The natural impulse of humans in life is to engage voice and body simultaneously, i.e. when calling out for someone far away. However, in artistic training, the two can get separated or even sometimes work in opposition! In choirs, the driving motivation for choir members is to sing! Being in a choir that allows (or even encourages) movement is an opportunity to connect both the voice and the body. Nevertheless, the addition of choir choreography or choral movement can pose a challenge to choir singers, conductors and choreographers alike. How do dance and musicianship communicate with each other? And how do you go about bringing the two together?
This workshop is geared at choir singers, choir directors and choreographers. Singers will have the opportunity to experience both physical and vocal exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen the dual use of body and voice. Choir directors and choreographers will be able to explore the collaboration and synergy needed between a conductor (who used to perform in professional musical theatre) and a choreographer (a former singer who specifically works with choirs) so that music in motion is a driving force and a “cool” experience for everyone involved!
Extravaganza Director Robert Norman
Baritone, Robert Norman studied music at the University of Montreal and completed his vocal and musical studies in Lyon, France, with Mrs. Evelyne Brunner. He began his career with the creation of the French version of the musical Les Miserables, which he performed over 700 times in French and English across Canada and the United States. Equally at home in opera as in musical theatre, he sang the role of Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème. He appeared several times with the Ensemble Amati under the direction of Mr. Raymond Dessaints.
In Europe, Norman gave several recitals and concerts in Paris, Lyon, Charbonnières-les-Bains, Grenoble, Toulouse, and Hamburg. In 1997, he sang in the musical Jeanne La Pucelle at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Montreal and then the Capitol of Quebec. In 2000, he sang the part of Laurent le Magnifique in the musical Da Vinci at the Casino de Paris. For the past 17 years, Norman also directs Choeur Vives Voix in Longueil, QC. The company is distinguished by its performances with musical staging, sets and costumes, accompanied by a team of professionals and live musicians. So with a rich background and enthusiasm he took on the musical direction of Extravaganza in 2008. Besides all these activities, he is also dedicated to teaching singing privately; however, he has great joy creating training sessions specifically for choirs in the greater region of Montreal.
Extravaganza Choreographer Walter Wittich
Originally from Germany, Walter completed his diploma in Musical Theater Performance at the Studio Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria. He arrived in Canada in 1992, studying Modern Dance at the School of the Toronto Dance Theater. Since then, he has performed as a professional modern, ballet and jazz dancer across the country, including the Banff Center Festival Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Toronto Dance Theater and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. He has choreographed extensively for professional and amateur companies, music videos and television, but his favourite experience as a choreographer has always been his involvement with choir-music and movement. He has choreographed and staged performances for the Vancouver Men’s Chorus, the Calgary Men’s Chorus, and he is now in his second season with Extravaganza Vocal Ensemble. In his second career as a researcher, he recently completed his doctorate in Neuroscience at McGill University.
Proposals from choirs interested in staging the festival in 2014.
Presentations (approximately 10 minutes) should include possible venues, lodging options, affordability, etc.
An ad hoc voting body comprised of one member from each represented choir will be created to make a decision before the closing ceremonies on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM.
Bid Presentations for 2014
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Delta Hotel (Room TBA)