Having sung myself in Europe, studied with Maestro Arrigo Pola in Italy and researched the vocal phenomena for many years, I found this book quite valuable, because the singers themselves are asked of what they are aware. Jerome Hines did a good job of interviewing the singers. However his questions are all oriented toward the accepted concepts of the instrument. Thus, the singers attempt to describe their perceptions to fit in with the popular theory, which by the way has never been proven. It was merely an assumption. No instrument based on the wind driven theory has ever been created that produced the simultaneous multiple frequencies of which the human vocal instrument is capable.
In other words, Hines' questions confine the singer's answers to a prescribed box. And he artfully steers their answers into the grooves that he wants them to follow. Nothing wrong in that. I got the impression that Mr. Hines was endeavoring to understand finally for himself how the vocal...
I am a recent graduate with a vocal performance degree preparing to pursue a masters degree in opera. This book is a functional necessity for every serious singer's library. For me, I found this book to be both profoundly useful and comforting. I was fascinated by the different ways these great singers speak of and describe essentially the same concepts and techniques; it reminded me that our differing methods as singers are far more similar than sometimes it would appear. I think every singer will hit a wall at some point where the communication between teacher and student will fail and the student will require another source to explain the concept differently in order to grasp it. This book was just that source for me. I also found reading of the technical struggles and breakthroughs of singers that I deeply and admire and respect to be extremely comforting and encouraging!
I love this book, because the author tells us intimate stories about great singers which are normally not known in the literature. The reader is taken behind the stage curtain and into the private sphere of these artists to learn more about their personal problems with their voices and their personally developped solutions and recommendations for others. I like this personal approach to the singing art very much and have to say that this book gave me as an author about Belcanto many insights how useful it is for all singers to hear more about vocal experiences on stage and vocal education from highly talented famous singers. I researched then deeper the stories of singers like Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland and many others more and took their insights to make them known in my book. I have to say thank you to Jerome Hines as his book was very inspiring for me on the way to my own book about Belcanto in Theory and Practice...
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