Learning and memorizing a new role.

  • Am Vor year

    Lisette OropesaLisette Oropesa

    Dauer: 30:22

    Hey everyone! You guys ask me often for advice on learning a new role. In this video I share methods that I’ve learned over time, for studying music on my own whilst on the road, preparing it efficiently, and having it memorized for the first day of rehearsal. Last year alone I sang 5 new roles. This season I’m doing 4, one being Massenet’s MANON, a taxing role with significant musical and textual challenges. I was able to put all my methods into practice for this one, so it will be my example.
    This video is focused on musical preparation and memorizing. Of course there is a lot more that goes into role prep, like historical research, dramatic/character work, reading the book/play the opera is based on, etc. That’s a subject for another video. So I hope you can gain some tools for your own musical prep and share ideas in the comments below!
    ARC OF THE CHARACTER: 2:05
    Assessing the character’s overall presence in the opera, and their significance; locate potential challenges.
    READ THE TEXT: 2:37
    Next I read the entire piece all the way through, as if it were a play, and get the full story in my head.
    LANGUAGES: 3:10
    Being proficient in operatic languages cuts my practice time in half. Take the time and make languages a priority.
    MY BOOKMARKS: 4:49
    I organize my score with tabs to find my character’s entrances easily.
    RECORDINGS: 5:19
    Helpful to hear orchestration, ensembles, operatic traditions, and if there is a singer I admire, to know what they did as an example. But there are often mistakes, cuts, inconsistencies, and I want to keep my choices my own and not imitate another singer.
    HARD PARTS FIRST: 8:09
    I always tackle recits, ensembles, and finales first, and save the arias for last. Recits take the most drilling, and ensembles must be rehearsed carefully since you’ll be learning them alone.
    COUNT: 9:16
    This is one of the main reasons I don’t rely on recordings. The score may have a time signature that sounds nothing like what the music seems like it should be.
    ARIAS: 10:33
    Though they may be the hardest to sing, I find the arias the easiest to learn. Unless there are several, such as in a Handel part, with da capos. In that case, I tackle the arias first.
    RECORD YOURSELF: 11:13
    If there is a bit of music that I find extra tricky, I record myself on my phone singing/counting it, in key, so that I can have it for easy repeat listening later. Isolating a section of music like this helps me fill in the gaps.
    CONDUCT: 13:23
    With music that changes time signatures a lot, this is extra helpful. Remember that you’ll have to count and watch a conductor on stage. I find that putting music into my body with a gesture, like conducting, can help me memorize it faster and make fewer mistakes.
    WORK BACKWARDS: 14:08
    I often break up my music and learn it in backwards order, particularly if there is a long section. I memorize faster by always learning the next phrase!
    WRITE THE TEXT: 15:19
    As I’m getting to the point where I’ve been with the role for a few weeks and am starting to memorize, I close my score and write down my text, scene by scene, in its original language. For this, having a literal translation in my head is vital.
    SPEAK THE TEXT: 19:11
    An efficient way to get the language feeling natural is to speak the text, in rhythm or not in rhythm, both are helpful. There have been situations where I’ve been asked by a director to recite text as though I were in a play.
    CONCENTRATED PRACTICE VS. DISTRACTED PRACTICE: 20:02
    Concentrated means I do nothing but practice, without distractions, for a period of time: study, learn notes, sing, and repeat. Distracted practice means I’m practicing in my head but doing something else, such as running, doing chores, watching TV, etc. When I’m distracted I discover where the holes in my prep are, and tackle those in concentrated sessions.
    WHEN TO PRACTICE: 23:34
    I’m freshest in the morning, so that’s when I do most of my studying. I also find that if I glance through something just before bed I wake up with it strongly ingrained in my memory the next day.
    GETTING IT INTO MY VOICE: 25:20
    To keep from over-using my voice, I don’t sing through the role too early on. I like to get a mental grasp of the role before I start working it into my voice. I sing through a role after I’ve done all of the major bookwork, and I work it into my voice as the last major step in my preparation.
    EVERYTHING CHANGES: 27:38
    I can’t stress enough how much things will evolve from the time you start singing a role on your own, to the time you put it on its feet in rehearsal with your colleagues and conductor. I find that if I have built up too many habits before I get there, it’s harder to undo them once we get into rehearsals. Also the set, costumes, acoustics, staging…many things will affect your performance. So I try to be ready for anything. Prepared, but neutral!

Kyaunnee Richardson
Kyaunnee Richardson

These tips are wonderful! Thank you so much Lisette!!!

