The first event of Trustees Week was a master class taught by one of the great American opera singers of the second half of the twentieth century, Marilyn Horne. Four young singers performed short pieces, afterwards Marilyn Horne worked with them for a half hour, gently and not so gently demanding changes to their posture, their tone, their outlook, their whole life philosophy. She was hilarious, but remarkably effective. I only stayed for the first two singers, but they were noticeably better -- even for my untrained ear -- after the workout with Ms. Horne.
Here are a few choice quotes from her during the course of the afternoon:
"If you love what you're hearing, I'm going to hate it." [I think this was meant to say that the singers were singing too quietly, or inwardly, and not projecting].
"Shut your mouth!" [As in, you don't need to open wide to project]
"If we singers aren't narcissistic, then I don't know what is."
"Okay, make this beautiful."
"You're not young, but you're not too far gone."