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"When the curtain rises, the only thing that speaks is courage."

You need the ears of so many people to get you to the stage — but once you get there — you’re the one under the lights. In that moment, you have to shift your focus from trying to please people, to trusting yourself and your talent.

“You can listen to what everybody says, but the fact remains that you’ve got to get out there and do the thing yourself.” — Joan Sutherland

This can be a terrifying transition, even for those of us who live for the stage and the applause. The paradox is that every good singer is actually reliant on outside ears — all those vibrations in our skulls make us reliant on sensation rather than listening to ourselves — but we need coaches, we need voice teachers, we need diction guidance. We are literally reliant on that team of ears to give us feedback

But when the curtain goes up — we are the ones in the spotlight. We are the only one who is going to get a review. We are the one who has to deliver, and we are the ones who will face public criticism or praise.

We’ve gathered some quotes from a few of our favorite artists, discussing what it takes once you’re out on that stage alone.

“When the curtain rises, the only thing that speaks is courage." — Maria Callas
“I never step upon a stage without asking myself whether I will succeed in finishing the opera. The fact is that a conscientious singer is never sure of himself or of anything. He is ever in the hands of Destiny.” — Enrico Caruso
“Once you get on stage, everything is right. I feel the most beautiful, complete, fulfilled." — Leontyne Price

Psst!!! Did you know that the M Institute offers a class on how to work through Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety? Click here to watch the preview with soprano Maria Elena Altany

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