Nicolai Gedda on Laying a “Lyric Track” into the Voice Magische Töne indeed! She (Paola Novikova) was meticulous in that the instrument always had to be right. If it was not right, I would be required to start again until the sound was right. And she was just as attentive to language accent and interpretation in my roles. She was a genius for me. [...]

Quote of the Day

I am of the opinion that vocal masters of the past were listening to the play of overtones in the voices which they were training - it is they who developed the term, "registers." And, I know that better and faster results are obtained when a somnambulistic approach is taken in this acoustical type of [...]

Mancini and the Messa di Voce

I shall do everything, nonetheless, for the love of studious youths, to introduce the love of this exercise, and hatred for presumption, into their souls.Giambattista Mancini If you read the oldest texts on singing, (roughly 1500s to 1820s), you will be immediately struck by the lack of detailed discussion on breathing, or the manner in [...]

New Series: The Practical Reflections of Mancini

I will be dedicating several upcoming blogs to the wisdom of Giambattista Mancini's book Practical Reflections on the Art of Singing, (Riflessioni Pratiche Sopra il Canto Figurato, published in 1774. This book, along with Pierfrancesco Tosi's Opinoni de' cantori antichi e moderni, are the two cornerstones of our understanding of the singing of the Italian [...]

Tone in Our Words, and Words in Our Tone

The title of this blog post comes from an admonition of Herbert Witherspoon, writing in his book 36 Lessons in Singing for Teacher and Student (1930): The vowel is the tone, the tone is the vowel. We put words in our tones and tone in our words.Herbert Witherspoon Witherspoon's wisdom is reflected in this moving [...]