Objective: To explore aerodynamic, acoustic, and laryngeal changes surrounding opera performance. Study Design: Prospective preperformance, postperformance, and day after performance. The laryngeal and vocal function of five male and five female classically trained singers was assessed immediately before, immediately after, and 1 day after an actual operatic performance. Phonatory threshold pressure was obtained. In addition, during a full-voice singing task, aerodynamic and acoustic measures included estimated subglottal pressure, airflow during voicing, laryngeal resistance, and sound pressure level (SPL). Expert listeners in the audience judged performers' voice quality at the beginning and the end of the performance. Laryngeal visualization was performed immediately before performance and the day after performance. Laryngeal stroboscopy revealed allergy symptoms with no change in vocal fold edges for all men. Women were less impacted by allergies. For all singers, perceptual judgments of expert listeners in the audience corresponded well with laryngeal findings. The men whose voices were perceived to be balanced and strong across the performance demonstrated increased airflow and reduced laryngeal resistance after performance. The two women who did not sing in church the morning after the performance demonstrated increased airflow and reduced laryngeal resistance. The two men who did sing in church the morning after the performance demonstrated noticeably reduced SPL and increased laryngeal resistance the day after performance. It appears most useful to describe the complexity of vocal performance with a variety of acoustic, aerodynamic, and perceptual measures. The findings further suggest that vocal rest the day after performance may facilitate recovery.
McHenry, Monica; Evans, Joseph; Powitzky, Eric (2016) Vocal Assessment Before, After, and the Day After Opera Performance. In: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 186-191. Available at http://openmusiclibrary.org/article/71187/.