Charbel Mattar

On Singing

I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the world's greatest singers, from Placido Domingo, Nina Stemme, Karita Mattila and Anna Netrebko to Jonas Kaufmann, Ferrucio Furlanetto and Bryn Terfel.

Listening to these singers on many occasions has informed my own view of singing as a lyrical and dramatic art form. As a means of musical, dramatic, poetic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression, singing has few rivals. At its best, at its most skilful, there lies a simplicity, clarity, and a directness of tone that speaks through and beyond the limitations of music and words to the matter in hand.

A mastery of the score and of language, an appreciation of poetry and drama, together with an innate sense of musicality and an artistic imagination are necessary elements of the singer's craft. However, listening to these great singers one realises that it is through the refinement of singing as a physical phenomenon that great heights may be scaled. The best and truest singing requires a perfected physical engagement with one's instrument so that the voice may resonate beyond the inhibitions and limitations of the individual singer, and be tuned to its proper music.