Acting in Plays, Singing/Favorite novel.


Dear Sean

It is difficult to answer but still do you feel Romeo and Juliet is the best novel by Shakespeare among all his plays?.

Thanks & REGARDS

Hello, Prashant --

I know Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet" extremely well. My first exposure to it happened when I was in the fourth grade. The 1936 film adaptation starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard was on TV one night and I fell in love with it. I was then inspired to read the play. With the movie still in my head, it seemed very easy to read and understand and (years later) to appreciate the rhythm of its "blank verse" style.

Since then, I've seen the play on stage many times. I'm familiar with all the other film adaptations. I know the operatic versions and all the symphonic versions and the choreography of several ballet treatments.

The important thing is -- my first experience to Shakespeare was a positive one. It made me open and receptive to see and read more of his works. In college, I was an acting major in the Theatre Arts department. By that point, I was already a very informed student. I did lot of scene work in Shakespeare and learned a lot of his monologues throughout that period.

Personally, I don't care how the literary critics rank the play in comparison to others in the Shakespeare "canon" -- that being, the 15 or so of his most popular, most performed works. I love some of those plays as much as I do "Romeo and Juliet". I'm indifferent to many of the rest.

I don't spend my time arguing levels of "greatness" in Shakespeare's plays.

I am a vocal coach to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. When you want to make an appointment, contact me at:

I am also published on: -- -- --

Below are links to my recent articles, interviews, and YouTubes:

“Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone”

Tenor Michael Fabiano – On ‘La Bohème’, Now at San Francisco Opera

Joanne Polk – On ‘The Flatterer, Piano Music of Cécile Chaminade’

On Jeanette MacDonald: Why should we care?

Filmmaker Judy Irving – On ‘Pelican Dreams’

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo – A Stunning Debut in ‘Partenope’ at San Francisco Opera

A Conversation with Bass-Baritone Philippe Sly

Steve Wilson on 'The Making of Gone with the Wind'

‘Susannah’ at San Francisco Opera – Final Performance, 9/21

The Alloy Orchestra Meets ‘Son of the Sheik’ at San Francisco’s Silent Film Festival

Bass-Baritone Christian Van Horn – A Busy Season at San Francisco Opera

Sondra Radvanovsky and Jamie Barton Shine in New Production of 'Norma' at San Francisco Opera

In Tune with Tenor George Komsky – at the Napa Valley Opera House, 9/7

“Veda Pierce” – Lounge Lizard or High Toned Viper?

A Profile of Soprano Tony Arnold – Guest Artist at Santa Fe Chamber Festival 2014

A Conversation with Pianist Stewart Goodyear

Tenor Stuart Skelton on Peter Grimes

Alexandra Silber and Cheyenne Jackson in New Recording of West Side Story

A Conversation with Dmitri Hvorostovsky – This Week at Davies Hall

Jeffrey Biegel Is Rainbow High on New CD: Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos

JEANETTE MacDONALD and The Great American Songbook, Pt. 1 — Close encounters with “Dinah” and “Some of These Days”

A Conversation with Mario Frangoulis – International Tenor Debuts in San Francisco, April 4th

Anita Monga – Talking with the Artistic Director of the SF Silent Film Festival

NOIR CITY 12 – ‘It’s A Bitter Little World’ – Talking with Producer Eddie Muller

Ricardo Bustamante – Profile of A Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet

A Fabulous Debut at Davies Symphony Hall for Natalie Dessay

A Conversation with Organist Paul Jacobs - This Week at Davies Hall

Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony and Sonata

SY SMITH – Just the Thought of You

A Conversation with Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band

A Conversation with Lucas Meachem - San Francisco Opera’s Barber of Seville

GREG FEDDERLY – A Comprimario Tenor Extraordinaire

Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne—A Daring World Premiere at San Francisco Opera

Introducing Cheyenne Jackson and Alexandra Silber as San Francisco Symphony’s Tony & Maria in “West Side Story”

THE GERSHWINS AND ME – A Conversation with Michael Feinstein

A Conversation with Ted Neeley, Hollywood’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Nathan Gunn Is ‘Yeshua’ in San Francisco Opera’s “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene”

Natalie Dessay on ‘Becoming Traviata’—French Soprano bids ‘Adieu’ to opera stage

Marnie Breckenridege, A Modern Soprano for Contemporary Opera

A Profile of Choreographer John Neumeier and his "Nijinsky"

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie

'Drama Queens' – A Conversation with Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

Acting in Plays, Singing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sean Martinfield


I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: I am also a music and cultural critic for and I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.


As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at:


San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

©2016 All rights reserved.