Classical Crossover Magazine, Winter 2013


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Healthy Cross-Over Singing

By David Jones

There is an increasing interest in ‘crossover’ singing

today, or the ability to cross from one genre of

music to another. Perhaps it is because many opera

companies are feeling the need to incorporate more

musical theater into their seasons in order to survive

financially, attracting a larger audience.

Even though I started voice lessons at age 14 (too

young), I always had an

interest in popular music

‘crooners’ like Jack Jones,

Frank Sinatra, Andy

Williams, and Nat King

Cole. Of course I had no

awareness that they were

lyric baritones, which was

my true vocal fach. Many of

us are greatly influenced by

our early exposure musical

performances and/or

recordings. I loved the

sound of Kate Smith singing

big-voiced ballads with full

orchestra behind her. I loved

her voice and I loved her

interpretation. But perhaps I

was attracted to ballads

because I grew up in a

household filled with

classical music, having two sisters who played

classical piano and one sister (my sister Sarah

Sulka) who sang with a beautiful soprano voice. I

remember hearing her practicing her singing of

operetta arias and I loved her sound. I would sit in

my bedroom with the door open so I could hear her

practice. I think this early experience influenced my

later development as a singer and teacher.

My early training was more toward the tenor fach,

which came very close to ruining my voice. Choral

directors inherently needed tenors and if you were a

lyric baritone in those days and had a few good high

notes, then you were stuck in the tenor section. My

voice developed later and dropped later due to

singing a tessitura that was too high. My laryngeal

squeeze was almost 20 years old when I got to

Dixie Neill, who took me down to my true vocal

fach, lyric baritone. She had the tools that helped

me to release my laryngeal muscles and begin my

vocal recovery.

I had always had an interest in vocal technique after

graduation from university,

mainly because I got no

concrete concepts in my

training there. I never saw a

picture of a larynx, never

heard the word larynx, never

knew about jaw position or

tongue position or how to

breath and engage the body

properly. I basically just

learned repertoire, which

helped me to develop

musicianship but did not

teach me how to sing or use

my instrument properly. At

age 23, I was given a copy

of the Lindquest vocalises

from my friend Martha

Rosacker. At that time I was

teaching in the theater

department at Texas Christian University and my

students began to develop very quickly, winning

voice scholarships that assisted in paying their

tuition. It was a thrilling experience for me to help

these young singers develop in a way that I had not.

I got my first taste of what if felt like to help a

singer achieve a higher level of healthy vocalism

and THAT my friends is what drew me deeper and

deeper into teaching.

A few years later, I began to compose ballads as a

hobby, which turned into quite a side profession. I

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moved to New York in 1978, after having received

a letter of interest from a famous New York

composer of pop music. Singing ballads with a

gentle approach to singing was much easier than

approaching classical music with a high larynx. The

idea that I might be a baritone never entered my

mind until I met Dixie Neill in 1983. I always

wanted to enjoy classical vocal music, but it was

always hard on my throat.

My teacher Evelyn Reynolds started her career in

1936 singing with big bands in Birmingham,

Alabama. She would often describe to me how there

would be 3 or 4 soloists, usually young women,

who would wear evening gowns and sing the latest

popular love songs while people would dance on the

dance floor. It was a time when melody and beauty

of tone was still a part of our popular music culture.

Sadly much of this has been lost along the way and

hopefully it will come back into fashion. Once in a

while you will still hear a beautifully ballad, but not

so often as decades ago.

I remember Evelyn and I once had a discussion

about WHAT physically created the difference

between singing pop and Broadway music, lieder,

and operatic sound. What does a singer have to do

in order to change styles? I loved her explanation.

She said, “Pop or Broadway singing is more

conversational and uses the naso-pharynx or the soft

palate space. Lieder and a great deal of other recital

literature requires the opening of the naso and oro

pharyngeal space. Operatic sound requires that the

singer learn to fully release the larynx lower and

wider in order for maximum resonance to develop,

offering the singer the ability to carry over the

orchestra.” I loved her explanation. It gave a

physical explanation of what we do to change


When singers ask me, “Can I sing all styles?” My

answer is, “Yes, but you will always train full

classical operatic sound to fully protect your voice!”

