This evening I had the fabulous opportunity to meet up with Dennis and Helen Kay TMVC , who are like my extended family 🙂 from the Tideswell Male Voice Choir. It was a delight to catch up with them and discuss future concepts as well as musical issues and the effect on the wider community.
Their new CD, which I had the fabulous opportunity to be included on, can now be bought off ITunes and Amazon. I am really happy with the quality of the recordings and it is a fabulous way to hear the collaboration of the choir and soloists and support this choir who help to raise such a lot of money for charity as well as giving opportunities to young aspiring artists.
However the focus for my blog article this evening was inspired by Dennis advising me to ‘Sing for your Target audience’. This caused me wonder ‘What do the audience want?’ ‘What would they like to hear?’ For me, the most thrilling feeling I achieve from performing is experiencing an audience who are transported with me to a new world. The energy is so uplifting and I feel that If I pick repertoire that people can connect with I will be able to achieve this feeling more often.
So, I would love to know what pieces you enjoy listening to most from particular genres such as ‘Operatic, Musical Theatre, Pop/Easy listening, Jazz, etc’. I will then suggest these to my singing teacher and friends who will then help me to choose some pieces that suit my voice to add to my repertoire. In this way by having a better understanding of the different audiences that I will be performing to I can choose songs from my repertoire that will allow me to give a performance that they can enjoy and allow me to connect with them.
On November the 8th and 9th I am performing in two Remembrance concerts with TMVC and I have been tasked with researching into Wartime classics and pieces that encapsulate the theme of remembrance. I would love to hear your suggestions, and if you can attach YouTube clips that would be super fabulous! Personally I was thinking of ‘Danny Boy’, ‘We’ll meet again?’ or some Doris Day songs such as ‘Secret Love’. But I’m also intrigued into positive war songs, something that remembers the courage of our Heroes and Heroins.
I will still be cheeky however and perform a piece that has a connection with my life and the journey I am taking as a singer in training.
62 thoughts on “Eye on the Target”
Hi Charlotte, well, this time, I think can not help you, because here ….
You put so much light, color, passion and love in what you sing that I love everything when it is you who sings !!
All the best for you my dear.
Dear Pascal, thank you for your lovely comment; it is great to read that you hear different colours in my singing.
I believe I can still expand on this and I am excited to discover what different emotions my voice can create. I like to compare the different tones of my voice with different art mediums when I sing. For example, the texture of watercolour, the transparency and delicate nature of the paint, depicts a sense of innocence and youth which is perfect for when I am singing about a first/new love.
I see you.
when I created, it is similar, but I transcribe the visual in music, singing and textures are skin, fourure, feathers, rocks, trunk …….. A first love ‘is the bird down with the music of a waterfall on a beach of the ocean and the song of the nightingale and the lioness purr;-)
I saw eyes in your latest artwork, it was a very unique piece that made me think of the land of the giants with hidden depths. That’s what I want my music to do, provide different people with hidden depths to delve into.
Target audience is all well and good, but what do you love to sing?
Hello Trent, that is a great question! I love to sing songs that I can find a connection with, or melodies that strike a chord with my heart. These types of songs can cross all genres, for example at the Conservatoire I have been researching into German Lieder and I have loved being transported to the Romantic period where every emotion is lived to the extreme. Every note, word, phrase has a meaning and it has changed the way I look at music. I am glad to say I do not have only a select number of favourite songs I enjoy performing. Let’s just see what the future holds. 🙂
p.s. congrats on your 100th post yesterday, I loved the artwork.
Hi Charlotte. Thanks for the compliment and good wishes!
I once picked up a CD of rock songs by Renee Fleming. Not terrible, but she should stick to classical & opera. I know there are cross-over singers out there who do a great job. For all I know that could be your role. What ever you do sing, I think it must be something you love. Whatever the future holds I’m sure you’ll do great.
Keep an eye on me Trent and if you see me going astray e-mail me 😉 but I will stay true to myself.
Hi Charlotte. I will certainly be looking forward to listen to that CD x
Hello Gerado, I hope you enjoy listening, let me know what you think. I am always keen to hear constructive feedback. 🙂
well done – you look right at home at the mic. I think that my favorite songs are ballads, some of the haunting Australian ones of the first world war, or life on the outback. “Reedy River”, or “and the band played waltzing matilda” is another.
Hi Bill, It was a brilliant experience, I loved every minute and I hope to release a CD of my own recordings one day.
