You never saw her breathe – there was none of that heaving up and down. I remember thinking one evening during a performance, ‘I’m going to find out how she breathes.’ She was sitting on a bench and I had my arm around her – including a wine gum in my hand to give her when she got thirsty! – and I decided to feel how she did it. She just started singing – she went straight into it. And I thought ‘She hasn’t taken a breath!’
Palmer, Andrew. “Divas in Their Own Words.” (2000): 127.
One thought on “Kirsten Flagstad’s “invisible breathing””
Check the 1st paragraph on p. 17 of Discover
Your Voice by Oren Brown. He says that the
First time he heard Flagstad in concert, he was sitting on stage behind her. He said he could observe her breathing and that her back opened and compressed like bellows.
A friend of his sitting out front said she couldn’t see her breathing and didn’t see a thing move. Brown said that he told his friend that she should have been where he was. Many Of the greatest singers have spoken of this lower back breathing and not letting anything show out front. These include Merrill,Tucker, Milanov, Nilsson, marjorie Lawrence with whom my wife and I studied,