I recently had a request from a student to post a little explanation of the vowel series and what we mean by a front vowel versus a back vowel. This is something that’s not too complicated to explain in a bare bones kind of way in a lesson, but it might help to flesh out a little what exactly is going on.
Okay, this one comes with a bit of a parental advisory. The impetus for this article came from a scene in the TV show Hannibal, which can be pretty gory. If you get queasy about this kind of thing, maybe you’d better skip this bit. But it was a perfect illustration of some pretty extreme misconceptions about vocal anatomy from people who probably should have known better (or at least should have done a bit of research before they decided to base the plot of an entire episode of a popular TV show on a pretty egregious error).
Some common mistakes and misconceptions about the singing voice and how it works. Spoiler: if you could do that, you’d be in a pretty bad way.
I recently read a fascinating book by the great operatic bass Jerome Hines called “Great Singers on Great Singing” in which he interviews an impressive list of his colleagues at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, among them Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, and Sherrill Milnes.