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In this blog I write about German diction topics, aria and song analysis and interpretation and personal thoughts.

An Ordinary Day in May – 12 von 12 / 12 of 12

13. May 2021

Have you ever heard of the blogging concept “12von12” (12of12)? I must admit I haven’t. Yet, lately I chose to become a part of the blogging community “The Content Society” by Sympatexter, where I was introduced to the idea of documenting every twelfth of the month in twelve pictures. I’m not sure if this is […]

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“Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” (Robert Schumann) – A Guide to Pronunciation and Interpretation

13. May 2021

Translation, pronunciation guide and interpretation tips on
“Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” by Robert Schumann

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How Important Are Looks in Opera?

5. May 2021

There is a saying about opera: “It ain’t over til the fat lady sings”.  When I heard this for the first time, I immediately pictured an oversized opera singer in full armour and with a spear and horned helmet. Needless to say, that I found it hilarious. However, when you learn that many opera singers […]

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Aria vs. Dialogue – Which is More Important?

2. May 2021

Maybe you have experienced the following: you sit in the audience and look forward to the opera you’re going to watch tonight. Slowly, the lights turn dark, the hustling and hemming dies away and the conductor appears. After having acknowledged his applause, he turns towards the orchestra and the show is starting. During the overture […]

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Why I Love Working With Opera Singers

25. April 2021

This article is written as part of the challenge #boomboomblog by @sympatexter. From April 18 to 25, 2021 a group of more than 1000 people wrote a blog article together. (Well, not ONE together but everyone their own.) The topic was: “Why I love….” and then something about our work. I had come up with […]

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“Von ewiger Liebe” (Johannes Brahms) – A Guide To Pronunciation and Interpretation

19. April 2021

Translation, pronunciation guide and interpretation tips on “Von ewiger Liebe” (Johannes Brahms) Text and translation Dunkel, wie dunkel in Wald und in Feld!         Dark, how dark in forest and in field! Abend schon ist es, nun schweiget die Welt.  Evening it’s already, now the world is silent. Nirgend noch Licht und nirgend noch Rauch, Nowhere […]

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How to sing German consonant clusters (A step-by-step guide)

12. April 2021

German is famous or rather: infamous for its consonant clusters which would be enough of a nuisance if you were to learn German as a new language. When it comes to singing, however, German consonant clusters have the potential to break your neck! Just kidding. They’ll only get you boo-ed off the stage. Waaaait! Stay […]

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“Bist du bei mir” (J. S. Bach / G. H. Stölzel) – Pronunciation guide

28. March 2021

Translation, pronunciation guide and interpretation tips on “Bist du bei mir” by Johann Sebastian Bach / Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel Text and translation Bist du bei mir, geh‘ ich mit Freuden                      If you are with me, I will go with joy zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh’! To death and to my rest! Ach, wie vergnügt […]

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My Bucket List – 42 Things I Really Want To Experience, Do and Learn

21. March 2021

Bucket lists seem to pop up left, right and center at the moment and I must admit that when I stumbled over the term a while ago, I did not know what it meant. (To be honest, I actually thought it WAS a list of buckets. I didn’t even have one, why should I make […]

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“Johannespassion” (Part I) by Johann Sebastian Bach – A Pronunciation Guide for Choirs

14. March 2021

Translation of and pronunciation guide for the choral parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Johannespassion” (Part I) As an ambitious choir, you will sooner or later come across Johann Sebastian Bach’s choral works. Bach worked 17 years as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, that means he was the artistic leader of the Thomaner choir for which he wrote […]

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How to sing German diphthongs

7. March 2021

Singing German diphthongs is slightly different from singing diphthongs in other languages. One reason for this is that German diphthongs sound different than for example an English or Italian diphthong. The second is that the ratio between the length of the first vowel compared to the second is different depending on the language you sing […]

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“In diesen heil’gen Hallen” (W. A. Mozart) – Pronunciation guide

1. March 2021

Translation, pronunciation guide and interpretation tips on W. A. Mozart’s aria “In diesen heil’gen Hallen” from the opera “Die Zauberflöte” Text and translation In diesen heil’gen Hallen                            Within these hallowed halls Kennt man die Rache nicht                        one does not know revenge. Und ist ein Mensch gefallen                      and if a human has fallen führt Liebe ihn […]

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The German affricate Z: Buy one get one free 😉

21. February 2021

What are affricates? The letter Z in German is a so-called affricate or combination consonant; this term describes a sound that combines a plosive (T, P or K) with a fricative consonant (S, F or V). The challenge with affricates is that the shift from one sound to the next has to be carried out […]

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“Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” (Gustav Mahler) – Pronunciation Guide

15. February 2021

Translation, pronunciation and interpretation guide on Gustav Mahler’s art song “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” Text and translation Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, I have become lost to the world Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben, who I used to ruin so much time with, Sie hat so lange nichts von mir […]

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German mixed vowels: How to master “Ö”

4. February 2021

The German mixed vowels or “Umlaute” Ö and Ü sometimes cause confusion with non-native singers and they are often mispronounced or ignored and treated as O and U. Some even say that German Umlaute are impossible to articulate correctly for non-German singers. Which is not true!

