What shall we do after the workshop is over?

How strange it is to see myself, as through the eyes of a time machine, as I was forty-six years ago, when I first started working with Roy Hart. Yet each time I give the first movement class of a new "workshop" this is exactly what I see in watching my students working. Usually we, the teachers, have six days to convey something of the 70 years history of singing that has gone into this disipline before coming up to the current date. Amazingly usually we do manage to get some of the basic rudiments of the work over to the students in that time and they leave Malerargues feeling that in some measure they have got through to themselves. They leave in a state of touching vulnerability.

It must be said that when I originally came to work with Roy the word "workshop" had no meaning in England other than the working place where the British Rail Service repaired their locomotives. So, when I came to study my voice I worked my voice with Roy in a one to one private lesson, usually once a week, some times more. The idea that this might take place over a limited time never crossed either of our minds. Even the lesson it's self was not governed by the idea of an hour, as it usually is today. It would be quite usual for me to arrive at Golders Green, London (where the studio was) at 8.30 am (I had come form Nottinghill Gate, an hours journey in the rush hour), I would routinely leave the studio at the end of my lesson at 12.30 pm! After some months of this, it was inevitable that a personal relationship would begin to develop.

Now then are we to account for this amazing movement in the participants of a workshop in only six days? the answer is still to be found in the word ‘relationship’, ‘relationship’ to the work of singing and of course relationship to the teachers. Singing, as the Roy Hart Theatre lives it is not something that can be ‘dropped in on’ from time to time, it is a living process, that needs to be lived with! most people do not have a problem with the need to submit to the discipline of re-finding their lost relationship to their body through the use of their voice in these six days. This is why the vast majority of the people who come to Malerargues to participate in our "Stages sur la Voix». If only in their unconscious they know that in the word «voice» is the linking mechanism between the imagination, life and art (theatre).

Those people who come to work their voices at the Roy Hart Theatre, are the ones ‘who are ready’ for the work, they realise unconsciously that if they really use their voice to the full capacity of their body, then that voice, that body and that imagination will unite to become one. This leads them to opening up areas of their emotions which they are not used to seeing or to living with. The subsequent vulnerability, reveals that in our fundamental emotions and feelings we are not so dissimilar from each other as we like to think. Indeed we come to discover, given enough time, that there are common links between all of us human beings, which can be expressed to the world through exploring the entire spectrum of the human voice.

Whether the student is a man or a woman, certain archetypal links are always found. This common factor will create a lessening of vulnerability between our relationship to the world and to each other. So, what can we do to sustain these discoveries after the workshop is finished? The only answer to this question is – continue with the process – how – through relationship, not so easily done! Well, can you continue your new relationship to yourself, by yourself? Probably not. Can you continue your relationship to the RHT through a RHT teacher that works near your home, may be. Can you come back to Malerargues and do other workshops? Probably. Can you keep in contact with the teacher that you have previously worked with? Probably. What ever your problem is in pursuing this process of singing, if you listen closely to your body messages with love and with care, you WILL find a way back into yourselves. Good luck.

Paul Silber Malerargues 2009


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