Callas on Staying Vocally Limber

“It’s study; it’s Nature. I’m doing nothing special, you know. Even LuciaAnna BolenaPuritani, all these operas were created for one type of soprano, the type that sang NormaFidelio, which was Malibran of course. And a funny coincidence last year, I was singing Anna Bolena and Sonnambula, same months and the same distance of time as Giuditta Pasta had sung in the Nineteenth Century… So I’m really not doing anything extraordinary. You wouldn’t ask a pianist not to be able to play everything; he has to. This is Nature and also because I had a wonderful teacher, the old kind of teaching methods… I was a very heavy voice, that is my nature, a dark voice shall we call it, and I was always kept on the light side. She always trained me to keep my voice limber”.

-Maria Callas (1923-1977)

What helped the famous soprano to keep her voice agile, and formed the technical work of her career?

Panofka and Concone. But before you dive into them headfirst, remember my admonition: the exercises in and of themselves will not make you a better technical singer without functional balance. They’re best worked on with a teacher that can help select specific vocalises for your current level of ability.