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Tenor: History of a Voice in paperback

Yale University Press has now published the paperback version of Tenor: History of a Voice. This isn’t an update and the great Lanza/Caruso sheet music on the back cover has been replaced by a long list of flattering press quotes, but it does have the typos etc corrected from the hardback version, together with an extra paragraph acknowledging those who wrote in with corrections and suggestions. I hope I haven’t left anybody out – do let me know if so. I’ll be doing the first update of the tenorography as soon as I have a spare day or two, and the plan is still for a 2nd edition in a few years’ time. I’m still thinking about additional chapters as well as updating the existing material. South and Central America, South Africa and Australia, as well as the eastern Europe countries are obvious candidates, but other ideas will be keenly looked at so do let me know (Comments button or email) or maybe get some discussion going on Amazon.

Having escaped academia I now have more time not only for performing, but also doing that thing that academics fantasise about but rarely have time for: research. I’ve completed two chapters for CUP histories over the summer and Neil Sorrell and I are scheduled to finish our singing history by Christmas. I’m also writing a chapter with Liz Haddon on university instrumental teaching for the book of the IMP project, and there’s an article on Peter Pears’ voice in the pipeline too.

I found myself in a car in Slovenia recently with two people who’d read Vocal Authority, which must be some kind of first. I suppose what isn’t so surprising is that I get more feedback about my first book than anything I’ve written since. Although it came out of my PhD (written on the road with the Hilliards over a very long period) it was before I got really entangled with academia, so it’s much more of a polemic than a 21st century PhD would probably get away with. It’s very old now, of course, but I’m still touched when people tell me what it has meant to them (and sometimes people quote whole chunks of it at me, which is rather disconcerting). Next year I want to begin a sequel, which will take up the story where Vocal Authority left off.  As I’m now released back into the community it won’t be an academic tome so I may have to venture further afield to find a publisher. The working title is Classical Singing and the Death of Creativity. That may be a bit pessimistic – one of the things I hope to enthuse about is the fantastic potential the 21st century has to offer singers.

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