Phoebe Snow was a student of mine until she died

about 2 years ago. We constantly worked on

classical arias to strengthen her pop voice. Elaine

Paige, the great British theater singer ALWAYS

warmed up in her head voice using a classical sound

before going onstage. Her teacher encouraged and

taught her to do this. So NO the throat is not as

open singing musical theater, pop, or rock music. It

is more open singing recital repertoire, because

some fuller music needs a near operatic sound. But

in my experience, every singer needs to develop

his/her full operatic sound in order to acquire what I

call ‘damage control’. I have a tenor who sang

“Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway for years. By

the time he came to my studio, he had developed a

loss of high range and a large vocal wobble. After

we trained him in his full operatic sound, he could

sing any musical theater he wanted without any

problems. I compare it to modern dancers who take

ballet class to keep their ‘chops up’. Singers need to

consider the same idea.

I remember I met Shirley Emmons years and years

ago. She once told me, “I ruined my voice going

from style to style, not knowing what I was doing

with my throat!”

Thank you Evelyn Reynolds for giving me a clear

physical explanation of the physical differences

between singing different styles of music.

To read more from David Jones please visit and order his CD set “An

Introductory Voice Lesson with David

Jones” from

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According to your biography, you started out

doing dancing and acting before deciding to focus

on music. What was it about singing that captured


When I was 8 years old, I took acting lessons and

was naturally envious of the other girls in the class

who sang because they received all of the roles and

attention. Around the same time, my grandma

encouraged my mom to enroll me in singing lessons

and I would bring Celine Dion songs to my teacher

to learn. As my teacher’s forte was teaching

classical singing, she never dappled in pop style of

songs with me as she wasn’t comfortable teaching

it, so I started to experiment with pop vocalization

myself. I was so fascinated with Celine Dion’s

voice that it was a real challenge for me to try to

learn how she produced her timbre. It was when I

attended an N’Sync concert at age 13 and was so

enthralled with the caliber of the production and

talent that I decided that performing was what I

wanted to do. So basically it was a combination of

these three events that catapulted me toward singing

as a career.

You have a beautiful warmth and depth to your

voice and most of your music centers in the

medium to low range of your voice, so I was quite

surprised to come across your version of Mozart’s

‘Queen of the Night’ aria! Have you always had

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such a wide range? Or was it something you

discovered with classical training?

Oh why thank you!! That is such a compliment. I’ve

always had a wider range but my range has

definitely stretched as I learned the proper

technique of how to sing coloratura notes. It was

actually something that I discovered with Seth

Riggs/Speech-Level-Singing technique which

crosses all genres of music, but my classical

teachers helped me

refine it and after

further exploring my

voice type, challenged

me to be able to sing a

high F live on stage,

which I never thought I

would have been

capable of.

One of your unique

qualities is that you

are able to sing both

classical arias and pop

vocals. Do you find it

an easy transition to

make? Also what do

you do to maintain a

healthy vocal function

in both of these

different styles?

I do find it a relatively

easy transition to make,

however, when I have

a classical concert or competition coming up, I try

to sing as little pop music as possible, because using

too much of a pop tone can add weight to my voice

when I need it to be as bright and light as possible. I

try not to overcompensate vocally if I can’t hear

myself properly, whether I’m using monitors or am

in a venue where it’s hard to hear myself, and also I

make sure that in sound check everything is

balanced so I don’t feel the need to push vocally.

Technically I also make sure to ‘cover’ and narrow

the back of my throat in both styles, but make sure

to give enough lift in the soft palate for classical,

whereas for pop my soft palate is still lifted but it

feels a lot more ‘straight out the mouth.’ I also try to

use my natural resonators so I don’t have to work so

hard vocally. I used to really monitor the foods I’d

eat before a show but I don’t worry too much about

it anymore, except for avoiding dairy in general.


You have done a bit of

experimentation with

dance music. What

other genres would

you like to explore?

Naturally I love adding

classical elements into

the pop songs I sing,

whether with an

infusion of strings or a

classical touch like at

the end of “Fearless.”

