P.M. Marafioti: Caruso's method of voice production
Caruso's method of voice production
He was the greatest tenor of his day and probably of all time. Trained naturally in singing Neapolitan ballads, Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) achieved a vocal quality often described as "celestial" or "golden." His breath control was such that he could deliver the longest phrase without any suggestion of difficulty, while his superb enunciation and an intense quality of pathos in his voice enabled him to reach and affect audiences on the deepest level.
This historic volume, dedicated to the great tenor and published shortly after his death, explains clearly and scientifically how Caruso achieved his phenomenal voice production. Written by a noted laryngologist and student of voice who devoted much of his career to working with Caruso and other singers, the book proposes a method of voice culture based on well-defined physiological laws. According to Dr. Marafioti, these is only one right way to sing — a method based on the scientific principles of voice culture. Although Caruso instinctively sang that way, the methods can be learned by any singer. Since singing, in essence, is merely speaking in musical rhythm, the first requirements for correct singing is a correctly produced speaking voice. This involves using the minimum tension of breath and vocal cords required for each tone; insuring that laryngeal sounds are transmitted to the mouth free of any interference; developing the quality of resonance, and so on. To help singers achieve these goals, the author prescribes exercises for correct voice production, vocal exercises to insure correct enunciation, methods to avoid (taking a breath before starting, singing double vowels, accentuating top tunes, etc.), and more.
Replete with practical instructions and advice for aspiring singers, this book is also a fascinating document of musical history — an intimate revelation of the natural gifts that underlay Caruso's artistry, his passionate dedication to his art, and the immortal legacy of song he left behind.
Reprint of the D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1922 edition.(ISBN 9780486241807)