When my Father Jussi was chosen as the 20th century’s leading male opera singer by English music critics at the turn of the century, we felt great joy and pride in the family. From my very early age I experienced singing and music at home, but most of all, I remember visiting the Opera house when Father sang. A strong memory was La bohème. I tried to hide my tears trickling down the cheek in the last act. Usually it was very ex citing to sit in the orchestra seats and keep up with everything that happened on stage. Everyone wore make-up and strange costumes, but as soon as Father began to sing, I recognized him. It was easy. He sounded ‘different’ than the rest of the ensemble. My Father was in his early 30s and had then been singing for 25 years. Already at the age of four to five, my Father and his brothers began to learn the
essentials of the art of singing under my grandfather David’s solid guidance.
I have spent a great deal of my life exploring the secrets of the Italian bel canto, conveyed by David and my Father, and I ha ve reached the conclusion that there are no secrets; it is just the natural voice that has to be heard, free from settings and so-called tone formation. There is only one problem; it takes time. Manipulation of the voice in different ways to achieve quick results is doomed to fail. If I can contribute to pass the Björling singing tradition on to future generations of singers, I will be more than pleased. - Lars Björling