Meryl Streep: From Miranda to Margaret, Julia to…Sills?

February 24, 2012

Oh, Meryl.  Not only can you embody Margaret Thatcher and voice Julia Child, but you’re an opera singer too?

Well, sort of.

During an NPR “Fresh Air” interview on Monday, February 6th (summarized in this LA Times article the next day), Streep revealed that she studied voice with Estelle Liebling, who also taught America’s soprano-sweetheart Beverly Sills.  Though she hated opera as a teenager- admitting she didn’t feel comfortable performing opera because it was often in a language she couldn’t quite grasp- the actress went on to explain how her vocal training influenced her versatile speaking voice, stating

  “I learned the importance of breath. There was a thing I learned in my lessons from Estelle — to breathe from your back. She would always say, there’s room in the back — that you expand three dimensionally. … I use it all.”

Still, Streep confessed that she loved singing and “had a very good coloratura voice.”  Too bad she didn’t keep it up.  She should have something to fall back on in case her career doesn’t take off.


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