“Proof of Concept” is a demonstration of the feasibility of a concept or principle. The purpose of it is to prove or verify a theory that has potential to be used. This methodology is often used in business and science to demonstrate the effectiveness of certain business ideas and practices.
When it comes to the singing of the Old Italian School, the best proof of concept we have are the singers that emerged from those empirical theories. This is why I will continue to assert that the best proof of these methods are the recordings of the late 19th and early 20th century.
A recent little treasure trove I’ve found is a YouTube Channel named trrill. His videos feature many of the recordings of the Old School singers that were trained along the lines of tonal purity, sostenuto, agility, and messa di voce.
I encourage interested teachers to spend time in these recordings and to enter a tonal world that is vastly different from our own in the early part of the 21st century.
Below is a recording from his YouTube Channel of the celebrated singer and teacher Jean Baptiste Faure (pronounced “Four”), who is most famous today for his song “Les Rameaux” performed at Easter.