Alchemy is a somewhat unusual word to use in connection with voice, but one that is appropriate. Alchemy originally signified “the art of transmuting the base metals or elements into noble ones.”
The alchemists of old hoped to produce gold. The alchemists of voice hopes to produce a golden tone. The alchemist seeking gold infused together primitive matter which he called his prima materia. Analogously the singer’s prima materia are his vocal cords and the sixty-odd muscles actuating them. For him the alchemist’s crucible becomes the resonating system of the mouth-pharynx merging into the head. Obtaining the golden tone from these sources was the aim of the vocal alchemists of the old Italian School of singing.
The author, himself a distinguished teacher, regards modern singing as having deteriorated from those standards, and in this book he shows what is required to return to the aims and methods of great Italian teachers.
He deals with spiritual, psychological and physiological aspects of the problem, showing how they can be woven to form a balanced technical adjustment. Practical application of his thinking is fully dealt with.
The author aims to assist the student of singing in his quest for what is called “Production” – an inelegant and inadequate term to convey the most beautiful component of any art: a perfect technique.