The issue, guest edited by Konstantinos Thomaidis, proposes a timely re-examination of voice in performer training. The literature on voice, theatre and pedagogy is, of course, vast. In the case of singing, it is largely dominated by paradigms appropriate for operatic and musical theatre performance. In the case of speech training, areas that have been systematically explored include the pedagogies developed by an influential generation of mid-twentieth-century, UK- and US-based speech trainers – and, to a lesser extent, the voice practices pertaining to (post)Grotowskian lineages or the integration of first-wave somatics into voice work. While drawing impetus from these significant insights, the purpose of this special issue has been to lend an attentive ear to the transformations such established pedagogies are currently undergoing as well as to less widely circulated and emergent methodologies.
In other words, the issue asks: What is new in voice training?
Contributors to the issue shared their practice and research in a variety of formats (peer-reviewed articles, essais, visual essays, postcards, ATQs, blogs, reviews) and engaged with topics and sets of questions such as:
- Renewing voice training: How are existing systems, exercises and practices reconfigured in new settings? How can we re-evaluate the foundational premises of voice training through recent discoveries in physiology and advances in critical theory? In what ways are such methods adapted, hybridised, repurposed, recycled, rethought?
- New practices: Which are the new approaches to voice, speech and singing training currently in the making? How do they depart from or extend current conceptualisations of voicing? What performance contexts are they designed for? How are they taught, recorded, written about and transmitted?
- New documents: Which practices of voice training have not been systematically documented and disseminated? Which practices have received less critical attention and how can new archives engage us in dialogue with them? What is the place of the ‘document’ in practice-as-research approaches to voice pedagogy?
- The new voice coach: Which are the new exigencies placed on coaches today? What challenges do they face? Which methodologies have been developed in response? How is voice training conducted beyond the conservatoire studio?
- New contexts: How is voice training taking into consideration gender, class and ethnic diversity? How is the pedagogy of speech and song responding to neurodiverse trainees? How are interdisciplinary performers trained in voice work? How is training originally developed for artistic performance adapted in other contexts and circumstances?
- New criticalities: Which emergent critical methodologies can we deploy to critique voice training or to generate new approaches? How can voice training embrace ecocritical or new materialist strategies? What is the place of the expanding corpus of vocal philosophy in the studio?
- New histories, new lineages: What does new archival research reveal about the lineages and historic practices of voice training? How is the history of voice training rewritten? How are premodern forms of voice training revitalised in contemporary performer training?
Editorial: What is new in voice training?
by Konstantinos Thomaidis
Answer the question: How are voice trainings adapted, recycled, transplanted and repurposed?
Rockford Sansom: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1667179
Abimbola Adetola Stephen-Adesina: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1667180
Vocal Empowerment Curriculum for young Maya Guatemalan women
by Beth Osnes, Chelsea Hackett, Jen Walentas Lewon, Norma Baján & Christine Brennan
Pitch and gender in voice training: new methodological directions
by Jane Boston
The act of listening: Gardzienice’s mutuality practice and the ACTing voice
by Anna-Helena McLean (collaborating academic advisor Demetris Zavros)
Singing bodies: reconsidering and retraining the corporeal voice
by Gavin Thatcher & Daniel Galbreath
J. Ariadne Calvano: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1660530
Rachel K. Carter: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1660531
Support: birthing the voice
by Leah Lovett
Speech-language pathologists with a vocal music background: exploring impact on the training of the transgender voice
by Danielle Cozart Steele
Annie Sanger-Davies: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1677386
Devisers in the dark: reconfiguring a material voice practice
by Electa W. Behrens
Approaching Italian gorgie through Karnatik brigha: an essai on intercultural vocal transmission
by Charulatha Mani
Between preservation and renewal: reconsidering technology in contemporary pansori training
by Konstnatinos Thomaidis
Becoming robot through voice: training in artificial voices
by Francesco Bentivegna
‘Next year’s words await another voice’: British Sign Language and voice work with D/deaf actors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
by Mel Drake
Obituary (Cicely Berry)
Postcards to the future of voice
Subhashini Parthasarathy: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1660534
Theodoros Terzopoulos: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1660535
Marcus Cheng Chye Tan: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1640782
Sarah Holden-Boyd: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2019.1640783
For colleagues without institutional access, the editorial, the obituary and the article by Cozart Steele are freely available.
Further, the special issue is accompanied by a series of entries posted on the journal’s blog: https://theatredanceperformancetraining.org/category/comebacks/what-is-new-in-voice-training/
Special thanks to all contributors, the TDPT team and the community of artists, trainers, trainees, practitioner-scholars, peer reviewers and interviewees that the special issue represents.
With all best wishes,
Senior Lecturer in Drama, Theatre & Performance
University of Exeter