There is an artificial method of breathing so universal among the singers of to-day, and which is the result of conventionalized error; I mean the practice of deliberately and consciously working the diaphragm in the acts of expansion and contraction. This is most distinctly to be avoided…as this leads to a mechanical and unspontaneous production of tone…
Singers will understand me better if I say there must be no holding, no tightness anywhere, but the frame of the body must remain plastic or passive to the natural acts of inhaling and exhaling, as in this way only can perfect freedom of vocal expression be obtained.
To assist Nature to do what she can accomplish without help, any more than we should think of trying to assist a clock by swinging the pendulum to and fro.
Clara Doria, aka Clara Kathleen Rogers (1844-1931)