A Stagey Guide to Singing... Mané Galoyan | La Traviata | Interview

Saturday 24 November 2018

Mané Galoyan is currently helming the UK tour of Glyndebourne's La Traviata where she plays the heartbreaking character of Violetta. Watching the opera, one thing was evident: Mané's voice and technique are second to none, so I jumped at the chance to get some inside information and tips all about singing from the lady herself...

Can you tell me a little about your vocal journey and training?
I started voice and piano lessons at the age of 9 and I’ve always been lucky because I had the best teachers. I hold my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yerevan State Komitas Conservatory, after which I was a studio artist at Houston Grand Opera for its 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.

Violetta is a vocally demanding role, how do you maintain your voice and vocal health?
For me, the only thing that is very important is a good night’s sleep. Since our instrument is our body itself, we just need to treat our body with respect and care, but nothing is better then a good night’s sleep and healthy food. Other than that, I live my life as I normally would (without any extremes, of course! ha ha)

Violetta is also an extremely emotional role, how do you distance yourself from the emotion so your voice remains strong and you're not overly affected by it personally?
The truth is, you can’t fully distance yourself from Violetta. It is an extremely relatable role and I remember when I first started working on the score I was sobbing reading through the text. But it is important to understand that you are not the character – you are just the one who gives voice to the character and keeps it alive. It is indeed a fine balance to keep the emotions and the technique on the same level, but that is the challenge and of course the rehearsals are there to help you to find it!

What is your pre-show warm up like?
I usually do at least 5-10 minutes of yoga to stretch my body and warm it up first. It’s much easier to warm up your voice after your body is warmed up and your breath is going. And then some humming, a couple of scales, check in with the score and ready to go!

Who is your dream duet partner?
A partner who is always present dramatically and who I can make beautiful music with! And right now I am very lucky to have Luis Gomes as my partner in La Traviata. He is the best!

If you could describe performing in 5 words, what would they be?
Sharing, living, exciting, transforming, loving.

What's your top piece of advice for aspiring singers?
Always be open to accept feedback from the professionals around you, but never forget to listen to your own intuition…

La Traviata is on again at the New Victoria Theatre on 24th November, before continuing it's tour.

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell