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Eládio Pérez-González

Paraguayan Singer & Acclaimed Vocal Pedagogue
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Biography

Warming up is essential, because speaking or singing are specific activities that require effort and resistance from the vocal muscles.” -Eládio Pérez-González

Eládio Pérez-González was a teacher and singer born in Asunción, Paraguay, in 1926. He began his singing career at age fifteen when he joined the Ateneo Paraguaio choir. In 1947, at the age of 21, he moved to São Paulo, Brazil, where he developed his musical studies, started a family, and began his professional activities as a singer. He undertook theatrical training and mastered his skills in the United States, Germany and France. As a recognized performer, he performed extensively in these countries and in Spain and the United Kingdom, in recitals and oratorios. Interested in contemporary music, he attended the European festivals in Donaueschingen and Darmstadt1.

Returning to São Paulo, Eládio dedicated himself to teaching and disseminating Brazilian music, actively participating in the renewal movements that were emerging in Brazil. Later he lived in Rio de Janeiro, but worked constantly in Belo Horizonte, developing pedagogical and artistic work in the city. He was considered a militant for the cause of Brazilian and Latin American music, the result of a long history of duo performances with Berenice Menegale (pianist), with orchestras and chamber groups, as well as for his memorable performances in operas and other Brazilian scenic works2. In 2015, the Brazilian Academy of Music awarded Eládio the Villa-Lobos Medal in the Performer category.

As a vocal pedagogue, he worked in several Brazilian cities, offering regular and periodic courses in vocal interpretation and technique and preparing students from different professional areas: classical and popular music singers, actors, choir directors, teachers and speech therapists. He wrote the book “Initiation to Vocal Technique: for singers, choir directors, actors, teachers, announcers and speakers” (in Portuguese: Iniciação à Técnica Vocal: para cantores, regentes de coros, atores, professores, locutores e oradores). The book covers the following topics3: Vocal Practice; Respiratory Apparatus; Function of the Larynx;  Resonance Box; Function of the Palate, tongue and mouth; Timbre and Tessitura; Register; Voice Classification; Sound Coverage; Support of the Diaphragm in relation to the Resonators; The attack in relation to the support; Precepts about mix-voice; Vocalizes;  Pedagogical Considerations; The development of Bel Canto: The actor singer; Voice health care; Conclusions.

Below is an excerpt from an interview that Eládio Pérez-González gave in 2015, at the age of 89, about vocal warm-ups4:

“It is good to remember that the main enemy of the voice is fatigue. Thus, the warm-up predisposes the vocal muscles for the specific activity, that is, speaking or singing. The first thing a person needs to check is how their voice sounds today. It’s a kind of vocal horoscope. If there is no cause of illness it will be, today, as you treated it yesterday and in previous days. The degree of fatigue in a voice means that warming up takes more or less time. If there is no fatigue, work of between twenty minutes and half an hour is essential. If you are going to work with someone in these conditions, you need to consider this time as essential. When you found that the subject warmed up in five minutes, remember that you could be wrong. His voice may not be warmed up, he may impress you with the beauty of the voice he presents to you after these five minutes, but this may simply be a characteristic of his voice and not a consequence of the five minutes of warming up. Warming up is essential, because speaking or singing are specific activities that require effort and resistance from the vocal muscles. I said that the enemy of the voice is fatigue, well, it is functional, that is, caused by the use of vocal energy. When there is abuse, fatigue is logically greater. This fatigue is caused by the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle, which forms as a result of the use of this muscle. So, you have to consider this, for example, in the morning, if you use your voice a lot until late at night, it is logical that it will be more difficult. The presence of lactic acid in the muscle makes the action of the nerve impulse more difficult. The order comes from your brain to sing a specific note and the impulse is transmitted, but if the muscle has a lot of lactic acid, it will take a while to react or the reaction will not be as good vocally.”

Eládio Pérez-González passed away in 2020 due to health complications resulting from the Coronavirus. He left a great legacy as a singer in several musical productions, a promoter of contemporary Brazilian music, an educator and an acclaimed vocal pedagogue in the places he visited.

References

  1. https://ongartebrasil.blogspot.com/2020/08/morre-cantor-lirico-eladio-perez.html
  1. LOVAGLIO, Vânia Carvalho. Eladio Pérez-González: um militante da música contemporânea brasileira. Dissertação de Mestrado em História pela UFU, 2002.
  1. PEREIRA, Eugênio Tadeu. Aquecimento vocal: uma breve conversa com Eládio Pérez-González. Voz e Cena, v. 1, n. 01, p. 231-241, 2020.
  1. PÉREZ-GONZÁLES, Eladio. Iniciação à técnica vocal. Rio de Janeiro, E. Pérez-González, 2000.

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