Wow, those songs are fabulous in particular “and the band played Waltzing Matilda” the lyrics are very deep, the melody reminded me of a song called ‘Belleau Wood’, which I arranged as part of my composition portfolio this year.
I just wished I could whistle for ‘Reedy River’ !!
Choosing your target audience is really up to you. What kind of music do you make an emotional connection with? I will share with you what I as a writer mean by a target audience. When I write, I focus on a specific reader that I want to please. I have a mind’s eye picture of that person. Then I tailor my stories for that person. If I please others, that is great. But that reader is who I really want to please.
For some writers, this can be a young adult audience. Others write for children. Still others write for a well-educated audience.
Dear Don, that is really interesting, It is quite tough as I love to sing opera and other classical genres, and one of my aspirations for my future career is to bring this style of singing to new audiences.
I also appreciate that I can target this aim to different age groups. That is a great idea. For example I could sing classical lullaby’s such as Maria Wiegenlied by Max Reger for younger children.
I am very fond of Schubert’s Lieder. I have a wonderful cd of Barbara Bonney. She does an amazing “Ave Maria”.
I love singing Caccini’s Ave Maria 🙂
I think Danny Boy and We’ll Meet Again are excellent choices. ” We’ll Meet Again” is heard throughout one of my favorite movies “Hope and Glory” which is a period film set in wartime England. A poignant song well suited.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093209/ Hope and Glory info
I think Billy Holiday’s “Bless the Child” with it’s smouldering blues/jazz theme would suit your voice too:
Or another of my faves: Moonlight In Vermont.
An excellent idea. Will be downloading via Amazon presently.
Hi Jim, how’s Danny Boy going? I was going to try to record it without the echo of the church to match up with you 🙂 .
Thanks for your fabulous ideas, loved Bless the Child, and Moonlight in Vermont that would be a new challenge too, although I’ve sung Blue Moon before (it’s my team Manchester City FC club anthem).
I had a fab day – very interesting experience 😉 I was listening to the cd on the way into work and home I really enjoyed it, especially my bits 😀 lol
All the best
Ooh wow you are asking tough questions. But do love the idea. My ear listen to a wide range of music.
As musicals Like Evita or even better miss saigon, cats or phantom of the Opera Knowing not every song can be used.
Aida has been great to.last but not least Carmen. I believe it was Verdi who wrote Aida
My classics are a bit rusrty 😀
I also love to listen to what some might say gothic or fantasy metal. Usually the lead is female with what most would say a classic voice. Groups like epica, my favourite together with Within temptation and Nightwish.Tarja Turunen is a great singer.
Those are just tow of the many songs and music I listen to. But i do not classify as average LOL Growing up with a pops who listened to classic music and opera’s.
Leaving you with a live performance of Epica. No i do not think you should rock a church. but share with you a mix of music styles. It last about an hour but fear not you can always turn it off.
keep on smiling and enjoy the songs you sing. in the end no matter what you sing people come to listen to you.
Okay now I need to shut up I think lol. Again keep on smiling. And shine on that stage.
If you do get to the end, 3 surprises there. The last one being on of my favourite musical songs.
The musicals you suggested are magnificent, I would love to perform some of the songs from Evita, I really love ‘Rainbow High’. Carmen is another fabulous idea, the role looks like so much fun. I would love to perform the Habanera!
I listened to most of the Epica video you sent me. Wow! It is full of energy and I particularly like the soprano soloist. I must admit that the scary voice gives me the heeby geebies but it is very atmospheric and the lyrics are very powerful.
Thank you for the time you took giving me your suggestions I appreciate it 🙂
It was a pleasure sharing some of my music I enjoy listening to. Though I know I went in a strange direction.
Just love exploring where a delicate voice may venture.
Thank you for taking the time to listen and watch.
All my best wishes.
I am a “personal journey” type of guy. If you sing something, you have to be able to relate to it in some way, even if it’s not your own story, but from another person’s life. Whether happy, sad, funny, romantic, the entire world of people feels basically the same, a gamut of emotions. Which ever resonates with you as you plan for events, follow your heart.
Hello Eric, I love the concept of following your heart. I agree, it is so important and I always perform better if I can connect a song to my own life, a memory or a friend’s story.
I like your choices so far. Maybe a folk song like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” that talks about the futility of war.
