Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2023. 9:30 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: On July 3rd, 2023, O’Brien’s Music Studio and The Pallotti School of Music launched their first ever Voice Festival, aptly named “The Art of Singing”. The event features 2 weeks of vocal training throughout Belize, ending in a grand concert on July 14th at the Bliss Institute for Creative Arts.
The Art of Singing – Voice Festival is the brainchild of Giselle O’Brien, the director of O’Brien’s Music Studio, and features the exquisite talents of Trinidadian Voice teacher and opera singer, Natalia Dopwell-Gomez. The goal of the festival, says Giselle, is to encourage and enhance the natural vocal talents that already exist in Belize.
“Belizeans are talented and creative people. We don’t often have the easiest access to training and guidance to hone our skills, and it’s so very important to nurture and develop what we already have. We have 3 main goals at O’Brien’s Music Studio – Educate, Support, Develop.”
The fore-runner of the festival, Mrs. Natalia Dopwell-Gomez, is a well known opera singer in Trinidad and Tobago. Fresh off the heels of a performance with Brian Mac Farlane’s ‘Broadway Spectacular’ at the Queen’s Hall in Port of Spain, Natalia plans to educate singers about the inner workings of the human voice and give insight on vocal health and longevity.
“My goal as a teacher is to demystify the voice by applying scientific knowledge of how this unique instrument functions to help each individual singer overcome whatever challenges they may be experiencing” explained Dopwell-Gomez. “Regardless of which musical style a singer wishes to master, the vocal instrument becomes healthier, stronger and more consistent when it is better understood.”
The Art of Singing Voice Festival plans to reach as many districts as possible. The event started with a 4-day workshop for adults with Natalia, focusing on vocal anatomy and skill development. Running simultaneously is a 4-day singing workshop for children, where kids learn basic anatomy, breath management, and exploration of the vocal registers. The second week of Natalia’s visit, she will be doing masterclasses in Orange Walk, Dangriga, Belmopan, Santa Elena/San Ignacio and Corozal.
This Festival is supported by gold sponsors: The Institute of Creative Arts and the National Institute of Culture and History, RF&G Insurance Company Limited, SAAPI Entertainment and Simon Quan & Co. Ltd.
On Friday, July 14th, you can experience The Art of Singing Concert, where Natalia will perform selected pieces from Opera, Broadway and Folk music, featuring the talents of The Pallotti School of Music, including vocalist Giselle O’Brien, pianist and flautist, Stephanie Coye, and violinist Chelsea Thompson. The guest performer for the night is none other than Belizean Folk musician, Brad Pattico, who will close the show with some of his most popular folk selections.
Natalia will be accompanied by renowned pianist and teacher Yumi Guild, co-director of the Belize Academy of Music and Art. Tickets are available for sale at Pink Boutique on North Front Street, or you can call 615-6313 or 615-3672 for tickets.
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