Vocal Performance Lab
San Diego Opera
What is your hometown?
San Diego, CA
What is your favorite recording?
Anna Moffo singing the Rachmaninoff Vocalise.
What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?
"Technique is everything you have to do to survive after you've taken the wrong breath."
What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?
I always ask students whether they're willing to be in a process of growing and changing for the rest of their lives because that is what it is to be a singer and an artist in this way. The students who ask, "Will this way of singing prepare me for a lifetime of singing? Will these principles serve me all my life and help me stay healthy?" — those are the students who I want to work with.
What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?
When a very famous teacher and judge told me at a competition that I didn't have what it takes to become a singer, and that I should choose another career! I asked myself deeply whether I had the talent and would acquire the necessary skills and experience to accomplish this, and I said yes. From that moment, I was determined to have a career and did.
What was a turning point in your career?
When my colleagues were always asking me to help them, I began to realize I had special gifts for teaching, such as an incredible ear, sense of empathy, and intuition.
If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?
Personal shopper and stylist!
What is your daily practice routine?
If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Mozart, Verdi, and Strauss.
Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?
Frederica von Stade, Brian Asawa, and Renato Capecchi.
What is your unrealized project?
Writing my book about how I came to teach the vocal principles that my students seek out and great singers need to rediscover the essence of true bel canto singing.
"The first lesson with Jane was like pure heaven. All my career I always felt that I was missing something in my singing. A rather large something and that was connection and a real understanding of breathing. So singing often took an unnecessary toll on my voice and I was losing a lot of confidence. Thus began my journey with Jane Randolph." —Frederica von Stade