Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Unsingable - vocal problems with Susanne Mentzer

There is a stigma in opera singing that is rarely openly spoken about.

When classical singers have vocal problems the cause is assumed to be bad technique or from doing too much. Sometimes this is the case but many times it is something both literally unspeakable and unsingable.

The unspeakable happened to me in April of 1994, the day after Easter to be precise. I had laser surgery on my vocal cords. The journey to that point was a bumpy one.

Singers are independent contractors. We are paid "per performance." If we do not sing we do not get paid. It is that simple. Our livelihood relies on two tiny membranes in our throats that we use all the time for speaking, laughing, crying, and what have you.  Read More