Thanks for that, this trio is very sweet and so poignant. I wonder if there is an arrangement for soprano and male voice choir 🙂 Thank you for introducing me to it!
You will do a tremendous job with anything you pick. I do love Danny Boy and songs from the Phantom of the Opera. Best of luck! Xo
Hi Janice, thank you for the positivity, Danny Boy is a favourite of mine too! Thanks for your support, have a Happy Easter.
My first thought was :Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree’
I’ve just had a listen to Tie a Yellow Ribbon, very uplifting I like it 😉
It’s one of my favorites in that genre, I’m so glad you like it!
waiting for CD 🙂 ………all the best
I hope you enjoy listing to it. It was a joy to record!
I love musical theatre but what I love is being able to listen to songs I’ve never heard before because I wouldn’t necessarily choose that genre and falling in love with them.
This is particularly true with you as you’ve opened my eyes to other genres!
Hi Catherine, what a truly lovely comment, I’m glad I’ve introduced you to some new pieces, it’s one of my aims as an artist and I’m continually finding and exploring new songs myself 😉
See you in the summer
You could look at some of the world war one songs such as “its a long way to tipperary”
That’s a fabulous suggestion, I would be great to get the audience singing along.
Thank you, all the best
Charlotte I have heard you sing all sorts of music and every time you make the song your own. From Memories from cats, to all the Evita songs, Sharpay from High School Musical along with Mrs Banks, who could forget that performance! all the mums were ready to join your band of suffragettes. Right through to your awesome operatic arias. You always put your mark on all the songs you sing giving them your own style which is always fantastic. I look forward to your forthcoming concerts. xx
Hi Gill, you’ve been on quite a journey with me from all the festivals through to all my training now, always there with a snack or two or three (if Mums not there lol). I love that you always give out my cards and tell everyone about my blog 😉 you are a fab ambassador, who knows what the next few years will bring but I know you believe in me.
Setting out to ‘target’ an audience is a very important step, and one about which I have many reservations.It is inextricably intertwined with the question of why you are singing in the first place.
You sing because you love music, and because you are exceptionally talented at it, but what is your overall purpose? Is it to explore music to its fullest, to satisfy yourself in bringing out everything that you are a)capable of and b) interested in? Or is it to satisfy the expectations of an audience, and only that?
Because, with due respect to all of us interested in your talent, audiences are some of the least creative things in existence. Most audiences, if asked what they want, would respond with some version of ‘more of the same, only different’. Setting out to meet their expectations is inherently limiting. Setting out to meet – indeed exceed – your own expectations has to be the defining mark for any artist.
Don’t be too quick to target, unless your priority is commercial success.
As for suggestions,I have none. My musical tastes, though varied within a field, are essentially simplistic. There are many songs I love, some for their raucous energy, some for their truly aching beauty, but the style isn’t suited to your qualities. Go your own way (it might have been a post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac song but it was still pretty good) and don’t be too quick to subject yourself to others.
Wow that’s given me lots to think about Martin thank you. I’m definitely in this to fulfil my musical ambitions, if it was just about money I’d have done an academic degree at a top University and played safe.
Discovering new music with fabulous teachers is where my heart is.
I know Fleetwood Mac because they’re one of my Mums favourites along with Kate Bush (Army Dreamers 2.7 million views on YT and Babooshka 4 million plays on YT).
Every month I learn new songs, I have my ear opened to a wider and wider array of classical and operatic music I’ve only just dipped my toe into the ocean.
I’ve been singing musical theatre since I was six, I love it and there are plenty of challenging pieces that people know and love so I’ve got lots to choose from, I’d love to have a crack at Evita.
All the best
I think you will do a great job with your performances 🙂 😀
Thanks for your vote of confidence Gaurab, have you got any one song you’d like to hear me attempt?
All the best
Charlotte, I think Martin gave you excellent thoughts to ponder. Moments that are memorable and special rarely occur from my own expectations, but rather those magical moments when a singer is so connected with the feel and emotion of a song that I am totally drawn into their world, if only for a brief period of time. For me, a good example is from a popular song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as sung (and felt) by Eva Cassidy:
An Opera selection I think you might enjoy doing, and one I think might be fitting since you are so youthful (compared to an old curmudgeon like me) is “O quante volte” a beautiful Romanza from Bellini’s “Capuletti e i Montecchi.” Here Juliet is pining in her bedroom for her forbidden lover Romeo:
What kind of music do you genuinely enjoy and connect to most?
