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He's raising her voice

Updated: 2013-09-29 09:36
By Chen Nan (China Daily)

He's raising her voice

Seth Riggs (C) and his wife Margareta Svensson (L) watch as Doudou sings during a vocal lesson. Photo provided to China Daily

Riggs' legacy shares other links to China. He taught Chinese-American singer-songwriter Wong Lee-hom and Coco Lee. And he mentored Chinese singer Uta, the 2012 winner of the singing competition TV show Rock The Web. The classically trained musician from Guangdong's provincial capital Guangzhou recently released her English-Mandarin album Original Painting.

"There is no difference in teaching students coming from different countries," Riggs believes.

"There are many music talents in China, but nobody knows about them. I want to have more students in China."

Riggs teaches Doudou over the Internet because of the distance from his Los Angeles base.

The Washington DC native got his first paid job at age 8 as a Washington National Cathedral Choir soprano before his voice changed to baritone. He later received music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in New York and studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Sandy Meisner.

His choir experience inspired him to develop his own singing method.

"When boys grow up, their voices drop," he explains.

"Nobody taught me how to reach a high pitch then. So I created my own method. I tested it again and again. Then one day I found the trick, and I wanted to tell everyone."

He taught for 10 years in New York, including three years on Broadway and two years at the New York City Opera. His students joined him because Riggs could easily correct their flaws according to their specific situations.

He previously helped Natalie Cole prepare for her Grammy-winning album Unforgettable and took Michael Bolton's voice to operatic levels for his performance with the late Luciano Pavarotti.


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