Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 6842 FOCUS - DECEMBER 2016 Holiday Season Wishing you a happy Kathy Boyle, CFP Branch Manager 1535 Highway 7A, Port Perry 905-985-2131 • Holiday Season Wishing you a happy Ann fortunately found a series of positive mentors. “Eleanor Bailey, in Port Perry, gave me a great start. Later, in Oshawa, Elsie Drygala helped a lot by being rigourous and demanding.” Charles White, from Port Perry High School’s Music Department, offered Leslie Ann exposure to an ar- ray of instrumental and vocal genres. As singer in the school’s jazz band, she discovered Ella Fitzgerald, whose vocal style would prove both memo- rable and inspirational. “Ella showed me how to deliver a song,” Leslie recalls. “Her vocals are like silk, and she has a seamless way of delivering her music, with simplic- ity and authenticity. I found, listening to her, that I’d become immersed in the music. She was truly a master.” But jazz would not be Leslie Ann’s ultimate calling. While she vigourous- ly pursued all available opportunities at school, she continued with private lessons. The variety available through the Royal Conservatory curriculum further expanded her horizons. “You find a style which resonates with you, and mine turned out to be classical music. I was singing opera before I knew what it was! I just loved the melodies and wanted more. “At the same time, I was study- ing classical piano. My teacher was involved with the Orpheus Choir, and through her, I reinforced those classical instincts. When I got to U of T, I was in awe of the limitless supply of that genre of music.” Honing her talent took tremen- dous dedication and hard work. Technique is equally important. “Much of the technical aspect of singing is breathing control and breath management, as well as posture.” Describing the difference between the skill set required for singing opera, compared with other genres, Leslie Ann points to a unique factor. “Opera is un-amplified. A stand- ard-sized hall would hold 2,400 seats and an orchestra is typically 80 pieces. You have to be heard throughout the room and over top of the musicians. “But the emotion you project is the same in all music. When I sing, I’m communicating what that piece means to me.” After graduating from U of T with a Master’s degree and a diploma from the university’s Opera Division, it left Leslie Ann at a crossroads: full of training and talent, but lacking professional experience. “That ‘next step forward’ is an awful time in any singer’s career. You can join a Young Artists’ program for experience and exposure. “I chose to sign right away with a management agency, who would send me for auditions. You sing for the conductor, and that ten minutes’ work can determine your career path for the next year. It’s a long and gru- elling process, working your way up the ladder, and not a glamourous life. I call those my ‘gypsy years.’ “But you learn. Much of the busi- ness is not getting the gig!” Having paid her dues, Leslie Ann’s gypsy years have thankfully retreated behind her. “You build confidence, and the ar- Leslie Ann (continued from page 41) ...................... Please turn to page 56