A conversation with Bruce Ford: A blog post in three acts with prologue and Epilogue

On January 15th, I had the distinct pleasure of having a richly fulfilling conversation with the accomplished and celebrated Bel Canto Tenor, Bruce Ford. I could not help but to take an artistic view of the structure of the conversation. I have divided the clip as if it were an opera. A short introduction or Prologue by me, three “acts” discussing: 1. Mr. Ford’s background and training (2 scenes), 2. Vocal technique (3 scenes) 3. The current operatic realities (2 scenes) and an epilogue, dealing with Mr. Ford’s current activities. I hope interviews of this kind will become a mainstay on the blog. The realities and future of classical singing depend greatly on the contribution of our great singers. These are audio clips over a Skype conversation and so the quality leaves a bit to be desired. However the quality is certainly clear enough not to cause any strain in listening. Future interviews will use video whenever available.

Prologue: TS speaks informally about the format of the interview


Act I, Scene 1: Bruce Ford speaks about his early vocal education including four important years with his teacher, Dr. Jerry Doan.


Act I, Scene 2: Bruce speaks about his early stage experiences at Houston Opera Studio, and fest contracts at Wuppertal, Mannheim and Düsseldorf. And the fatal meetings with Maestri Claudio Scimone and Alberto Zedda, two Rossini specialists.


Act II, Scene 1: Bruce Ford and TS exchange thoughts about the importance of breathing, and balancing heavy and light mechanism and developing a secure high C by the end of his undergrad years, and the importance of a teacher putting his foot down about the limits of the student, and the difference between a lyric voice that carries well and a bona fide dramatic voice.


Act II, Scene 2: Bruce and TS talk about the dangers of pushing the voice down to a lower tessitura, achieving proper vocal weight, and the importance of a balanced middle voice.


Act II, Scene 3: Bruce and TS discuss the passaggio and the different approaches between Bel Canto tenors and Verismo tenors, the mastery of Gigli and Lauri-Volpi, and the necessity of flexibility.


Act III, scene 1: Bruce and TS discuss the realities of the business and whether singers who have had lasting careers have influence on the development of the business; Microphones in opera, electronic vs. acoustic singing, economic realities, etc.


Epilogue: Bruce speaks candidly about a health scare and discusses his desire to do more teaching and masterclasses.


I enjoyed listening to the interview while formatting the blog post. To learn more about Bruce Ford, visit his website.
We wish Bruce the very best in his future endeavors and hope to speak with him again soon!

© 01/28/2009

8 thoughts on “A conversation with Bruce Ford: A blog post in three acts with prologue and Epilogue

Add yours

  1. Dear Mr. LaFond, what was the date of the Met performance you attended that sparked your passion for the lyric art? (Domingo and Milnes did sing the Rodolfo/Marcello act 4 duet on the 1983 January 30 Domingo/Milnes/Levine concert, simulcast on radio and TV, but never sang La Bohème together at the Met — in fact Milnes never sang Bohème at the Met.)


  2. That would have been in early 1985, sometime between January 21 (Margaret Price's house debut!) and February 07. Looking back on those cast lists, one can only LUCKY YOU, to hear those stars during that exciting time in the '80s (and artists I've known who did work at the house during that time can attest that it WAS exciting).

    There might even be a live recording of one of those performances…!!


  3. When I click on mp3 file to hear Mr.Ford, it takes me to a fileden site that needs registration. Anyway you can help giving access more simply?


  4. Hey JS, Fileden ceased their operation. I was able to save the Ford clips. Thank you for your comment. I will update them to my dropbox account and change the links. It might take a few minutes depending on my connection. Because of Fileden's demise, I will have to reload many files. If you come across any missing links (no pun intended) please comment! All the best,



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