Agueda Fernandez Abad

Classical Singer. Voice Coach

Sneaking a peek back stage at a production of Pagliacci at El Teatro Colon. Buenos Aires, Argentina

- Can anyone sing, or at least learn to sing?

Yes, anyone that has a healthy speaking voice, can learn to sing.

- Do you think knowledge of music influences other aspects of life? What are the positive "by-products" of learning how to sing or learning theory?

Well, music enhances our senses, touches our emotions, and creates memories. It can be a powerful healing tool, psychologically, emotionally and physically. The human voice is the most versatile and sublime instrument. Because our individual body structure is different and our bones create our resonance box, every voice is unique. We are walking instruments!

 A great article on the subject:

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/

Another good article about health benefits:

http://barbershop.org/news-a-events-main/291-health-benefits-of-singing.html

- Do you only coach professionals? Can anyone benefit from classes?

I work with professionals and beginners of all ages, from 6-year-olds to septuagenarians.

- Speaking of which, how old were you when you started singing?

I was 6 years old at the Teatro Colon children´s chorus.

- Were your parents influential in your musical pursuits? 

Very much so. My mother was an opera singer herself. My informal “audition" for the children´s choir was a result of accompanying my mother to her actual audition. After she was finished (she got the part), the director asked me if sing, and I said yes. He was expecting a popular piece, but when I sang "Voi che sapete” from Marriage of Figaro, he was speechless and begged my mother to let me join the choir.

- What attracted you to Opera and Classical music? 

My first musical memory is listening to this mesmerizing sound coming from an old stereo/piece of furniture. It was a Bach Violin piece and The Concierto de Aranjuez by J Rodrigo. I was 3 or 4. I would sit there, with my grandmother, "playing" this toy violin while reading music from the yellow pages. When my mother moved to Buenos Aires to take voice lessons, I went with her. The first time I saw kids on stage (it was Puccini's La Boheme),  I remember clearly making this statement, "Are kids allowed to be on stage?! I’m going to be up there!” About a year later, it happened.

- How many languages do you speak? Did you learn them due in part to your career?

In addition to Spanish and English, I speak Italian, a little French and a little German. I study languages because you have to know what you are singing. Even if you don´t speak the language fluently, you should know the meaning of the lyrics. 

- Where have the performing arts taken you, in terms of cultures and nations? 

USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Israel and South Korea.

- Any particular career highlights? People and places beyond your expectations?

Never expected to meet Domingo in person! Never thought I would travel to an Asian country. Being in Jerusalem was a unique experience, spiritually, yes, but there was something else about it that was inexplicable and overwhelming.

 - Favorite opera, composer, aria? 

Favorite opera, The Magic Flute. The music and mysticism in the story are glorious, and the struggle between good and evil even in the bosom of your family is always relatable. 

Favorite composer would be Mozart.

And favorite aria is Leonora´s Aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio.  Beautiful music, a powerful message of political injustice and an empowering female lead. What can top that?