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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

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Dec 9, 2011 12:40:00 PM
By BLO Staff

The joy
of the holiday season is frequently accompanied by susceptibility to illness:
the sniffles, coughing, or even the flu. Regardless of season, one of the
responsibilities of being an opera singer is to avoid sickness at all times. Being
sick can put a singer out of commission for weeks at a time, taking them away
from performing and earning money. The majority of dedicated singers are
probably the healthiest people you will ever meet. Especially as the weather
continues to cool, take these few simple trick singers rely on so you feel your
best and can face this blustery season!

SLEEP: What
a concept!
We all
know the recommended number of hours sleep an adult should get is about 6-8
hours per night to ensure we are fully rested for the day ahead. Unfortunately,
many people are not able to achieve this. Sleep is not only crucial feeling energized,
but keeps the on a cycle. For example, if you have work or a big assignment to
finish, it is more effective to go to sleep at a reasonable hour and wake up
earlier, maintaining the body’s stable cycle. Singers value sleep above everything
else; because our body is our instrument, it needs the main source of
revitalization that sleeping brings. Try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier this
season--the perfect pillow and a heavy down blanket should make that easy!
Also, if
you are easily affected by winter dryness, invest in a humidifier. Singers use
them year round to keep their throats moist and to avoid sore throats caused by
the dryness in the air (and they are relatively cheap -- check CVS or Target!)
Turn it on before you go to sleep and you will wake up feeling fresh!
VITAMIN C:
The Godsend
Many
people get sick during the winter months simply because of a weak immune system,
which is why I recommend everyone try The Godsend, also known as Vitamin C,
into their daily vitamin supplements, especially in the winter. Vitamin C is a
proven, safe method to significantly boost your immune system (and also has
great skin benefits). It can be found in fruits and vegetables like oranges,
cantaloupe, broccoli and peppers, but there are also supplemental Vitamin C
products on the market; one of which is my personal favorite, Emergen-C. These
individual powder packets each contain 1,000mg of C (the recommended safe dose
is between 500-2,000mg per day) and you can mix the wide array of flavors into
your favorite drink. Before auditions, many singers chug Emergen-C, to ensure
their health. By taking any Vitamin C supplement, colds become less frequent.
It is an easy addition to an everyday routine! I also recommend Airborne. This
is an easy supplement to put into a drink, and works well when you feel the
start of cold symptoms. It can help decrease the time of a cold by a few days
if taken consistently.
As
always, follow product directions or the recommendation of your doctor.
Here are
few more tips to keep you healthy this winter!
-         
Drink
at least 8 cups of water per day (for every cup of coffee you drink, make sure
to drink one glass of water)
-         
Don’t
share drinks
-         
Stretching
or yoga (increases circulation for the blustery weather and also is a great
mental and physical stress reliever)
-         
Keep
your body at a comfortable temperature (dress warmly!)
-         
Focus
on eating foods rich in protein and fiber
Being
sick during the sometimes dreary and bitter cold winter is never fun. Think
like a singer, and treat your body like a beautiful instrument to keep yourself
healthy so you can make it to spring!
--Melanie Burbules, Boston University '14

Topics: singers, Student Posts, General Opera

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