Baritone Michael Volle reveals exactly what’s going on in his head when he sings
Ever wondered what you look like when you’re singing – from the inside?
Doesn’t matter. You’re going to see it anyway.
Bravo! to Michael Volle, an operatic baritone more accustomed to performing in international opera houses and concert halls than in the close confines of a hospital MRI scanner.
He was there at the behest of senior physician – and choral singer – Professor Matthias Echternach, as part of an investigation into how singers’ vocal tracts work in performance.
Volle told the Munich newspaper Merkur that he had first considered singing an aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, but decided against it on the grounds that it might cause him to move about too much.
Instead, he plumped for the relatively peaceful ‘Lied an den Abendstern’ (Song to the Evening Star) from Wagner’s Tannhäuser.
The singer admits to having been pretty surprised by the video and especially by the length of his own tongue, which he described as ‘eternal’. But he said the footage confirmed what he already knew about good technique, and that he won’t be changing anything based on the experience.
Here’s a slightly more traditional performance from Volle, featured singing operetta on German TV earlier this year.