Thanks for the suggestions Phil, at the moment I particularly love heartfelt Puccini arias and songs like ‘C’ by Poulenc, but I’m playing catch up, there are so many songs to explore.
Anything you think of for me to listen to I’d be happy to get your advice.
Ps every morning on the way to school for a long time my brother and I listened to Eva Cassidy so I know lots of her songs by heart 🙂
I love this opera and Natalie’s voice is so beautiful and unique. For a brilliant recording of the whole opera I’d go for the Anna Netrebko/Elina Garanča version.
Thanks for the suggestions Hilary, I have quite a list of performances to catch up on after term finishes. I am in the final stages of rehearsals for my first chorus appearance in an opera, it is tremendous fun 🙂
Well, I must say I agree with some of your commenters: Let the singer be the leader. It’s us, the audience (who are generally not a professional musician), who needs to be open in our repertoire of music appreciation. But since you’d like some suggestion. Allow me to make one… before I heard Josh Groban’s first album, I’d never known how wonderful these ‘crossovers’ sounded, esp. from the voice of a trained classical singer.
Hi Arti, as an artist I want to explore as wide a range of repertoire that I possibly can as there are so many beautiful songs. I do hope the audiences will be receptive to my ideas. There are occasions where I need to fit a program and I’m happy to do that as it’s also a challenge to put my own stamp on these songs so that I don’t just copy a style.
Congrats on the CD, Charlotte! 🙂
I don’t have any song suggestions for you, but I see you’ve already gotten quite a few, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something.
As far as the whole target audience thing goes, I think the most important thing is regardless of the audience, you should be enjoying yourself. That is what your listeners are going to respond to, particularly the hardcore music lovers. Assume your audience knows their stuff and perform accordingly. Don’t try to do something that’s not you (varying your style is fine, but if it’s way outside of your comfort zone people will notice and it will just be awkward).
I hope that made sense…
Yes it made perfect sense thanks for your support Stephanie 🙂 I do love performing live, I love looking out on a large or small audience and seeing people just enjoying my music, it’s a great feeling.
All the best
Panis Angelicus – César Franck? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a11YheB2zM (Renée Fleming), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNk81Y6Sbk8 (Kiri), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mKWCZIohF0 (Jesse Norman)
Thanks Hilary, I love this song, I haven’t learnt it yet but I heard it lots of times in different festival competitions it was very popular. Thank you for the links I’ll check them out and really listen to them, which is your favourite version?
Jessye Norman takes some beating. I think mezzo Elina Garanča is superb (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoTj0KPb4B0 Garanča
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U9gIr5aIyU Garanča), but I also have a fondness for versions by Juan Diego Flores and José Carreras as a young man.
I’m not particularly interested in opera, so I lean towards more popular repertoire. I like any of the old songs from The Carpenters (saw them perform in Tahoe, once). https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ryHQx_kdOas
Anne Murray also performed quite a few lovely ballads, too.
I prefer opera to folk songs and WWI songs.
But you could sing the contents of the Peoria phone book and it would sound just wonderful.
Thank you for your lovely compliment :). I enjoy singing folk songs I’ll have to record a couple of my favourites to convert you 🙂 my Mum suggested I listen to some Karen Carpenters music recently so that’s a coincidence.
All he best
I think that operetta songs, especially Gilbert and Sullivan (or “The Prima Donna Song”– my favorite, and I know you love it too) are often a good way to connect with an audience and get them used to a classical style of singing, in a language they know, so that then they can be prepared to enjoy an aria in Italian, etc., as well. And I don’t think English classical music gets enough press, so I try to sing as much of it as possible. But of course, Charlotte, you know what you love to sing and what you can best share with an audience better than anyone else.
G&S is generally too humorous for a Rememberance Day concert, but you might find something good in “Utopia Limited,” which is less well-known and very patriotic.
All the best,
Thanks Cate, it is always useful to get the opinions of friends and other performers. I love to discover new repertoire and often pick up great suggestions from those around me. I appreciate your suggestions and I will definitely have a listen to “Utopia Limited,” .
I love the Godspell soundtrack!
Which are your favourite tracks?
To be honest i love every single song however I’d love to hear you sing any of these: Bless The Lord, Turn Back O Man or By My Side.
I will check them out after my current performances are over at the end of May. Thanks for the suggestions and have a lovely day 🙂