I was listening to Sarah Macliver, Australian soprano, singing Mozart arias.

As a former mezzo, I can get childishly miffed about the elevated status sopranos hold in the operatic repertoire but some performances transcend such petty foot-stamping. This recording (alas, just a recording) is extraordinary. What more perfect matching could there be than Sarah’s incredible voice and such exquisite music?

Of course, as a singer, it is not just the voice but the breath that amazes me. That rock-solid foundation allows the incredible consistency of tone throughout her range and, stunningly, the softest softs at the most remarkable altitudes of pitch. Through years of training and practice, Sarah can rely on that underpinning to allow her the freedom to express as she wishes.

We all have underpinnings, if not of such a publicly obvious kind—those unchanging and reliable foundations for our being, whether they be family, values, faith, work, sense of self, integrity or a multitude of others. And, in the same way that Sarah Macliver can depend on her breath when she sings, we can, and should, depend on our own underpinnings to keep us buoyant.

And maybe that takes work and practice? I think so.

Until next time,


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