Specializing in Voice
B.M. in Vocal Performance
Focus on Classical Technique
Contemporary and Musical Theater
I teach Voice and Beginner Piano. I enjoy teaching lessons to all ages and abilities. I received my BM in vocal performance from the University of North Texas, and I immediately began to pursue my classical singing career. I have performed with regional opera companies all over the country and, as a soprano, I have performed a variety of roles including Violetta from Verdi’s La Traviata; the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica; Ofelia in Franco Faccio’s Amleto (Hamlet); and Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. I have also performed in recitals and concerts.
I started teaching voice lessons when I lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and I taught both adults and kids. I worked with middle school and high school students on ear training, singing techniques, choir music, preparing them for auditions/competitions, and even preparing to apply for music school at a university. I focus on the fundamentals of breathing and good singing techniques to ensure that the student has a solid foundation no matter what style of music they are singing. My speciality is classical voice, but I have worked with singers who want to perform their own music (more rock or contemporary) as well as Musical Theater. I want to draw out the unique gifts each person has to offer, and for lessons to be a place to explore the joy of singing.
When did you begin singing, and why?:I started studying classical voice seriously after dancing for the Dallas Opera because I fell in love with the art form. It is such a complex art form because it incorporates acting, dancing, and singing, and the technical ability to sing over an orchestra!
Personal goals as a musician: to be the best singer/performer that I can be. I want to sing with a solid technique, easy sound, and perform in a way that moves people and gives something to the audience. I seek out interesting projects and collaborations, and I love stretching myself creatively. I hope to be able to inspire some of those things in my students.
Time when a musical concept clicked: Recently the concept of singing through consonants to achieve true legato finally clicked! If you’re not a singer, it sounds a bit like a different language; but basically it means achieving a beautiful vocal line without letting consonants get in the way. It’s easier to sing a good line on a vowel, but those pesky consonants we have in, well ALL languages, can get in the way.
Favorite piece of advice: Just breathe and sing! In other words, once you’ve done the work, you have to trust yourself, let go, and be confident!
Watch Abla perform in the opera, Suor Angelica:
Most challenging moment learning an instrument: when I first started music school. I had not done choir in high school and I had a degree in a whole other subject (Anthropology), so initially I was pretty far behind. But I worked super hard, and by the time I graduated I performed 2 lead roles with my University’s opera theater.
Biggest musical achievement: I have a few that I’m proud of: singing Giselda in Verdi’s I Lombardi with Sarasota Opera-it’s one of the toughest soprano roles Verdi wrote and one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, vocally; singing Ofelia in Amleto with Opera Southwest-it was a “New World Premiere” because the opera had not been performed since 1871 (in Milan); and singing the soprano solo in The Armed Man at Carnegie Hall.
Favorite things about teaching: sharing the joy of singing and making music with others! I love when something clicks and it makes singing easier, more musical, and more fun.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?: Carve time out to practice. We all have busy lives, but a shorter amount of consistent practice time will give you better results than an hour once a week.
Personal music projects: I am co-administrator of the Philly chapter of Opera on Tap. We just had a performance with the Barnes Foundation for their Young Professional’s Night where we sang Bohemian Rhapsody! I also was just part of a radio broadcast of the opera I did last fall, Amleto, on WRTI and stations nationwide. For more information about my classical singing career go to www.ablalynnhamza.com.