Bernhard Warner (, 10 August), omits one possibly vital factor: electronic amplification and the normalisation of excessive volume. As is clear from the article, singers like Beniamino Gigli and Enrico Caruso depended totally on vocal and abdominal training, whereas modern singers such as Adele depend for power and vocal strength on technology as well as their own skills. This means that both their public and their industry have different expectations from those of earlier talents. The same problem arises in my own profession of acting – increasingly performers are “miked” on stage so that their voices can carry, and many are no longer trained to “project” in the way Henry Irving or John Gielgud would have found commonplace.
• A lover of musical theatre, I have been driven out of several shows in London recently because I can not stand the noise! I have explained to friends in showbiz that volume does not equal passion, and I prefer good acting to wailing and screaming. In response, they tell me that “belting” is actually a technique and it is (incomprehensibly to me) taught in stage schools.
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
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