It would be interesting

to explore gospel

music more, and I’ve

been told my voice

could suit country so

I’d be open to trying

those styles out.

On the classical side,

which do you prefer

more; singing art

songs or operatic

Operatic arias! They are so vocally challenging and

emotionally driven.

Who has been your favorite artist, composer, or

producer you have collaborated with so far?

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I find value in everyone I work with and it’s so hard

to pick someone! One of my very favorites though I

think was the former Canadian Tenors who

transformed into Destino, because I was 18 and just

starting out professionally when I had a chance to

work with them. I really admired them and it was

such a compliment and a great confidence-booster

to be included in shows and go on tour with them.

You are a member of the new classical crossover

group Vivace. Tell us about how you became

involved and what you love most about singing in

an ensemble.

About three years ago, I was asked to be a part of a

new popera group that was being created and they

asked who I would recommend. I had met Marc on

Myspace about five years prior and he immediately

popped into my mind. DJ and I attended the

University of British Columbia together and

Melody and DJ were in the Vancouver Opera

together. We first performed together at the 2010

Vancouver Olympics. Eventually we re-branded as

Vivace and into the group we are now. What I love

most is touring and visiting new places and I really

enjoy sharing the stage with the other members and

interacting with them on stage. They are some of

my best friends and are very smart, talented


perfect figures. In classical music I have never felt

pressure about image, but more so pressure to be

perfect vocally.

Once you have established yourself as a singer, do

you think you’d like to try any crossover attempts

with acting and singing, like Glee or Smash?

I would absolutely LOVE to be involved in a show

like that. I don’t like to box myself in a particular

genre because I tend to get bored, so am always

open to experimenting with elements of different


Which elements move you more, melody or


I’ve always been drawn to melody. The hooks and

shape of a song can draw you in and keep you

coming back to hear it again.

Visuals are very important to popular music and

are starting to be much more important in

classical music. Do you feel any pressure to

maintain a certain image or do you think the work

should stand for itself?

I don’t feel a lot of pressure. I used to worry about it

but as soon as I stopped worrying, I became

comfortable with my figure. I definitely think it’s

important to take care of yourself, but I think in the

past there has been way too much emphasis on

image and am very happy that this has started to

transform in pop music and that artists can now

been seen as real people and not as inhuman with

To learn more about Tiffany please visit her


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A conversation with

Stefanie Rose

Your facebook page tells a cute story about

you being expelled twice in high school. Can

you share it with us?

I was suspended a few times in high school for not

being there - I did do a lot of traveling for singing

so some of the time was legitimately missed, but

mostly I just wanted to drink coffee in the music

room and write arrangements with the school

accompanist. I attended the Fine Arts program at

my particular school but would often sneak off to a

school downtown and attend their music history

classes with a few of my friends there. The teacher

praised my participation despite not being enrolled!

You obviously have a deep connection to

nature, and your voice itself has a very

'earthy' quality to it. Have you ever thought

of experimenting with nature sounds in

your music?

Science and nature are my spirituality, and yes I

suppose that I draw a lot from both in my

interpretations. I once used the sound of a rainstorm

in a recording I did of Faure's Automne, but I've

done more in the way of taking natural metaphors

into my lyrics writing.

Have you ever experienced any anxiety

about performing live? And if so, how did

you cope with it?

Very truthfully, I've never experienced stage fright.

Okay, my VERY first time singing publicly I was a

bit shaky, but never again since then. It's always

been such a great payoff for me, I know how

wonderful I feel stepping out onto the stage. In fact,

I feel that the energy of the audience and of the

venue elevate my performance tremendously - I'm

only ever able to get 50% of my best effort in

rehearsal. I've had worries about my voice

cooperating, especially when tackling difficult

operatic repertoire, but when I'm outside of such

rigidity my vocal interpretation just sort of takes

over and manages to work with whatever comes


Your version of 'Poor Wayfuring Stranger' is

quite raw both vocally and emotionally, do

you feel like you have a personal connection

to the lyrics?

