December 11, 2013

You are only very little frogs

Luigi Vannuccini (1828-1911)

Ah! You Americans think everything of quantity and nothing of quality of voice; and you try to swell out to oxen, when everyone can see that you are only very little frogs. —Luigi Vannuccini

Quite a statement, isn't it? Of course, one has only to go to the opera and hear Vannuccini's observation being put into practice. Lord knows, I saw enough of it myself onstage, where the temptation to bellow is great. 

You can learn more about Vannuccini's teaching by clicking on the label below. The context for the quote above can be found on page 17 of Talks about Singing: Or, How to Practice by Annie. M. R. Barnette. One of the more curious documents I've come across since beginning this blog, I find myself pulling Barnette's book off the shelf and marveling at how well it conjures a world in which beautiful singing was both encouraged and admired. 

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