Respiro Reflections V


Meet 2017 alum tenor Ian Castro. Immediately following Respiro, Ian traveled to Italy to participate in Lingua e Canto where he sang in several opera scenes and artsong concerts. Returning to Montclair State University (MSU) for his junior year, Ian was cast as Male Chorus in the mainstage production of “The Rape of Lucretia.” In the summer of 2018 Ian sang the role of Oronte with Music Academy International. In fall of 2018 Ian sang several opera scenes with New York City’s MESS (Mise-en-scene). This spring we’ll see Ian with Light Opera of New Jersey in the role of Ferrando as well as MSU’s opera workshop. This young man is on a roll!

As a freshman music theater major at MSU, Ian was assigned to Jan Prokop’s practicum. It became clear that his voice was going to take him in a different direction than music theater. Dr. Jan’s practicum introduced some important but basic information about breath and body alignment which he was able to explore in even more depth at Respiro.

Ian feels it was the combination of all the body work classes that worked really well during the 10 day program. All of these classes: Feldenkrais, Body Mapping, Alexander Technique and yoga functioned cohesively with each other. Ian said he valued the small group sessions as much as the bigger master classes.

The public performance at the end of the 10 days gave everybody a goal and a chance to synthesize all the parts from their class work and coachings. Ian’s “ah-ha” moment came during the dress rehearsal when he realized he had incorporated the “homework” --all the coachings and body work --into the immediate emotions of the character. It wasn’t about showing the audience the process, rather it was about the results of the process.

Ian loved working with master coach Roger Malouf. Roger was not only a wealth of information about the music, text and character but also a positive supportive instructor.

The summer of 2018 when Ian was at Music Academy International he was able to work with the celebrated coach Jane Robinson of the English National Opera. She was quite impressed with his singing and his knowledge of how the breath works, especially at his young age. Respiro will take partial credit for this compliment because almost all of our participants have noted on their exit evaluations, that as a result of all the body work, they are better able to physically implement what their voice teachers have been saying to them.

Ian is currently waiting to hear back from his graduate school auditions. We wish him well as he embarks on the next chapter of his musical career!