Poor wayfaring stranger was recorded for the

soundtrack of a very dark, violent and gritty film

about Philadelphia. I knew a number of the actors

and had seen the film a few times before I recorded

the track, which I wanted to infuse with that raw

quality of the story.

I remember seeing something about you

visiting Asia/Middle East, how have your

travels influenced your sound?

I've sung in Thailand, Korea and Oman and I

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absolutely adore the far east. I don't know that it's

influenced my sound a great deal, although I love

using the vocal breaking technique found in

traditional middle eastern singing. And, okay, I do

write arrangements of songs using eastern beats and

incorporating Asian instruments when I can. So I

guess it has influenced the sound that I aim to


What has your vocal training experience

been like?

I've had the opportunity to work with a handful of

very famous teachers, all of whom had big careers

in opera or Broadway, and they've each influenced

my voice in their own way. However each seemed

to try and pigeon hole my voice in a way that

contradicted the last, and in the end I broke away.

At this stage I've taken the foundation of technique

that I was given and created something strange and

personal with it. My authentic sound is something

that I haven't had the opportunity to record yet, but I

hope to in the future. My love of classical music

and yet my attraction to the alternative created a

desire to experiment both in a performance sense

and in my own vocal delivery. I intend to tell stories

and create an atmosphere, and by using a deep

opera-esque timbre with a speech-like, casual

delivery, I feel I can accomplish that in an

unaffected way.

I'd sure love a big budget to produce them with!

What is the most important thing for you to

accomplish as an artist?

I don’t know what’s most important to me to

accomplish as an artist. I know that I want my son

to grow up and see that part of myself alongside

my real career, but I don’t really give being an

“Artist” much thought these days. I think being an

artist just means to play. It’s fulfilling and enjoyable

and makes life colorful. But family and friends

are the canvas. Art just fills in the pigment.

Give me your top 5 songs to perform.

Honestly I couldn't just rattle off 5 songs and call

them my favorite. My tastes change with my mood.

Sometimes I'm eager to reinvent Bach, sometimes I

want to run a show of coloratura arias next to gritty

Alt-J covers. There's so much excellent music out

there, and too much fun to be had with it for me to

choose 5 or even 50 top songs.

If you were given the chance to a) record an

album with an unlimited budget, b)

perform a live show at any venue you chose

or c) premiere a new work, classical or

Broadway, which would you choose?

Keep up to date with Stefanie via her facebook

I think I’d definitely want to do a big live show. I

have a number of avant-garde productions up my

sleeve that I'll continue to work on in the future, but

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The Up and Comer

Caroline Braga, Soprano

school, I believe it is extremely, extremely important to

make sure you connect with a voice teacher teaching at

the school. I not only chose my school based on its

credentials and location, but a major part in the

decision process was also the voice studio I was placed

in. I love, love, love my teacher Marlena Malas and it

was a perfect fit vocally and personality wise.

What has been your favorite part of your educational

experience so far? One of my favorite parts of my

educational experience so far is getting to perform and

work with such talented, dedicated and passionate

people everyday. I get to work with highly talented

colleagues and world renowned teachers like Catherine


Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from

and when did you first become interested in opera?

I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and moved

to the US when I was 3 years old. I now live in New

York City and attend the Manhattan School of Music

Conservatory. I first became interested in

opera/classical music when I was nine years old. My

choir teacher took interest in my voice and dedication

to choir and introduced me to this amazing genre of

music. I fell in love ever since.

You have undergone vocal studies at the Manhattan

School of Music. How did you choose this school and

what was the audition experience like? In choosing a

If you could perform at any venue in the future

where would you choose? There are so many dream

venues in my list of dream venues hahahah!!! But if I

were given the opportunity to perform in any venue in

the future it would definitely be the Metropolitan Opera

House in New York City. I have been going there for

years now and every time I go I can envision myself on

that amazing stage, singing with that extraordinary

orchestra. It would be a dream come true!

