Have you ever done research for a project? Well, I am currently trying to school myself on what great performing looks like. Alanis Morisette is an incredible performer. She totally blew me away recently at her arena tour in London. It was really interesting to study how she presents her songs in front of such a big crowd. She doesn't need fact costumes, or a group of backing dancers, or a big production show. It was just her and her band on stage rocking out. But yet, I didn't feel short changed at all. She was amazing. She had everyone up and singing along with her. She uses the full stage.
The lessons that I learned from watching this concert are:
1) Walk around. Be physically present in the full stage. She would often run to one side of the stage and sing to the crowd on that side for a while before running across the stage and doing the same thing to the opposite side.
2) Get down on your knees. Obviously choose your moments wisely, but use lots of levels. At one point she spun around in circles on the spot until she got so dizzy that she ended up lying on the floor. It was a very high energy performance!
3) Bounce off the other musicians in the band. Interact with them. Often she would face a guitarist on the stage with her and they would have a moment together just rocking out together. They looked like they really got into he music during these moments and were really enjoying performing together. It was really nice to watch.
4) Have fabulous hair. Especially in a big arena like the O2. I couldn't make out her face from where I was sat, but her big blonde hair was visible and a great marker for me when watching.
5) Interact with the crowd. Get them clapping along too. Use hand gestures and speak to them directly. There is no 4th wall here. Get the audience involved.
6) Swarovski crystals for everything. She had these sparkly trousers and an oversized baseball or American Football top on. A very American Indie grunge look, and totally on brand for her. But then when she later was given a guitar to play, it had sparkles all over it and matched her trousers completely. It totally completed the look and I loved it.
7) The right songs, chosen well and sung gloriously will send the audience home singing. As I left the stadium, other audience members were still singing loudly to "Ironic" and "You oughtta know" as they marched to the nearest tube station. The gig experience for them was continuing on their journey home. Choose songs the crowd can sing along to.
Verdi: "Libera me" from Requiem
Soprano Jennifer Coleman with the orchestra and chorus of OBV at the premiere in Lille Opera House - June 2022
From a fully staged performance of C(h)oeurs 2022.
Recorded on my iPhone from the wings of the stage, so the sound varies dependent upon where I am standing on the stage when singing, and in which direction I am facing. You can hear the dancers stamping, shouting and yelling, which all added to the drama of the staging. The device was on the jardin (stage right) wing far away from where I was standing, and closest to the sopranos, so the balance of the chorus will sound a little soprano heavy.
Jennifer Coleman - is a classical / opera singer, and vocal coach, performing across the UK and internationally.