Vor 2 Tage
mireille duboise Assena
mireille duboise Assena

Thanks for posting. This will ne very helpful to me. Best wishes for the New Year 2021

Vor 3 Monate
Mary
Mary

I got a song from the Queen of the Night! 🥺🥳

Vor 4 Monate
Giorgio Brandolini
Giorgio Brandolini

Interessante

Vor 4 Monate
Elizabeth DeVoto
Elizabeth DeVoto

Hi Lissette, this is so helpful and generous of you to put out on youtube. Thank you so much! I am just wondering if you have any tips on making sure you aren’t getting into any bad vocal habits when you are just learning the music and still not yet singing full voice?

Vor 4 Monate
deadwalke
deadwalke

Hi Lisette. Quick question -- could it be possible for you to do an in-depth about the young artists programs and what one should expect to find in it when one does one or when one begins looking at some programs? I would love to see a video like that and just know you'd be a great advocate on that topic.

Vor 6 Monate
hamburgdp
hamburgdp

Lisette is the best! If you need a resource to help apply all of her awesome principles, check out Top 10 Role Study at https://rolestudy.com

Vor 7 Monate
Natalka Pasicznyk
Natalka Pasicznyk

This is super helpful! I'm starting to learn some new roles and am so glad I heard some of these insights first - thank you!

Vor 7 Monate
Juan
Juan

I’ve watched this video twice in a few months. She’s amazing

Vor 8 Monate
Cecilia de vargas
Cecilia de vargas

Thanks Lisette!!!!❤

Vor 9 Monate
Katherine` Winitana
Katherine` Winitana

I’m off to practice! Thanks for the inspo x

Vor 9 Monate
Natalka Pasicznyk
Natalka Pasicznyk

This is so helpful! I recently uploaded a vlog of me learning Zerlina from Don Giovanni (https://youtu.be/SESj5PPBhgY ) and watching other videos, I was wondering how people learn them so fast but to a high standard in say a few weeks. This definitely gave some more ideas, thank you for sharing!

Vor 9 Monate
José Miguel Llata - tenor
José Miguel Llata - tenor

Muy útil. Gracias por tu generosidad. Saludos desde Santander (España). 🥰

Vor 10 Monate
Suendy Caamal
Suendy Caamal

You're amazing, all your tricks are very useful for me, thank you so much! 💜

Vor 10 Monate
Charlie Kim
Charlie Kim

I guess I would be watching more operas just because Lisette is singing. For many decades there was just one soprano I was obsessed about, but now I have two. I am pretty sure there won't be a third.

Vor 10 Monate
A weeb yall
A weeb yall

So cingrats, i have only tommorow to learn my role on my acting class, stressed as fuck and yeah.

Vor 11 Monate
Jesus Somolinos
Jesus Somolinos

Sprichst du deutsch? Kannst du aus dem Repertoire von Wagner singen? https://www.operaactual.com/noticia/cancelado-el-festival-de-bayreuth-2020/ https://youtu.be/I_hptdIhGEA Ligero, lírico o dramático, todos los registros te van bien. No se te va a estropear la voz. El secreto es tener siempre impostada la voz, hasta para hablar. Hay tenores con 50 años de carrera. Las sopranos sfogato también existen y además son las mejores.

Vor year
Danice Lobrin
Danice Lobrin

I knew Opera is gonna be hard but I didn’t know IT’S THIS HARD 😂 BUT!!!!! Thank you! This really helps! Especially for our opera/vocal ensemble classes!

Vor year
Eboli
Eboli

You are a treasure!! Thank you so much for this comprehensive, intelligent and articulate guide.

Vor year
LaVonté L. Heard
LaVonté L. Heard

This was brilliant! BTW, thank you for featuring me in your gallery on your website!!! I’m so honored.

Vor year
barmy
barmy

Cheers for this, I have been researching "how to memorize a poem fast" for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you heard people talk about - Yiyevi Ponevi Approach - (search on google ) ? Ive heard some awesome things about it and my work buddy got amazing success with it.

Vor year
Paolo Della Corte
Paolo Della Corte

What if I can’t read music very well?

Vor year
Paolo Della Corte
Paolo Della Corte

Lisette Oropesa Thank you!

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

Ah, well a tip to help you is to hone your sight reading skills on simple short songs such as Bach chorales or short hymns. If you get a hymnbook, just go through and practice one by one with a piano, until you can sight-sing without making too many mistakes. It helps if you can get comfortable with the piano. For me, intervals help me sight-sing too. Memorize what a major third, a perfect fourth, a perfect fifth, a sixth, etc, all sound like and feel like to sing. It will help you a lot. And of course vocalizing with scales! Very helpful. :) Good luck!

