Skip to main content

Top Takeaways from Lester Lynch's SFCM Masterclass

Latest SFCM News
News Story

Lynch joins SFCM voice faculty in Fall 2024. The acclaimed Baritone gives advice on the importance of practice, performance, and posture.

June 6, 2024 by Mark Taylor

Lester Lynch gave SFCM students a preview of his teaching style with a recent masterclass for voice and opera students in advance of the renowned baritone's first semester at SFCM in Fall 2024. 

Lynch's career includes turns as Crown in Porgy and Bess at Teatro alla Scala, the title role in Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Semperoper Dresden, and Marcello in La Boheme with both the New York City Opera and Opera Theatre St. Louis. He has notched appearances closer to home with the San Francisco and Seattle Operas and fartherm with the Berlin Philharmoniker, London's Royal Opera House, Russia's Tatar State Opera and Norway's Bergen National Opera. 

Read some of Lynch's top takeaways from his masterclass below.

  •  "We can tell so much about who we are on stage, just by the way we carry ourselves. Keep your spine long, it will be there your whole career, and it will help you. You can rely on your posture"

  • "Always be prepared for the onset of pitch, the onset of the phrase. Really make sure you're ready to sing, you don't have to give a lot of sound, but the full spectrum of your voice." 

  • "We still need to hear your instrument coming through because even though this character is angry and jealous and full of rage right now, you still need to be elegant. You lose the elegance when we can't hear clearly the pitches." 

  • "The thing is, it doesn't really matter what you do to get the result. There are so many ways to do this. And I applaud them all. I've heard singers do things and I've thought 'my god, how are they getting the sound out?' But they get it out– and more power to them." 

  •  "We must always sing the vowels, we need those vowels to really sing, and we need to hear them clearly."

  • "There are things that we do when we're nervous, or bad habits, so before you start getting in a bad habit… please stand in a more still position. You can move. Be free to move. But we can't have scuffing of the feet." 

  • "Keep the vowels alive, keep them moving!"

  • "When you have a difficult phrase coming up, you might take a step back and get yourself grounded. Open everything up so you are ready for the phrase. It's like anything in sports–it's one of these big moments, basketball, football, whatever it is, it doesn't matter, whatever it is that you do that requires physical activity. This is a physical thing, you need to get your body ready for this moment." 

    Learn more about studying Voice at SFCM.