This was my first time ever to hear Lara Fabian and it certainly won’t be my last.
Where has this beautiful singer been all my life?
My main takeaway from this first impression: She is a master at communicating a lyric.
Watch this and tell me if I’m wrong.
How To Sing Like Lara Fabian
Be sure to read the comments under this video on my YouTube channel. I am finding fans of these ‘voice coach reacts’ videos to be incredibly insightful and passionate champions for the artists they love. They are teaching me so much!
I purposely did NO research on Lara so that I went in to hear her blindly. It was scary for me to do this, but I’m trying to do things that scare me! Ha! I felt like a total drama queen crying all over the place, but I could not help myself! This performance was so moving, seeing this vocalist use her gifts so beautifully. The many minutes of weeping and having to go find a box of tissues was edited out. You’re welcome. 😉
Her fans know all about this Belgian-Canadian vocalist who speaks a dozen languages and writes her own songs. This song was not her own work, but she has been singing it for 20 years! I like that she is an ‘older’ singer (like moi!) who still has pipes thanks to her impeccable technique and voice care. I also learned from my viewers that seeing her live needs to be on my bucket list. She is going to be in the USA in September of 2020!
HOW TO ACT A SONG
This performance is a master class in how to act your song. Follow Lara’s lead by making your piece its own ‘one-act play’. It needs a beginning, a middle and an end. You can only do this well if you truly give the material the honor that it is due. That means an intentional study of your piece.
THIS WORKS WITH ANY STYLE OF MUSIC, by the way. Any style!
As vocalists we are often playing characters, sometimes many characters in one setlist or concert. It requires you to take the piece apart down to the bare bones and rebuild it artistically as a master storyteller. It is up to you to know intently the back story of your character for each piece you are performing. This is what brings the performance to life and makes an audience want to sit and listen to you for hours! It makes it interesting!
You do this with a new piece of music by first, listening. Second, by listening. And third, by listening! Before you even sing a note, you are carefully listening, taking notes, making plans, allowing the music to move you. THEN you move toward making music out of it by characterizing intuitively what you feel it needs. This takes time and I find that many students do not want to invest it. My question for you is: Are you ready to turn pro?
How to Turn Pro As a Vocalist
The amateur wants to just sing their piece top to bottom over and over and over. With very little thought or intention.
But what if you want to take it to the next level?
You must turn pro. The pro lovingly takes a piece of music apart to bring out every nuance, every detail. That requires careful listening. Careful consideration of each word, each note, each dynamic shift.
You must spend time with the piece in order to connect your intuition with it.
Why? Because the vantage point of the character you are playing is that important. You are creating art, Lovely, not just making sound. The character you are portraying has feelings! It is up to you to know their back story, who they are singing about, who they are singing to. To simply come at the material with a one-dimensional view makes for a lackluster end product. It keeps you an amateur. You’ve got to use your intuition and imagination and connect your heart to it to make this truly come to life.
That is what Lara does so beautifully here.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here are some questions to help you discover more about the character you are portraying during the crucial listening process:
•What got them to this point where they are now?
•How are they evolving through this piece?
•What emotions are they feeling
•How can you convey these emotions the most realistically?
•What are the important moments throughout this piece? Use the physical beginning, middle and end points to help you locate these important moments.
•How can you communicate these moments using dynamic changes or body language?
Speak the Text
Once you are firm on all of the above, set the music aside and simply speak the text. Say the words conversationally. I often find that when I do this, I get emotional. More emotional than when I am singing. More emotional than when I am watching Lara Fabian perform for the first time 😜. Perhaps because I am thinking about technique or tone quality when I’m singing the lyrics. Stripping the music away from the lyric can cause you to engage with the piece in a completely new way and give you even more layers of characterization to give your performance life.
What I Loved About This Piece
There is so much. Her voice is heaven. She has so much vocal control and her straight tone melts me. I hear Streisand and Celine in there. Her dynamics are crazy pants. I’m trying to not feel jealous! Ha! But I also adored her acting to tell this tragic story. It was very understated. In the part where she was singing about being drunk, she stumbles only slightly and draws her hand across her bodice. It is just a small gesture, but it has so much meaning in light of all this character has obviously been through.
It is obvious that this performance is the product of a lifetime of hard work to master her craft, which is why I was so moved. The idea of the thousands upon thousands of hours that she put in doing what I’ve outlined above and so much more, brings a lump to my throat. It is just that: hard work! But so worth it, in the end, to be able to produce a piece of art this fine. I can see why her fans adore her. The adoration is well-deserved.
Lara Fabian is elegant in every sense of the word. I am so grateful to have gotten to discover her for the first time ever. And on camera no less! Thank you to those who suggested her to me. Wow! What a gift for me this week!
If somebody you know needs to smile today…or heck, cry like a baby like I did, SHARE THIS POST OR VIDEO OR BOTH WITH THEM! And let me know in the comments below if you know this beautiful singer or what YOU’RE takeaway was from her performance. I love hearing from you.
And now I am off to go and practice my voice…and my French. Merci, mon ami!