Vor year
Noname Moon
Noname Moon

Lisette, estoy estudiando y batallo mucho contra mi pudor al ensayar, ya que como aún no canto como quisiera, pero mi voz es bastante fuerte, siento que estoy haciendo demasiado ridículo ante los vecinos jajaj podrías en algún video contar cómo ensayabas cuando recién estabas aprendiendo, algún consejo para acondicionar el lugar y que no me escuchen por ej? Muchas gracias!

Vor year
Kat Martin
Kat Martin

Wow!!!! I can't thank you enough for sharing this. Invaluable information!!!

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

Glad it could help!

Vor year
wen arto
wen arto

Czech and Russians = are so difficult to learn.....

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

So true, and it needs a year of studying the language by itself to just get started! At least for my pace...

Vor year
Ivana Butler
Ivana Butler

Hello Lisette! Do you ever recall having had difficulty delivering clear, fast melismas? If so or even if not, how do you deliver those with vibrato? Thank you!

Vor year
Ivana Butler
Ivana Butler

Yes this does help so much! I will continue to be patient and build up my fluidity and accuracy in my runs. Thank you so much!!!

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

YES omg they can be so hard! I remember singing Ismene in MITRIDATE and really struggling with getting them into my voice and the conductor wanted them quite fast. But they DO get better with practice, because once you've got them "programed," muscle memory helps you get more and more accurate. The best solution I find is to work on them at the quickest tempo that you can do them ACCURATELY and speed up little by little from there, with a metronome, if that helps, over the course of at least a couple of weeks. It's drill work and you may never get to machine gun speed but your muscles will get better at controlling the runs. Hope that helps!

Vor year
Anne-Sophie Vezinhet
Anne-Sophie Vezinhet

Je savais qu’apprendre un opéra était difficile, votre vidéo met des mots sur ce travail dantesque! Elle montre la réalité du quotidien, la somme de difficulté (paroles, jeu, chant, passages techniques, costumes...) et tout ce à quoi il faut se préparer. Cela permet d’apprécier encore plus une performance! Merci pour ce partage généreux et bravo!

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

Merci beaucoup Anne-Sophie!

Vor year
Cornelius White
Cornelius White

You are spot on!! This is really great!

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

Glad you found it helpful!!

Vor year
Junnior Chajon
Junnior Chajon

Make a video with Regis mengus plis

Vor year
Mister Opera
Mister Opera

Yasss! Here’s my tip! Ask a pianist to record JUST the orchestra part for you, while counting the main beats out loud. 1) if you don’t force them to count they always play too fast especially in the rests 2) if you learn Melodies out of context you’ll make extra work you didn’t need to make 3) when you passively memorize the piano score with a spoken beat, your brain is going to be looking for it from somewhere - the conductor will LOVE you and you’ll love the conductor. That makes you efficient in rehearsal. If you use the iPad app “forscore” you can add your backing tracks to the score. It’s very, very easy to stretch rhythms you know “clean”. It’s not so easy to tighten up rhythms your pianist has been stretching for you unconsciously! I’ve had people tell me it’s a bad idea because opera isn’t karaoke. Usually they don’t sing with orchestra. If you arrive with the rhythm of a pop singer, conductors will be able to work with you more efficiently! Awesome video Lisette. I especially agree with the advice to LEARN THE LANGUAGES. 😍 Anyone following your advice and recording on their phone, come to the vocalist chat hub on Facebook! You can share your short little clips in a safe place. Exactly the “ridiculous” stuff you are doing into your phone is the kind of thing we share in the chats.

Vor year
vita bella
vita bella

I also write down all my texts. I can remember much better when I write something down. Also speaking the text with support like an actor helps a lot.

Vor year
bluechazzan
bluechazzan

this is outstanding. many thanks.

Vor year
Sam Eggenhuizen
Sam Eggenhuizen

I find that being so generous in sharing personal knowledge is one of the most open and sincere things to do. It shows the comfort in your skin. Besides, this was extremely helpful and I love it when my mind says 'oeh I do that too'! It builds confidence.. thank you Lisette for being so open

Vor year
Martin Mannion
Martin Mannion

I could watch these videos all day. That tip about learning sections backwards is genius. I’m going to learn everything that way from now on. Can’t wait to hear your Manon!

Vor year
Temps Perdu
Temps Perdu

As a college professor, I know what it takes to teach well, and therefore I admire with all my heart and mind a good teacher. It takes loads of intelligence, dedication, professionalism, accessibility, striving for clarity, and last but not least, charm... All that, in this case, would make for a master didact... But then you add the voice, that silky gift from heaven, and you know you've before you a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon...

