Speaking up for the voice

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Dianna Nixon

The authentic Australian voice is neither Ocker nor BBC English. It's much more complex and it needs support.

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In Australia, many people rejected Received Pronunciation when looking for the ‘authentic’ Australian voice in theatre back in the 1960s. However, there is no one ‘authentic’ Australian voice, and we don’t only speak English. There are 200+ languages spoken in this country.

What we do have in common is a larynx, a breath system, articulators, and the functions of the rest of the body. If we are to find our own voice as performers, if we want to accurately imitate another’s voice, if we are to deliver speeches that have authenticity, or speak other languages fluently – then we need to understand how the body works.

About the author

Dianna Nixon runs Wild Voices Music Theatre in Canberra and recently completed a Churchill Fellowship studying the developing voice.