Renée Fleming is one of my favorite opera singers. In her book about her singing life, The Inner Voice, she describes that magical moment for the singer during performance:
For me, the singer's art is the art of expression; expressing the music, expressing the text, projecting my voice into a large space, and then using it to make that space between me and the audience grow smaller and smaller. My voice becomes a wide net, which I spread out across all of us to draw us closer together.
If everything is going right, there are moments in a performance when the audience is absolutely silent, and you know you have it in your hand. Those are the moments performers live for.
Sometimes I like to imagine my voice as something tangible, an object that I could touch, or even another person. Sometimes my voice is something more ephemeral, like a color or sensation, or simply a vessel for the composer and the poet. In my novel, my protagonist feels it this way:
Lettie began to play the simple accompaniment and sang softly; it was odd to hear her voice come out so clear and disembodied, after so many months. It was as though a silk scarf had unwound from around her neck and now floated in the air; alive, reaching out, like a dancer?s arms.
It's interesting that as writers, we also talk about our characters having a 'voice' and how important it is. What do you think about your own voice?