The Maîtrise Populaire de l’Opéra Comique is a multidisciplinary maîtrise (children’s choir) not only centered on learning the art of singing but also dance and drama. Each pupil is taught vocal technique, musical training, dance, piano, tap dance and choral singing seven hours a week.
Mezzo-soprano Dorothée Voisine teaches vocal technique.
“My task is to give the young vocalists of the Maîtrise the tools which will enable them to better know, understand, handle and control their voices. I ask my pupils to work on their bodies and on movement in order to realize the importance of all the parts of one’s body during the emission of sound. Then this sound is trained through vocalises and adapted exercises once the singer’s bellows is set up. I very often start with a vocalise with the mouth shut so that pupils can feel the high resonance required for a sung and projected voice. Then a vocalise on an ascending and descending fifth that blends percussive consonants and singing vowels to awaken both support and music very gently! The course is highly interactive and ‘upon request’: each pupil comes with her/his questions, facilities and difficulties, my aim is for her/him to hold all the cards so as to sing healthily and with pleasure!”