This book is an extraordinary and unique resource that directly addresses all performers who sing and act, whether in opera, musical theatre or music-theatre. By looking beyond the separate acts of singing and acting the performer is encouraged to build a greater awareness of how the two interrelate to form a single powerful expression.

“At last! A book for anyone interested in integrating acting and singing for all musical styles. Practical and imaginative ideas and exercises which are also fun. An enormous help for both the performer and teacher.”
Mary Hammond, Head of Musical Theatre, Royal Academy of Music.


Using games, exercises and discussion, The Singing and Acting Handbook takes a stimulating approach to break down and reveal the world of singing and acting in performance exploring those pragmatic questions common to all performers in sung theatre:

How do I maintain the quality of acting whilst singing and the quality of singing whilst acting?

How can I practise the integration of one with the other?

What specific performance disciplines can I isolate and strengthen to achieve this integration?

How can I use the written text and the score to create a coherent musical and dramatic interpretation?

How can I find dramatic freedom within the formalised structure of music?

How do the demands of the music affect my movement in a space?

How can the movement of thoughts and feelings behind the text affect gesture and action?

How can the text and subtext of a work be truthful in every part of the body and voice?

To what extent does the music limit or extend the range of physical expression?

How can I develop a physical instinct, which is versatile and truthful and that will be available to me instinctively in rehearsal?

How do I incorporate the music into my construction of character?

How can I explore rhythm and sound to create the inner life of my character?

How do I cope with those anomalies of the genre that separate it from spoken theatre or the concert platform?

— Reacting spontaneously with other performers whilst remaining receptive to the energy of conductor and orchestra?

— Sustaining a physical and emotional impulse when time seems to accelerate, decelerate or even stop?

— Maintaining dramatic spontaneity when the text and music repeat over a period of time?

— Maintaining focus and emotional intensity during fixed silences (musical rests) of varying lengths, or instrumental sections where there is no singing?


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