How important do you think movement (gestures,

choreography) is to music performance? I think every

performance should come naturally; every performance

should be different. We are not the same person every

day, so why should our characters be? On the other

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hand, you should always be prepared and know

everything about your character. Would my character

walk like this? Would he/she talk like this? Stand like

this? I don't think movement and gestures should be

overused and unintentional but if you have an intention

and direction, movement and gestures will become an

extension of your emotions.

Do you do anything special to keep your voice in

pristine condition? (tea, sprays, cough drops, etc?)

I try to stay healthy as much as I can. My body is my

instrument so I have to take good care of it. I drink a lot

of water every day and take my daily vitamins.

Do you sing any non-classical music? If not, is this

something you would like to do in the future? I do not

sing non-classical music. I prefer to stay in the classical

music direction but hey, if I were asked to sing

Christine in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, I

wouldn't say no!

personal style off-stage? My style in general varies

from day to day. I dress based on how I feel. Some

day’s I feel like "Tosca" and some days I feel like

"Carmen"! In general my performance and everyday

style tend have a classic and timeless feel. I do think

that I tend to take more risks with my everyday wear

rather than with my performance wear. I am not afraid

to try something new or something that is "different".

When performing, I like to feel comfortable, classy and

elegant on stage and tend to choose the gowns that

have a timeless and elegant feel to them.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given so far?

The best advice I have received in my career so far has

been to always give your all (emotionally and vocally)

in a performance. Singing is a great part of your

performance but acting is also a major part. You have

to not only act like your character but you have to BE

your character. You also never know who is watching

you, so whether you are performing in your local

church or at Lincoln Center, you have to always give

110%. I express myself through music and I pour my

heart and soul onto the stage; while remembering to

support of course!

What are your plans for the future? My plans for the

future is to go to grad school, join a young artist

program and start performing all over the world!

If you could have any great composer write an opera

based on any modern day novel or drama, what would

you want it to be? The composer would definitely

have to be Puccini. I LOVE Puccini. The story would

have to be "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It's not very modern but I am fascinated by the 1920's

and the story line is just fabulous.

On your twitter you appear to be a bit of a fashionista.

How does your performance style compare to your

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An interview with


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Russian artist Yulia Townsend was discovered

singing on a local television program by Gray

Bartlett and soon afterwards signed with Sony

music. Yulia’s sincere delivery and rich voice took

her straight to the top of the NZ charts with her

albums, “Into the West” and “Montage.” Yulia has

performed with classical crossover stars like

Russell Watson and Paul Potts and recently made

her US debut on the PBS special “Divinas.”

I found it very interesting that you have a

mission statement about your music. Can you tell

us about it and why this mission is so important

to you?

Our family mission statement is to inspire, encourage

and empower people to greater self love and the love

of others. We hold the practical view that as

Christians, the example of our lives may be the only

bible some people ever read. So we try to live with

grace, wherever possible adding something positive to

the people immediately around us. Our music label

'Oikos' has a name which is the Greek word for the

economy of the household. We originally had a vision

for a classical crossover Motown. Berry Gordy started

Motown with a simple vision too. We see artists as

messengers that are born to inspire the world. The

way we are manifesting our vision is to learn the kinds

of help that artists need to get their message out. We

have been doing this for some time now. And at one

time, Glyn owned New Zealand's largest privately

owned music school so we have always had an

interest in educating and helping others. We are using

state of the art 'cloud' technology to help artists

around the world through training and mentoring

sessions. We also coach artists in critically important

'soft skills' like project management, time

management, negotiation and how to apply emotional

intelligence to succeed in the music industry. We

think that it is important to be of practical help and to

live our mission statement. We want to help artists to

find their voice and to reach their audience to inspire,

encourage and empower through their own messages.

You have had an incredible vocal journey from

being told you sang ‘like a bear,’ to being

discovered on a local TV talent show by Gray

Bartlett and consequently signed to Sony. Instead

of resting on your laurels, you have chosen to

continue to develop your talent through rigorous

training. What motivates you to work so hard?

Philosophy can help us to understand mastery. Here

is a great quote from Bruce Lee about mastery, "If you

always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything

else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are

no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there,

you must go beyond them." The beginning of mastery is to

understand and respect our incompetence and to

begin to learn how to learn. When I teach other

artists, the first step is to help the artist to understand

that the artist does not know, what they do not know.

