The Singing Actor with Jane Streeton

“Singing on Stage: An Actor’s Guide” published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama is a book which sets out to teach actors of all levels and experience. The chat will focus on the methods outlined in the book and chat attendees may wish to read the book in advance (available in book shops and on, though it is not necessary to participate.

Having taught at one of the world’s leading drama institutions for many years, Ms. Streeton and her co-author felt they might have some valid lessons to impart to actors looking to develop their singing, as well as having something to share with the contemporary student of singing who is seeking to further their knowledge and skill regarding the art of singing on stage.

According to Ms. Streeton:

“It is a continual source of fascination to us how a kind of alchemy occurs when singing and acting are combined in such a way that both have equal value, and how in doing so they seem to yield more than the sum of their parts.

At RADA, every acting student is trained as an individual, and the approach to teaching singing is deeply compatible with the approach to the training in spoken voice, movement and acting. It is a bespoke practice, which ultimately not only leads to our actors taking major musical theatre roles, but also gives them a skillset to draw on throughout their careers.

You do not need to have what may be termed ‘singing talent’ to benefit from our training. We teach singing as much to strengthen and develop the vocal instrument as to give the ability to sing songs. Actors need to be able to match their sung and spoken sounds, so that the vocal interpretation of a character is organic and seamless.

The correct mental concept of singing and the physical conditioning and training of the singing instrument are crucial. Only when both of these are at the core of the process, and in equal proportion, can fundamental truths be reflected and spontaneous expression unleashed. These fundamentals are the common denominator of all good singing and are the real X Factor in great performances.

Ours is not a book that seeks to provide a method appropriate to singing in a particular genre. Rather it sets out ideas which aim to develop each student according to their individual attributes and to discover authentic, expressive and ultimately beautiful vocal tone as a product of the highest musical and theatrical values.

The aims of our book are unashamedly aspirational, and we hope that it will be received as we present it, as a guide and companion for anyone who is interested in furthering the art of singing on stage.”