Previous page         Next page

 

Article

Fitness Regimes do top Musicians Follow

Author    Julian Lloyd Webber

 

 

It’s been said that the trouble with singers is that they can’t keep their mouths shut. So I am glad to hear that the wonderful soprano Renée Fleming is maintaining a healthy interest in the benefits of a balanced diet - unlike the renowned singer with whom I shared a recital at one of Britain’s leading country house hotels: an establishment, moreover, renowned worldwide as a temple of fine cuisine.

 

So appalled was my fellow artiste by the ‘miserable’ size of her portions that she immediately sent for a take-away. The subsequent arrival of a motorcyclist bearing several portions of chips from McDonald’s is still retold with relish by gleeful members of staff.

 

 But what - if any - fitness regimes do top musicians follow? We hear a lot about how athletes prepare for major events but next to nothing about how musicians prepare for concerts. And when you consider that giving a two-hour recital is apparently equivalent to shifting several tons of coal, fitness for a musician is obviously just as important.

 

 In my own case I feel horribly guilty. For a long time I ran every morning in my local London garden square but – as I am no longer allowed to have a key – I hardly do any exercise at all. Although I reckon that all those hours spent practising (added to all those hours spent walking around airports) must mean I am expending quite a lot of physical energy every day.

 

However, considering the extreme levels of stress we impose on our bodies, the lack of any mapped out fitness guidance for musicians is worrying. Before one of my recent concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the promoter took the unusual step of bringing in a professional physical trainer to check out the fitness of the performers. Talking to him backstage it was obvious that he regarded all of us musicians as ‘accidents waiting to happen’ – which was a little alarming just before walking on stage to play the Elgar Concerto!

 

He thought I should be having a thorough massage by someone who understood the particular strains of what I do at least once a month and I may well follow his advice. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.

 

 

“作為歌手來說,最大的問題是,不僅要懂得張開嘴巴來唱歌,還要懂得適當地閉上嘴巴。” 我非常贊同女高音歌唱家蕾妮·弗萊明的這個觀點,她維持美妙歌喉的秘訣在於適當地閉上嘴巴:維持均衡飲食,才能有益於健康。

 

可有些歌手並不是這樣。我曾參加在一個英國著名的鄉村假日酒店舉行的音樂會,那裡被譽為世界美食的殿堂。和我一起演出的有音樂劇“孤星淚”(悲慘世界)的部分歌手,他們真令我吃驚。有位著名的女歌手一到就立刻叫了外賣,麥當勞的摩托車隨即送來了食物和薯條,歌手們和工作人員們欣喜若狂的吃得津津有味。

 

但是,音樂家們如何遵守(如果有的話)健康規則?我們聽到過許多關於體育運動員在出賽前,會做熱身運動來做準備,而音樂家們在音樂會前卻幾乎甚麼都不做。而當你要演出兩小時的獨奏會,巨大的體力消耗相當於要燃燒幾噸煤炭一樣,對於音樂家來說,健身運動顯然同樣重要。

 

就我自己而言,我感到可怕的內疚。以前很長一段時間,每天早上我都堅持在住所附近的倫敦花園廣場跑步。繁忙的演出,世界各地飛來飛去的實際情況,都不允許我做更多這樣的運動。算算我的時間:大量時間都花在練琴上,再加上所有圍着機場行走的時間,我每天都必須花費相當大的體力。音樂家們缺少專為他們制定的健身指導,這種情況令人擔憂。

 

我最近的那次在皇家艾爾伯特音樂廳舉行的音樂會上,主辦人不尋常的帶來一位專業的健身教練,來檢查每一位表演者的體能。我和他在後台談話,他認為,很顯然,我們音樂家的“意外事故會隨時發生”,這彷彿是敲響了一聲警鐘,在我走上舞台,演奏《埃爾加協奏曲》之前!他建議,我應該做一次徹底的檢查和物理治療,最好每月一次,我會聽從他的忠告。預防,正如他所說,是勝於治療的。

 

 

Translator   Terrie Dai