VIRGINIA KERR is one of the most distinguished Irish sopranos of her generation, equally well known on the operatic stage, concert and oratorio platform and as a recitalist.
She has sung with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Londong Philharmonic, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Halle and the Royal Phillharmonic Orchestra. Her operatic and concert performances have taken her as far afield as the Far East, Russia and North and South America.
Virginia is one of the founders and joint artistic director of the Leran Festival of Music, a summer music festival held in the charming village of Leran in the French Pyrenees.
Turning Point Training Institute, (TPTI), the Dún Laoghaire based college for the provision of MSc programmes in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy has great pleasure in launching the first in its series of Monographs.
TPTI’s co-founders Kay Conroy and Mary Paula Walsh are delighted that international soprano and MSc graduate Virginia Kerr took the opportunity to write this ground breaking book. Her research findings and recommendations from her Masters thesis ‘The Value of Psychotherapy to Classical Singers in enabling them to deal with Performance Anxiety and Confidence Issues’ created the groundwork for the launch of ‘Stage Fright’.
In addition to her busy singing career, Virginia is a member of the vocal faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and of NUI Maynooth and takes a holistic approach to her teaching of singing, incorporating her training in psychology and body work into her vocal tuition. A keen interest in the workings of the psyche of musicians and performers led Virginia to pursue an MSc in Psychotherapy with an emphasis on Musical Performance Anxiety. Virginia specialises in working with performers who suffer with performance anxiety and she incorporates this work into her lecture series at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in addition to working at her private psychotherapy practice in Dublin.
The art of classical singing has delighted audiences worldwide for hundreds of years. The beauty, power and uniqueness of the singing voice have been well documented, as have the extraordinary technical skills required to produce these sounds. There are many Irish singers gracing operatic stages and concert halls across the world today with much success. However, for every successful classical singer there are many for whom a career has not been possible due to the impact of crippling and debilitating musical performance anxiety. There are also many successful singers who suffer extreme levels of performance anxiety and for whom appearing on stage is a terrifying experience and one which often persists throughout their career.
Virginia explores the theoretical underpinnings of musical performance anxiety and psychotherapy as a key to understanding the anxiety and confidence issues experienced by classical singers. Her research findings and recommendations open up new possibilities to support, enable and guide classical singers to manage their anxiety which in turn leads to a more positive and fulfilling performance experience.