Vocal warm-up 1 - BreathingQuick View
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Vocal warm-up 1 - Breathing

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Breathing exercises are an essential start to any vocal warm-up; they organise the breathing muscles, extend the capacity of the voice and give a sense of the breath very deep inside the body. VoiceNT
Vocal exploration of the LytteltonQuick View
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Vocal exploration of the Lyttelton

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Sioned Jones and Chris Saul are struck by the width of the Lyttelton Theatre in comparison with the Cottesloe. Jeannette agrees; it requires a sense of a bigger person for a bigger space. It's particularly important to be aware of audience members in the circle; Chris delivers Polonius speech to Laertes from Hamlet to Jeannette and Sioned, who stand in the circle. VoiceNT
Text work on prose from Saint JoanQuick View
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Text work on prose from Saint Joan

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In a scene from Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, where Saint Joan is accused by the bishops, Sioned Jones moves between three chairs representing herself, France and God. This helps her open up the space and give a sense of breadth and surety to the speech, which is then assisted by reading the speech in unison with Chris Saul. VoiceNT
Vocal warm-up 3 – Opening up the voiceQuick View
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Vocal warm-up 3 – Opening up the voice

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After working on breathing and resonance, Jeannette works with the actors to open their voices up. First she gets them to do some stretching exercises to open their ribs up. Yawning opens up the throat. Sliding down from high in the voice on the sound 'Haaaaaaaaaa' needs to be done at least three times. VoiceNT
Vocal warm-up 4 - ArticulationQuick View
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Vocal warm-up 4 - Articulation

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The big theatres at the National require a big focus on articulation. First Jeannette gets the actors to move their lips around, and then gives the tongue a good work-out. After relaxing the jaw and reminding the actors of the need for good support, she gets them to repeat the sounds 'da, da, da' and 'ta, ta, ta' very quickly. Jeannette's further selection of other sounds to repeat will, over time, build up an actor's ability to articulate clearly. VoiceNT
Vocal exploration of the CottesloeQuick View
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Vocal exploration of the Cottesloe

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Even though the Cottesloe is a smaller 'studio' theatre, Jeannette Nelson explains that it has its own vocal challenges, which can make it as tricky to work to its full potential as the much larger Olivier. She sets actors Sioned and Chris the task of exploring the space by getting them to read to each other from different ends of the space. VoiceNT