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“Ach, ich fühl’s” (W.A. Mozart) – Interpretation Guide

26. January 2021

Translation, pronunciation and interpretation guide onW. A. Mozart’s aria “Ach, ich fühl’s” from the opera “Die Zauberflöte” Aria text Ach, ich fühl’s, es ist verschwunden,                              Ah, I feel it, it has disappearedEwig hin der Liebe Glück!                                             Forever gone  love’s  happiness!Nimmer kommt ihr Wonnestunden                               Never will the hours of bliss comeMeinem Herzen mehr zurück!                                       Back to my heart!Sieh’, […]

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German Mixed vowels: “Ü” made easy

18. January 2021

Easy instructions, excercises and audio examples for singers to master the German mixed vowel or Umlaut Ü with ease! The German mixed vowels or “Umlaute” Ö and Ü sometimes cause confusion with non-native singers and they are often mispronounced or ignored and treated as O and U. Some even say that German Umlaute are impossible […]

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How to form a perfect German “T”

2. November 2020

Lately I have heard more than one slightly incorrect way of pronouncing a German T. For this reason, I feel the necessity to clarify how to do it correctly and to show you how to form a perfect German T: It all starts with the right position of the tongue . So, open the lips […]

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How NOT to Approach Art Songs (and What To Do Instead)

7. September 2020

Working on an art song for the first time is a bit like having to describe a picture to a blind person. Tempting as it may be to google for an existing description of the work, this would rob you of the possibility to discover and understand the picture by yourself and thus generate the […]

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“Erlkönig” (Franz Schubert) – Pronunciation and Interpretation Guide

18. April 2020

Pronunciation and interpretation guide on “Erlkönig” by Franz Schubert Historical background „Der Erlkönig” is a famous ballad by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, written in 1778 as part of a singspiel. It tells the story of a father riding home with his ill son by night through the woods. The son has increasingly […]

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The Different Sounds of R in German Pronunciation

29. March 2020

There have been long disputes and discussions about the different sounds of R in German pronunciation and their treatment when it comes to singing. In spoken German, the uvular R-sound is the standard (similar to the French R). However, this is not recommended when it comes to singing, especially since the sound is produced in […]

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Recordings are forever

22. March 2020

Recordings: life companions There are some recordings on my CD shelves that have accompanied me for decades. Sometimes, I do not listen to them for years and they slumber away, almost forgotten. But from time to time, I will get them out, listen to them and let myself get back to the memories and feelings […]

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When Do You Need a Pronunciation Coach – And When Not?

7. March 2020

You are a singer and consider hiring a pronunciation coach but you are not sure if you really need one or if this isn’t just an other fancy way of killing time? After all, there are lots of recordings on YouTube you could learn of, couldn’t you? (This is a rhethorical question and the answer […]

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How to Pronounce German Plosives or Stop Consonants

1. March 2020

The German letters P, T and K and their little siblings B, D and G often create confusion when it comes to correct pronunciation. One should think that when a D is written, a D is also said. Alas, the rules are a bit more complex. Nevertheless, I can assure you that correct pronunciation of […]

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Confession of a Pronunciation Coach

20. February 2020

As you may know, I live in Southern Germany, in Bavaria to be exact, an area that is not only known for its beautiful landscape but also for its vast amount of dialects. These dialects are so different from each other and some of them are so strong that it is difficult – if not […]

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How to pronounce “ich” and “ach” in German

14. February 2020

Ach, the „ch“! A source of many problems and a well of tears. Seriously, the “ich”- and “ach”-sounds are one of the main problems non-native singers face in German pronunciation. Yet, mastering these different sounds is necessary in order to achieve authentic German diction for example in the aria “Ach, ich fühl’s“. Do not despair! […]

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Three Myths About Pronunciation Coaching that Prevent Your Success

8. February 2020

Every now and then I am confronted with certain prejudices against German pronunciation. Some can be easily cleared; others are more persistent and harder to explain. Had they been questions, I would have integrated them into the FAQ-list of this website. However, people often state them as facts or certainties, and I do not want […]

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Phantom sounds in German pronunciation – A Case Study

1. February 2020

“Could you please sing that once again?” I made my client, the Russian bass singer Evgeny (name changed), repeat one passage over and over. We had been practising Robert Schuman’s song “Ich grolle nicht” and something was still amiss. Before we had started to work on this song, he had listened to YouTube-recordings of it […]

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How to Prepare for an Audition – A Checklist for Singers

25. January 2020

Learn all about how to perfectly prepare for an audition. A checklist for singers.

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What will Change in my Business in 2020

19. January 2020

The new year is already (almost) three weeks old. We have had time to review the last year and learn from our fails and achievements. We have also thought about our plans and goals for 2020 and the steps we need to take in order to achieve them. With these steps, we will make changes. […]

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My word for 2020 and what it means for me and my business

11. January 2020

Hear all about my goals for 2020 and the steps I want to take to achieve them.

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