Vor year
Ryan Blanchfield
Ryan Blanchfield

This was super useful but also KOMBUCHA YASSS GIRL!!! So glad you’re a health queen ☺️

Vor year
FrankSax77
FrankSax77

Thank you SO MUCH dear Lisette! There's so much new good here; Counting, Conducting, the "Can I sing it while doing the dishes test." 😀 I especially appreciate your elevating and codifying "Distracted Practice" as the legitimate component of study that it is. I may be an amateur Baritone, but you're helping me nonetheless prepare for landing a Chorus position. Thank you. ☮️♥️⚡

Vor year
Janet Rogers
Janet Rogers

At least 2 people who "watched" this video never bothered to learn their music and showed up to rehearsal unprepared! 😂

Vor year
Léonard Egidi
Léonard Egidi

Thank you

Vor year
Laura Orueta Mezzosoprano
Laura Orueta Mezzosoprano

Congrats for the video is great!! I will watch it again more times, for sure! I was just curious about the kombucha bottle that is on your table. I also saw Arteta drinking it in a break during a performance, does it have benefits on you as a singer? Greetings from Spain :)

Vor year
aflethgsb
aflethgsb

I love her video explanations. She is so down to earth, so easygoing, so one of us. You get the feeling that there is no magic behind what she does. And then you listen to her on stage: WOW! MAGIC! This surprise effect is huge. Oropesa is a great belcanto artist, so rare to be enjoyed by an adoring public. A real star.

Vor year
Matthew Joly
Matthew Joly

Agree. Ages hence should Lisette decide to stop regular performing, she would make an excellent teacher and coach.

Vor year
musashi939
musashi939

What makes her awesome is that she (or her manager Idk) understands the internet. Makes it work for her. This way she will attract a younger audience. I have nothing to do with singing or opera, just developed a little bit of interest in opera. Here comes the comparison.. As a martial arts practitioner my observation in my sphere is that we have a recruitment problem with the younger generation. Ok I'm not that old but my club jujitsu club grows older and we rarely get new members that fit our profile (ok that sounds arrogant but we have a peculiar style of humor etc). I guess opera has a similar recruitment problem with the youngens. Channels like Lisettes might help a little bit when it comes to that

Vor year
FrankSax77
FrankSax77

Isn't it miraculous how she can and does break down all the steps she took for that Magic to happen?! You can see the relationship between the work and her transcendent artistic results. ☮️💛⚡

Vor year
Graphicxtras.com
Graphicxtras.com

Superb video - totally awestruck, I am trying to just memorise a couple of sheets of pop music and I still get them wrong over and over (and they are in English, no hope if they were in French). A lot of great advice that hopefully will help with my first baby steps into singing and learning the songs. Will re-watch the video. I throughly enjoy your excellent tutorials.

Vor year
Adrián Vega
Adrián Vega

She is the Hermione Granger of Opera! Boy, I love her!! Rendez-vous au Met en Octobre ;)

Vor year
Donald Cant
Donald Cant

Fantastic post. It took me a long time to memorize. I too use to write down, not all the time, but I should have. I use to play a game with myself. Not until I could, either in my head or out loud, get through a song five times perfectly did I feel comfortable. Even the smallest mistake I would go back start over. This is a great thing you are doing for young singers. For us older ones too. Cheers. Don 👋🇦🇺

Vor year
Ivelina Dobreva
Ivelina Dobreva

Thank you! I am not a professional singer, I just started learning opera, but I started recording myself while singing with the teacher. After that, it can be even traveling, I listen to me and try to analyse my voice in order to know which part of the aria I sing worst/better. I watch a lot of videos in youtube because I am not a vocal coach but watching them analysing someone else's voice help me understand how voice works. And I listen to recordings as well because I have problems reading sheet music.

Vor year
Hki Sportmale
Hki Sportmale

✨🌟Greetings from Finland! Thank you dear Lisette! Great video. It’s so nice to waiting for your Manon from MET. Toi,toi,toi to learning new production 🎼🎹🎻🗣🎵🎶🙌🙌🙌 AK🤗🙏❤️🌟✨

Vor year
Aline Martins
Aline Martins

Video maravilhoso!! Estou ansiosa para te assistir cantar aqui no Rio de Janeiro em outubro. 😍

Vor year
InBoccaChiusa
InBoccaChiusa

Massenet's Manon... One name: Victoria de los Ángeles.

Vor year
CVL
CVL

Who cares who was better? Let's just enjoy them :D

Vor year
Tadpole
Tadpole

Freni is better.

Vor year
Joshua Rappaport
Joshua Rappaport

Looking forward to your Manon on the HD screen.

Vor year
Akechi Mitsuhide
Akechi Mitsuhide

Same! I've never heard Massenet's version before so I'm excited :D

Vor year
Lisette Oropesa
Lisette Oropesa

5000 characters is nowhere near enough room in the description box! What are your tips and tricks for learning new roles? Let me know below in the comments!

Vor year

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