10341981_10152250889476715_7498004455903449377_nOpera singers are vocal athletes.  We train and practice for hours on end, strengthening and refining the performance of our vocal mechanism.  The process for training to be a professional musician and a professional athlete is fundamentally identical.  Singing actors of all genres are some of the strongest people on the planet — we go out on massive stages in front of countless other people and our peers and sing with our one unique voice, putting ourselves out on the line for criticism and rejection.  The stamina required to sing through a full opera (or performance of any genre) while galavanting across the stage in (often) heavy costumes without showing the physical and vocal effects of stress is immeasurable.  After all this, there shouldn’t be a place in the world that incites fear in a performer — not even the gym.

As a classically trained opera singer myself, I understand why singers are hesitant about personal fitness:  there is potential for injury, and any injury will affect the way we use our voice, so why take that risk in the first place?  However, as a fitness professional, I firmly believe that this hesitancy is unfounded when both aerobic and strength exercise is executed properly and thoughtfully.  OPERATHLETIC is a blog designed around one fundamental idea:  strong body, strong voice.  There is some incredible research being done as we speak regarding physical fitness and the vocal mechanism.  This blog is meant to be the practical application of that research, helping to dispell common myths about the implications of physical fitness on vocal performance through scientifically sound information on proper fitness technique in relation to proper vocal technique.

For vocal artists, our body is our instrument.  We cannot carry it around in a protective case or replace it when it’s broken.  An unhealthy body means an unhealthy instrument.  Despite this, singing actors often fail to give the attention necessary to their physical well-being, mental health, and nutrition.  Whether we’d like to admit it or not, these factors affect our performance.  A goal of OPERATHLETIC is to help both gym newbies and veterans alike find success in their fitness journeys by providing articles about effective fitness technique, healthy and easy recipes for singers on the go, wellness tips, etc.  In other words, our goal is to make personal fitness and wellness more accessible for those who do not find their “home” in the gym.

I established a panel of experts from both the music and medical fields to supervise and contribute to OPERATHLETIC:  Dawn Pierce, mezzo soprano and vocal pedagogue; Julian Rivera, physical therapy expert, personal trainer, and strength & conditioning specialist; Jennifer Fleischer, nutritionist, personal trainer, and exercise guru; and me, Kendra Domotor, [baby] opera singer, group fitness instructor, and personal trainer in-training.  Every individual on this panel has professional classical voice training OR experience working with classically trained opera singers, and professional experience in the fitness industry OR extensive experience with their own personal fitness.  As a team, we strive to provide practical and scientifically sound information for singing actors of all genres.  We hope you will join us as fellow “operathletes” who seek to find the balance between mind, body, spirit, and vocal performance.

With love,
Kendra Signature with Photo