How a Voice Teacher Shapes the Performance of His Students. A Study of the Pedagogy and Life of Giuseppe De Luca

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This research gathers the stories of world-famous operatic baritone, Giuseppe De Luca (1876-1950), through his student, Charles Guild Reading (b. 1921), who was mentored by De Luca from 1945-1950. These narratives are explored through the teacher-student relationship of De Luca and Reading by way of the teacher-student relationship shared by Charles Reading and Deborah Andrews. The stories are followed by supporting scholarly and historical literature and then reflected upon by the author as to their possible implications on the past and present classical singing and vocal pedagogical communities. The study also contains a CD De Luca’s recordings 1907-1947. This book contains eight color photographs and seven black and white photographs.


“Throughout the book, Dr. Andrews has created a rich tapestry that explores specific tenets and techniques of the bel canto style, supporting these observations with the history and tradition that surround it. The passion for this narrative exploration and her steadfast devotion to Reading, as exemplified in the teacher/student relationship between De Luca and Reading, are both intellectually and emotionally stirring. She achieves and maintains a scholarly and analytical tone, while remaining true to the artistry, drama, and richness that are undeniably a part of the teacher-student relationships that are explored throughout the work.” – Prof. David A. Dik, Metropolitan Opera Guild

“Our knowledge of the vocal mechanism is far greater than fifty years ago, and Dr. Andrews has begun to address the physiology of the singing voice, using our current research to support and understand what De Luca and Reading were doing. She also adds to our definition of “bel canto,” a term often misused and misunderstood. Taking common terms from the field (e.g., chiaroscuro), she uses practical examples from recordings and interviews to further our knowledge of what is bel canto and how do we teach it.” – Prof. Jeanne Goffi-Fynn, Teachers College, Columbia University

“. . . throughout, the reader has the uniquely valuable companionship of the singer himself represented by a well-chosen programme of recordings. De Luca is heard in the vocal prime of his early years, then in the maturity of the 1920's and finally in the famous New York recital of 1947 when at the age of 70 he demonstrated so triumphantly the soundness of the style and method, which are the true subjects of this book.” – John Steane, The Gramophone

Table of Contents

Foreword by David A. Dik
List of Figures
List of Photographs
1. Introduction
2. Lineage
3. Relationships
4. Technique
5. Collegiality
6. Application
7. Legacy

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