World renown voice teacher and practitioner Kristin Linklater recently passed away at her home in Orkney, Scotland. Freeing the Natural Voice was prescribed text by many voice teachers after it was published in 1976. Kristin changed the approach to voice training and for many of us, her work transformed our own practice.
Keely Eastly, who taught at Toi Whakaari in 1996 (and returned to work with us earlier this year) was a friend and colleague of Kristin. She wrote this touching tribute to her mentor, Kristin:
Early on the morning of June 5, 2020 Kristin Linklater, my teacher, friend, mentor and tormentor, died. It was a shock to everyone. This woman with vibrant energy, boundless curiosity and drive, sharp intellect and wit, and arguably the foremost master teacher of voice in the world of western theatre, who had stepped up into the world of online teaching at 84, had another decade ahead of her. Meeting her changed the course of my life. In 1983, she became my teacher. In 1987 I was designated as one of the teachers sanctioned to teach her methodology. Amongst the designated teachers, there are stories of earned badges of courage from what it was to teach her work in front of her! She was incisive, impatient,demanding the best of you and the clearest teacher I have ever had. Kristin was delightfully irreverent. During my teacher-training, we were invited to dinner by the president of a college that had a dry campus, no alcohol. Kristin, being a Scot, liked a bit o’whiskey. With flask in hand, we each took a nip, then headed in for our soft-spirited cocktails. Before the teacher trainees were called “trainees”, we were teachers-in-training, or her “tits”!
The gods put her on this earth to teach people to connect to their breath and therefore themselves, to become aware of habits and patterns that inhibit vocal freedom and expression and then how to choose a new response. Kristin was passionate, brilliant, temperamental,a creator of community, a demon, an angel. I am forever grateful to her. I miss you, Kristin.
The work of soul is like that of a bee--unheroic, hidden,mysterious and sweet.