Anyone with mastery goes through a cycle of

awareness in order to grow. This growth cycle

naturally includes the reinvention of self as we grow

over time. Artists must find their voice, not just for

the age they are, but throughout their ages. Who you

are as an artist now will vary from who you are at a

later stage, to some degree. And developing as a

musician is the natural fruit of being inherently

creative. If it's just a job, then it is hard work. If you

are creative, then you are simply being who you are,

which is not work. It is living deliberately as the

person you are.

Part of your development as a singer has been the

expansion of your range from contralto to

coloratura mezzo repertoire. Did you ever

imagine you would be singing in your current

range and were you at all nervous about the


I call my singing training 'Find My Voice' and this is

because each artist has their own unique voice based

on their physiology, personality and spirituality. One

of the challenges that we face as singers is that people

immediately want to define who you are as a singer.

What genre you are. Are you classical or Pop. Are you

high or low. Then you are told "This is the kind of

singer you are and so this is what you must do." From

then on, you are caged into serving these limitations,

even if they are untrue. Bruce Lee faced the same

dilemma in martial arts. The classical styles wanted to

define and control him, eventually creating limitations

that in fact removed some of the beauty of the art

form. Bruce Lee took on and defeated all challengers.

To a degree I have done the same thing. The most

authentic recognition of my development as an artist

is to battle it out in front of audiences. In my last

concert in Wellington, NZ last month I received two

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standing ovations. If the audience validates my

performance, then my voice has all the recognition it

needs. Creating carbon copies that all sound like each

other is not the path to develop artistry, but it is

important to have a mastery of technique. We are

often being told to fit into the limitations of teachers

who want to direct us into a particular method for

their own simplicity. And while this might be an

authentic approach, this approach does tend to often

funnel singers into the wrong channel for their voice.

From a physical perspective, my voice has always

been broader than coloratura mezzo soprano. I have a

4.5 octave range. However there is a 'sweet spot' in

the voice where the voice sounds particularly more

resonant and beautiful and this is a physiological thing

as much as it is a training thing. This range from D3

to D5 is in the Contralto range. The sweetness of my

voice in this register is partly why Sony had chosen

ballads with melodies in this note range. I had always

been able to sing across the extended range but I had

never been trained. We invested in my total

immersion in Russian/Italian Opera methods to make

sure that I developed the richness of tone and the

perfection of technique to improve the beauty and

power of my voice for the enrichment of audiences.

My motivation has always been to be the best story

teller I can and vocal training is an extension of this

passion. If you are being authentic then you should

never be afraid of becoming who you really are.

Charity has been a very important part of your life

and so far you have raised over $1,400,000(NZ).

How did you choose which projects or

organizations to become involved with?

Many of us have suffered sadness’s of one kind or

another in our childhoods which become passions for

us later in life. The influences I had as a child have

become the passions of my adult life. As musicians

are messengers, we each have a story to tell. Once we

know our values and have identified our message, it

becomes clear who our audience is. I don't favor one

charity over another, but rather as we experience an

area where we can help, then we try to act out of

good stewardship and pay it forward.

Since your first album was released, you have

become a wife and mother. How do you think

these changes have affected you as an artist?

I have released several albums both before and

during motherhood. In fact we recorded Divinas Live

at Chambord Castle in Paris with baby Leon in the green

room hanging out with one of the managers for

Celine Dion and the video producer for Andre Rieu.

The most important thing is to put your family first,

have the support of your family and learn how to be a

family in the context of music industry. There are

some lovely people in the music industry but it's not

for the faint hearted. The major impact of

motherhood on me is that I have become completely

disinterested with the machinations of music industry

in favor of loving my family. This means we choose

how we engage in the music industry as a family and

we don’t let the music industry define our success.

We do it our own way.

You sing in a variety of different languages

(French, Italian, Maori, Russian), which is your

favorite and what was the most difficult to learn?

