DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
2012 Grant Recipient
Classical Voice Winner
Betty Allison is a 30-year-old Soprano from Ladysmith, BC who will continue her Professional Studies with renowned voice teacher Timothy Noble at the Jacobs School of Music, University of Indiana this autumn. Betty received her Bachelor of Education (Music) at the University of Victoria and has been working as a freelance musician since she completed a term with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble in 2009. She has performed in numerous venues across North America and participated in national and international summer programs, including at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel.
In submitting the nomination for The Hnatyshyn Foundation classical voice grant, Timothy Noble said of Betty, “It remains my firm belief that Miss Allison has all of the requisite tools to have a successful career in vocal performance. Miss Allison is a young woman of the highest moral character, has a superb work ethic, and is committed to being successful in her career aspirations.”
In adjudicating Betty’s performance submissions, the jury for classical voice praised her stunning voice… “The Rusalka is beautiful, especially the high range… Excellent released voice. Elegant and musical performances. Emotion is conveyed through the voice without ever losing control of the instrument. Compelling and consummate preparation.”
The jury included:
Kathy Gable, Teacher, Applied Piano; Music Director, Music Theatre Ensemble, University of Saskatchewan
Rosemarie Landry, Head of Voice at the Faculty of Music of l’Université de Montréal
Kinza Tyrrell, Principal Repetiteur and Music Director of VOIS at Vancouver Opera
I didn’t start my music career with the certainty of desire for performance. I began in music education. A branch of music where the word discipline is cliche; the dull brother of “practice makes perfect” and “please pay attention”. A term which, when facing a mass of sixteen year olds, bears the oppressive weight of obligation that suffocates the desire to peruse music. It is therefore difficult to explain to students that discipline is what enables and frees music.
To me, discipline is simply the structure of control to perform to the best of my ability. It is the skill of breaking things into segments and then slowly putting them back together; and the ability to be in control at the speed of a performance. Discipline is about fundamentals and precision. As a singer, I have very specific steps and processes for creating and learning. Through my discipline I can learn a role or a song cycle, let go, and trust my performance instincts. Although, you can’t communicate without freedom to let go, you can’t let go without discipline.
Discipline includes solitude and the manipulation of my time; working alone with my piano between exercising and cooking. It involves the network people who I trust to be honest; teachers, coaches, and colleagues. The choices and control I exert in these areas is what makes discipline as much a set of personal choices as professional ones. The set of choices on which the life of an artist are based.
Discipline is not perfection. It isn’t oppressive or restrictive. Music doesn’t make us move and feel because it is perfect. Rather, it is perfect when it gives us a sense of life. Live performance is never perfect. Something which the development of recording has taken away from the artist; loosing sight between perfect music and a perfect performance. On stage I don’t care if the last high C is cut a bit too soon or if there is a fleeting moment of imperfect pitch. As a performer, my goal is to prepare my role or piece, accurately and with discipline and then let it go. To live it, to trust it, and to become Firodiligi or Rusalka for three hours a night.