Everything evolves but some things evolve faster than others. Classical music does change but not very much. The tenors today don’t sound all that different than the old recordings of Caruso. The current sopranos don’t really seem all that different than Rosa Ponselle.
CCM styles change more frequently, probably about every decade or so. The “popular” music of the 1930s bears very little resemblance to our present moment pop music. 60s rock doesn’t have a lot in common with most of our present moment rock bands.
Broadway goes all over, however. We have revivals that very much resemble their originals (How To Succeed) and we have revivals that are hardly recognizable (On A Clear Day). It used to be that being a lead on Broadway made you a star……..you went on the Ed Sullivan Show, you made a hit record, and you went to Hollywood to do movies, then maybe TV. Now you have to do that in reverse. You make a movie or maybe a TV show, you maybe have a record (or not) and then you get put in a Broadway show regardless of whether or not you have the ability to sing, dance or act. Christie Brinkley as Roxy in Chicago……..a dream come true.
Broadway revivals are a rare breed of entertainment. They have their own universe. It is true that auditions are pretty much the same now as they were 50 years ago. You walk in, you sing your 16 bars with the pianist, you go home. If you get called back, you do it again, maybe for a longer time, you go home. If you get called back again, you sing, read, act, dance, whatever until they are able to decide, then you go home. You either get the job or you don’t. Been the same for decades and decades. Why? I’m sure no one knows except that theater folks really respect tradition.
If you are able to stay in touch with the world as it moves and changes you will somehow understand the expectations of those in each style in terms of what is expected professionally. If you do not, you might just be stuck in the way it was when you were a student or a young performer. If all your students ever performed were traditional Broadway revivals, that could serve. If not, that wouldn’t be so wonderful.
If you are teaching classical singing it’s probably not such a big deal if you haven’t changed much. That field hasn’t either, so nothing is lost.
If you teach both, you need to know both. CCM and Classical are different and that matters.
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