Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Miss von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
I’m not sure how many years ago it was that I met Jane Randolph for the first time but it’s easily over 20 years ago. The first time I met her, I brought my daughter Jenny to work with her and loved so much the way she worked with my Jen. My Jen has a beautiful voice and was attending Head Royce school very near Jane’s studio. She was careful and clear and encouraging and Jen loved working with her.
Then years later I was encouraged by my dear friend Jake Heggie to call and ask Jane if I could come and work with her. At the time I was in my 50’s and thought that I’d had a lovely long career and was grateful for every minute of it, but wanted to work more and found that my voice was feeling old and inconsistent and I was losing quite a lot of nerve. So I checked with my Jen to see if she minded that I work with Jane and she didn’t so I made the call.
The first lesson with Jane was like pure heaven. All my career I always felt that I was missing something in my singing. A rather large something and that was connection and a real understanding of breathing. So singing often took an unnecessary toll on my voice and I was losing a lot of confidence.
Thus began my journey with Jane Randolph. The very first lesson as I mentioned was heaven and then began the really hard work of understanding all the steps that I needed to take to achieve the ease and freedom of that first lesson.
It’s been a long journey, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Every day I thank God for the experience of learning to sing at the ripe old age of 55. And it’s not a finished process yet! And that fact is alright with Jane. She never fails to offer her expertise and her enthusiasm and her love to all of her students. This amazes me and always will.
She is a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual counselor and a very dear friend. Because of her I have been able to keep singing and that is such a privilege and a gift and I offer her my heart of thanks for making this possible.
I respect her, I thank her and I love her,
Flicka von Stade