Updated 21 July 2014

Virginia Davids: menopause and your voice

South African diva, Virginia Davids, talks about how menopause affects one’s singing voice.

Opera singers in their menopause have another thing to worry about – their voices. According to wellknown soprano Virginia Davids, many singers go into “retirement” during their menopause because of the changes in their voices.

"The voice is a personal, physical instrument and very sensitive to hormonal changes. During menopause, the voice can become hoarse or husky and it may become more difficult to reach high notes. Some women even lose their voices temporarily," says Davids.

According to her, singers also lack the energy and stamina needed to be on stage. And hot flushes on stage are definitely not conducive to a good performance.

It is not only during menopause that the voice is affected. Menstrual periods can also influence the voice. In fact, says Davids, the contract performing opera singers sign, stipulates that women are not allowed to perform on the first and second day of their periods.

Sopranos and lighter voices experience more problems. According to Davids, mezzo’s can often get away with hoarser voices when they sing dramatic roles. A hoarse voice may even enhance their performance.

Have hormonal changes affected her? Not yet, says Davids, “I hope to be one of the lucky singers who just sail through menopause without any symptoms.”

Read more:
Urinary tract problems
Hormone therapy helps memory


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.