chapter  7
Towards a Verdian Ideal of Singing: Emancipation from Modern Orthodoxy*
ByRoger Freitas
Pages 32

To try to understand the vocal styles demanded by the famously exacting Giuseppe Verdi, I consider a wide range of evidence, including the composer’s scores and letters, contemporary treatises, reports on performances, and selected early recordings. On the basis of this material, I contend that the vocal styles known and advocated by Verdi differed radically from what is proposed by most modern pedagogues and nearly always heard in opera houses today. An examination of the evidence, as it bears on specific technical and expressive procedures, sheds light on nineteenth-century vocal style, offering novel interpretative possibilities to the modern performer.