Meisner Based Operatic Acting
© 2007 Lori Joachim Fredrics
In the early 90s, Lori Joachim Fredrics was a member of the American Stage Company Conservatory under the artistic direction of Paul Sorvino. At the Conservatory, she studied the Meisner acting technique with Rick Sordelet.
Lori found that Sandford Meiser's acting technique, which redefined Stanislavski “Method” to be an excellent tool for interpreting operatic roles. She believes that due to Meisner's early training as a concert pianist, before became interested in theater, helped him develop a method of acting that is understandable to musicians.
Meisner training is based on a series of interdependent improvisatory repetition exercises that emphasize “moment to moment” spontaneity through a connection with other performers. Meisner defined acting as “Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances” and that “The best acting, is made up of spontaneous responses to the actor's immediate surroundings.” This “reactive spontaneity” can greatly enhance in operatic performance.
The circumstances, to which Meisner refers, go beyond the literal circumstances of a script to solve the problem of an actor's creation of character. For example, a young actor can understand how to create a old, sick character by accepting the circumstances, that his joints are stiff, he is extremely weary and he can hardy see. The actor does assume the external characteristics of a different character but they become apparent when he plays the physical imaginary circumstances of inhabiting an old body.
Lori Joachim Fredrics uses her adapted Meisner training as a basis for her directing and teaching of aspiring opera singers and her own performance.
She highly recommends that serious aspiring actors contact the Sandford Meisner Center in North Hollywood to explore studying the purest form of the technique.