The essay discusses the pedagogical methods adopted by teachers at a number of Italian drama schools to teach diction and the use of voice in general. Diction had always been considered a crucial aspect of an actor’s training. During the twentieth century, however, voice and speech training for actors changed significantly. The present work, which is the result of various conversations with numerous teachers and of the active observation of the different phases of voice training, illustrates the basic themes and operating modes that currently inspire the working methods of a number of vocal coaches. Through a survey of these contemporary didactic approaches, contrasted with older acting handbooks, it is possible to get an idea of the changes in the teaching of diction in recent decades, changes also stimulated by the contribution of other disciplines (speech therapy, phoniatrics, etc.) and of methodologies tested abroad.


Mimma Valentino è dottore di ricerca in Storia del teatro moderno e contemporaneo. Nel 2010 ha vinto un assegno di ricerca per il progetto ‘Archivio internazionale trattati di recitazione’ presso il Dipartimento di Studi Letterari e Linguistici dell’Europa dell’Università ‘L’Orientale’ di Napoli. Attualmente collabora con la cattedra di Storia del teatro moderno e contemporaneo de ‘L’Orientale’ di Napoli ed è redattore di «Acting Archives». mimma.valentino@libero.it


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