Raisa: “If I have developed perfect control throughout the two and a half octaves of my voice, can make each tone with pure quality and perfect evenness in the different degrees of loud and soft, and if I have perfect breath control as well, I then have an equipment that may serve all purposes of interpretation. For together with vocal mastery must go the art of interpretation, in which all the mastery of the vocal equipment may find expression. In order to interpret adequately one ought to possess a perfect instrument, perfectly trained. When this is the case one can forget mechanism, because confident of the ability to express any desired emotion.”
Homer: “The singer must master all difficulties of technic, of tone production in order to be able to express the thought of the composer, and the meaning of the music.”
Werrenrath: “I can answer the question in one word—Disregard. For if you have complete control of your anatomy and such command of your vocal resources that they will always do their work; that they can be depended on to act perfectly, then you can disregard mechanism and think only of the interpretation—only of your vocal message. Then you have conquered the material and have attained Vocal Mastery.”
Kingston: “Vocal Mastery includes so many things. First and foremost, vocal technic. One must have an excellent technic before one can hope to sing even moderately well. Technic furnishes the tool with which the singer creates his vocal art work. Then the singer must work on his moral nature so that he shall express the beautiful and pure in music. Until I have thus prepared myself, I am not doing my whole duty to myself, my art or to my neighbor.”
Griffith: “Vocal Mastery is acquired through correct understanding of what constitutes pure vowel sounds, and such control of the breath as will enable one to convert every atom of breath into singing tone. This establishes correct action of the vocal chords and puts the singer in possession of the various tints of the voice.
“When the vocal chords are allowed to produce pure vowels, correct action is the result, and with proper breath support, Vocal Mastery can be assured.”
Duval: “What is Vocal Mastery? Every great artist has his own peculiar manner of accomplishing results—has his own vocal mastery. Patti had one kind, Maurel another, Lehmann still another. Caruso may also be said to have his own vocal mastery.
“In fine, as every great artist is different from his compeers, there can be no fixed and fast standard of vocal mastery, except the mastery of doing a great thing greatly and convincingly.”