Philosophy

In February 2020, while preparing for a lockdown in South Africa, I began a three-year project affectionally named the ‘Lilli Lehmann Project’. This project was inspired by the great German Soprano, Lilli Lehmann. Lehmann wrote several books including a book translated into English as ‘How to Sing’. It was a chance appearance of her bookContinue reading “Philosophy”

Sticking your neck out (literally)

The attitude of the pupil, in singing, should be as natural and easy as possible. Mathilde Marchesi, Bel Canto: A theoretical & practical vocal method. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. The image above says it all. Here are two audio examples to demonstrate the importance of the neck position for singing. Example one demonstrates aContinue reading “Sticking your neck out (literally)”

Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing

I have found the following books, manuals and listening to be a ‘pathway’ to studying a way of singing that some refer to as ‘Bel Canto’. Others may refer to it as the ‘Old Italian School of Singing’. Others may describe it as the ‘Italian School of Singing’. (For me, the last description is unreliableContinue reading “Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing”

Appoggio

A month ago, I completed the mandatory New Zealand Managed Isolation Quarantine (“MIQ”). (New Zealand does not have Covid-19 in the community. Therefore, the country sets about quarantining every person who arrives in New Zealand from overseas, in isolation, for two weeks). Naturally, during my time in MIQ, I could not vocalize. Therefore, I setContinue reading “Appoggio”

Jeanne Jomelli

What a find on You Tube this morning! Dutch Soprano Jomelli (1879-1932), student of Mathilde Marchesi, singing an exercise from Herman Klein’s ‘Phono – Vocal’ method. This singing is informative on many levels. The onset, gentle vibrato, the lightness of production, delicate use of messa di voce, the sound of chiaroscuro, portamento, legato and more.Continue reading “Jeanne Jomelli”

Consonants – Oskar Guttmann

The starting point to introduce the various techniques required for singing consonants today is to choose a Cancone Solfeggio phrase and refer to Oskar Guttmann’s ‘Gymnastics for the Voice’. The majority of the techniques I blog about are for the classical voice. However, this blog is for every style. Every singer should be aware ofContinue reading “Consonants – Oskar Guttmann”

Pronunciation

“He who knows how to breathe and pronounce well, knows how to sing well” Pacchiarotti (quoted in Francesco Lamperti’s book The Art of Singing). I have written quite a few posts about breathing. Today, I decided to write about pronunciation. Pronunciation, as well as breathing exercises, should precede singing lessons. Oskar Guttmann, in his GymnasticsContinue reading “Pronunciation”