European schools as Decroux or Lecoq.
In 2000 he funds a group of physical and vocal training for performers, which becomes a theatre company after two years, named El pont Flotant, where he works as an actor, writer and coodirector. Since then, he combines the creation and the touring of their pieces with the work in other companies as an actor. He also teaches physical and vocal work for actors on a regular basis in different drama schools. In 2005 he has his first contact with Roy Hart work and in 2008, he starts a Pedagogic Voice Training Program, directed by Carol Mendelsohn and Saule Ryan.
‘My voice work is a mixture of what I discovered in these years of research with my partners in theatre and what I found at Malérargues: the place where I learned to express myself through my voice – as human being and as an actor’.
Actor, director, painter, writer, specialist in Greek and Roman mythology, he is the director, with Linda Wise, of Pantheatre, a company, based in Paris and at Malérargues, founded in 1981 with the solo performance Calling for Pan, which assembled Enrique’s main performance interests: choreographic theater, voice performance and mythology. He met Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre in London in 1969. His main voice teacher was the late Liza Mayer who became president of Pantheatre, the first independent company to emerge from the Roy Hart Theatre. Pantheatre organizes performance and training projects with companies and artists who have trained with PANTHEATRE ACTS (Choreographic Theatre Acting Singing), a professional training program in France, with projects in Chile, Brazil, Milan and New York. He was born in Peru, of Spanish origins, of French nationality. He studied Fine Arts at Chelsea School in London and taught at University of London, Goldsmith College. The American writer and psychologist James Hillman is the honorary president of Pantheatre and of the Myth and Theatre Festival, established in 1987. His work is Pantheatre’s main intellectual and cultural reference.
Even as a child I was fascinated by the power of the voice and I began folk singing in public in my teens with three school friends. I heard about Roy Hart’s work through my childhood friend, Vivienne Young. As I was frustrated by the way my pure soprano voice did not express the fury in my soul, beginning to work with Roy felt like a liberation. I joined the group when I was 19 years old and studying philosophy and sociology at university, in the mid-60’s. I participated in the first performances we gave as the Roy Hart Theatre in London including ‘The Bachae’, ‘The Economist,’ and was asked by Roy to teach in the first Roy Hart Theatre workshops in London in the early 70’s. I have continued to lead voice workshops in Malérargues and internationally ever since. I was voice teacher at the Conservatories for Dramatic Art of Liege and Brussels for four years.
I moved with the group to Malérargues in 1974 and participated in most of the early performances we produced in Malerargues after Roy’s death including,‘ The Tempest’, ‘De Vive Voix’ and ‘Music for Marsyas.’ I also began to develop a career as a singer in other musical contexts: I was the soloist in the ‘Canto General,’ (by Mikis Theodorakis and Pablo Neruda) and had the great pleasure to be the soloist (with Petros Pandis) for the première of this oratorio, in the USA. I also performed with Michèle Bernard in her show ‘Des Nuits Noires de Monde’ 1990 – 1992. I have created several different song performances and collaborated with musicians and composers, such as Michel Arbatz, Alain Joules and Christophe Lombard. While living in Togo, (1995 – 2001) I performed regularly with the jazz trio Anima and also collaborated with the Togolese singer Joe Coo.
I left Malérargues in 1989, adopted my son in 1992 and lived and worked as a teacher and singer in Montpellier, then for 6 years in Togo (West Africa, ) and then in London. I now live and work in Cologne (often also in London and Malérargues) and continue to enjoy both singing and teaching vocal expression. As I learned from Roy Hart, I believe that exploring and developing the voice can be a powerful tool to help personal development and artistic expression, when it is linked to a disciplined and open-minded exploration of life and human relationship.