Being born in Russian I already spoke Russian and

Ukrainian fluently. However I have since studied

linguistics at university and have a teaching level of

capability and mastery of English. Being a linguist by

nature, I have applied the same learning techniques to

other languages. Glyn hired language coaches in each

of the languages I sing and we conducted a large

amount of research into the musicology and histology

of songs to discover their true story and meaning. I

sing in Russian, Ukrainian, English, French, German,

Hebrew, Maori, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. I

don't have a favorite language. Because I am a story

teller, my aim is to bring authenticity to the story of

the song. So I will study the songwriter, the

performers, the culture, the language and then aim to

reinterpret the song so that I can share the beauty of

the culture and story of the song with the audience.

When I get it right, it doesn't matter what language I

sing in, audiences should hear the story in the emotive

expression in the subtle inflections of my voice.

Taking the time to master the language is also being

respectful to the culture and the people behind the


Since you are so motivated to inspire others, do

you think there will come a time when you would

like to teach voice yourself?

Funny you should ask. I have been teaching and

mentoring singers for years! and and

P u r e T a l e n t – O n l i n e M a g a z i n e - w w w . p u r e t a l e n t m a g . c o m Page 13

the Yulia & Friends concerts have been running for a

long time. It's only recently that technology has

developed to the stage that I now give singing lessons

and regularly mentor singers around the world online.

Glyn has invested in state of the art technology so I

am set up to help singers worldwide. It's amazing

being able to prepare a singer in London for a local

concert or coach a singer in Wellington to prepare for

a Christmas show. I love it. Because my husband is a

brilliant trainer (he coached me!) and he is teaching

me to use the kinds of technology and training

methods that he has pioneered to transform the

accounting industry in NZ and Australia. My aim is to

further develop my training content so I can inspire,

encourage and empower a generation of artists. And

maybe we can sign a few to our label.

On the fashion side, what is your favorite type of

outfit to perform in?

I love French fashion and prefer youthful, creative

pieces. I don't so much go for ball gowns. When we

entertain audiences it's about putting on a costume

and inhabiting the role to present an authenticity to

the audience. Ultimately you wear the costume that

fits the message of the show and how you want to

express yourself as an artist.

You have performed with orchestras and in more

intimate settings with just a pianists or guitarist.

Which of these do you like more and you feel

better captures your essence?

Music these days is typically over produced, leaving

little room for the voice to be the star. This is because

most voices are recorded before they are well

developed. Producers then hide the deficiencies of the

voice in orchestration and in treatments like reverb

and overdubs. I am very old fashioned and believe

that an artist should be developed to their full

potential and only recorded once the voice is good

enough. Artists who push their music out too soon

and end up failing only have their impatience to

blame. For this reason, I develop myself through live

shows, often performing songs live for months or

even years before they are ever recorded. When I do

get into the studio, the voice is developed to such a

level that orchestration and production needs to be

minimal and the voice can be the star of the show.

Your husband Glynn Mclean is also your

manager. What’s that’s like?

On the commercial side Glyn is one of only a

handful of people in the world that has launched an

artist to an audience in the tens of millions.

51,000,000 people watched Divinas Live at Chambord

Castle in USA and Canada via PBS and PBT TV.

9,000,000 Russians have heard and seen me through

my win of the European Song Competition in Riga,

Latvia. Glyn produces all my live shows. He is an

exceptional live sound engineer, stage manager,

producer, negotiator and musician. On the family

side, Glyn is my soul mate, the great love of my life

and a wonderful husband and father. He has

dedicated years of his life, never taking any income

for his work on my career and has honored every

promise he ever made to me. It's like he is my gift

from God.

Looking forward artistically, what would you like

to accomplish in the next few years?

Over the next two years I am focusing on evolving

my artistry and music business around family. I have

established the relationships I need globally to create

and distribute my music to large audiences and I don't

need to rush getting albums out. I have complete

control of this. I aim to raise the money to invest in

owning my own rights holding and then partner with

record labels and producers globally. While I am

doing this, I want to develop other artists and channel

them through my networks. And I am going to

further develop myself as an author, inspirational

speaker and educator to help artists find their voice.

For the latest information about Yulia please visit her


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