Voicing concerns: Local performer gets help from UC Voice Lab

Local performer gets help from UC Voice Lab (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It is the final weekend to see the Cincinnati Opera's production of "The magic Flute". The show has drawn record crowds.

Aside from the music, the “voices” are the attraction and there’s a medical team that keeps them in top “singing shape.”

The voice lab at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is home to helping the voices of the Cincinnati Opera, but quite often, people don't hear a lot about that team.

One performer says that needs to change.

She's not performing with the opera, but is voicing concerns about why many don't seek the medical attention they need.

It's hard to imagine when you hear her as “Fiona” in the musical “Shrek.”

“It was kind of a comeback role for me,” said Katelyn Reid, who played Princess Fiona in Shrek at the Aronoff Center.

Dr. Sid Khosla is the go to guy for theater performers such as Katelyn and opera performers such as those you'll hear this weekend in “The Magic Flute.”

“He can help them get back to vocal health with sometimes just some common sense remedies like: ‘be quiet,’” said Evans Mirageas, the Cincinnati Opera Artistic Director.

Dr. Khosla uses high tech diagnostic tools to uncover vocal problems, such as the “stroboscopy.”

“The strobe is key, it's the modern key to figuring out what's going on with the voice,” said Dr. Khosla.

It Katelyn’s case, it was what's called “muscle tension dysphonia” which “cuts your range down really short, makes you think you can't hit notes you used to be able to hit,” said Katelyn.

Katelyn feels it's important to talk about these things, unlike some musicians. She says you need everyone to rally behind you much in the way similar to any athlete.

“There is a huge stigma about vocal injury for singers, and it's funny because if you think about an athlete who hurts himself pitching, everyone rallies around them and says ‘oh my gosh he's gotta get back, he's got to get better,’” said Katelyn.

Vocalists, she says, often worry if they speak up about a problem, it will silence a career.

Opera singer have voices that have to make a sound that can carry over a 65-piece orchestra, and be projected into a 2400 seat auditorium, with no microphones.

Which is why Katelyn is sharing her story.

You see a complex problem may just have a simple solution.

“The biggest treatment for a lot of these people in the more chronic setting is voice therapy,” said Dr. Khosla.

Katelyn now helps others who need voice help as part of the UC team.

The Magic Flute runs through Sunday.

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