I have studied voice constantly and performed too infrequently as a vocalist for most of my life. In recording this album, I had more fun than anyone is entitled. It has truly allowed me to “Give Voice to my Dreams.”
Born a Canadian, on the prairies, I grew up in Winnipeg or Winterpeg, as it is known. As an isolated city filled with immigrants, Winnipeg is a cultural mecca. I grew up surrounded by art and music, my great uncle was a famous cantor and opera singer in Rumania, my grandfather held me in his lap on Saturday afternoons listening to the Metropolitan opera on the radio and my Dad has a beautiful tenor voice that he is generally too shy to share. My voice and piano lessons cost a dollar a week, apiece, and it was a struggle for my parents to pay even that. But my parents knew that music could not be neglected for other material pursuits. At 12, I was taking the bus alone to the opposite end of the city to sing in the Eaton’s Good Deed Choir. At 16, I was singing on the CBC national television show, the Peggy Neville Show, and in Broadway musicals at Rainbow Stage in the summer.
Marriage and family, law school and the need to earn a living often interrupted my vocal studies over the years, but I managed to obtain an MFA in vocal performance, and to study opera roles.
In my real life, I have many roles: I can say with certainty that I have been successful in my family roles. My family is the source of great pride, joy and fulfillment. I love them all dearly, as I know they do me.
In my real life, I am a lawyer who has worked hard, learned from some great lawyers, helped some people to fight injustice, and attained some notable results. I enjoy the law as a noble calling. After many years as a trial lawyer, I now have the joy of practicing law with my daughter and business with my son (musicians both) (www.mandellawoffice.com) We devote fifty percent of our practice and business pursuits to entertainment and licensing, assisting artists and musicians to try to earn their livings by sharing their gifts.For more information, visit www.tjsconsulting.com and www.simplylicensed.com
In my dream life, I am born to sing: it is my truest identity, it is how I communicate my deepest emotions. My voice is a powerful gift which has been too neglected in the pursuit of all of the devotions of my real life.
But recently I have become passionately driven to share it with others. When my mother developed Alzheimers, the first thing she lost was her ability to speak. I miss her voice and being able to connect with her thoughts and feelings. Its made me aware of the power of communication and driven me to record this album, so that my children and grandchildren never have to miss my voice.
I promise to donate 100% of the profits from my CD to the National Alzheimers Association to help find a cause and a cure for this devastating disease.
I have always struggled against convention and my choice of music is no different, I cannot sing only opera, or only Broadway or only pop songs. My life and my music defy convention.
The songs I have chosen for this album are gloriously written, and were selected because they speak universal truths and they describe the emotional journey that has been my life.
I have experienced great moments of bliss on stage, sharing my emotions with each person in the audience and feeling the electrical connection between us, as my voice, stirs their passions, simultaneously. My feelings run deep, as do these songs. I hope they touch you as well.
This past year, due to my husband's change in employment, I moved back to Canada. In Toronto, I have discovered a vibrant opera community and this month, you can see me singing the role of Michaela in Carmen with the Toronto City Opera (www.toronto-opera.com).