Jennifer O'Loughlin

It's a pleasure to chat to soprano Jennifer O'Loughlin for our Orange Twist this week!

We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color! What’s yours?

I've always loved the color yellow.

As a singer who is interested in energy healing and yoga, it was fun to learn that yellow is the color associated with the solar plexus chakra which is considered the center of willpower and achievement and which radiates "life energy" through the entire body. It's associated with fire and the power of transformation.

What's the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

The work I've done in the last several years is based more in a philosophy about music making, imparted to me by my current teacher rather than any one piece of advice.

The philosophy is that technique is the simplest and most elegant way of doing something. But in reality, music making is not about doing something; it's about being with something. If I have a clear and vivid story/picture in my mind before each breath, my sound will also be clear and vivid. My body must be guided and inspired by my mind. If I breath to make sound, there is weight. If I breath to tell a story, there is ease, lightness, and release. It takes bravery to release my imagination into the hall. Ultimately, the goal is to allow the audience to forget I'm singing! A challenging thing to learn in singing as in life is not to be concerned with other people's reactions. People will react however they choose to react. Performing and life are the same. We will only be our best if we trust ourselves and feel safe being vulnerable.

How has your practice changed with time?

Over the last 5 years or so I prepare all new roles and pieces with a teacher who no longer lives in Europe. So I travel and have several days of intense coachings which I record. My way of practicing is listening to what usually ends up being 12-14 hours of recorded sessions, taking notes in my score and a journal, and bit by bit coordinating key concepts between the mind and body. My work is to become obsessed with the things that cause a character's mouth to open and sing. So I spend time thinking of the character's life, feelings, and thoughts and how those are reflected in the orchestral score. All the answers are in the score especially with the great composers!

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?

Bravery, flexibility, and the openness and willingness to be inspired by something greater than ourselves. How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, twitter, and which other ways do you use to promote yourself? I have a Facebook page, a Youtube Channel, am present on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and of course Hello Stage as well as having a new website. Trying to keep it all up to date and follow others as well makes my head spin sometimes! I'm a fairly private person, so I don't post as much as some other colleagues. But I accept it as part of the way people now manage P.R. and work with people to make each platform professional and interesting. As with everything in life, finding a balance with these things is the challenge.

Jennifer, what are you currently working on?

Being my best self....and Lucia di Lammermoor!

When you are in need of a little inspiration, what do you listen to?

The sound of silence (not the Simon and Garfunkel song...;) I enjoy and can draw inspiration from different genres of music from jazz to rock to classical. Sometimes a beautiful orchestral work by Mendelssohn can get my Mojo going! To be inspired to sing a role well, I listen to recordings of whoever I feel were the "greats".

Where is your favourite place for coffee and cake in Vienna?

Was...I moved from Vienna to Munich last fall. So now I have to find a new favourite place for coffee and cake. But I like Cafe Central in Vienna.

Follow Jennifer on Hello Stage!
Author: Nina Lucas HELLO STAGE
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