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- Michael O’Dell
Composer/ Lyricist

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What's With the Casting...?

I find it fascinating/horrifying/disappointing to attend a big show in the Bay Area (paying premium ticket prices) only to end up sitting through less than satisfactory singing.  I'm trying to be nice, here, but also truthful.  I don't get it.  This San Francisco Bay Area is loaded with great talent!  Any theater still able to mount a show has access to an amazing array of auditioners, yet all too often the people who get cast have "holes" in their voices; they can't deliver a vocal line with any expression beyond "loud"; the middle voice and the top of the voice don't match - or any assortment of other issues.  And don't tell me their acting talent more than makes up for it!  Uh, no...  Fortunately this is not the case with every show, but my point is that it doesn't need to be the case with ANY show here in the Bay Area.  I'm not asking for every voice to sound like an opera wannabe - I don't even want that!  But a good mixed voice, or even a good TRUE belt should not come from a pushed position.  Not only does it sound uncomfortable to listen to, it is dangerous for the singer.  Over time the range gets smaller and smaller and that old wobble starts to show up - seriously limiting the effective life of a performer.  Yeah, I love a voice with heart, but please give me some technique to deliver that heart!  I could rage on and on, but you get my point.  Doesn't anyone else care....?

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