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Music General

French Lyric Diction

A Singer's Guide

by (author) Jason Nedecky

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Singers, teachers, coaches, and conductors will appreciate French Lyric Diction: A Singer's Guide for its thorough account of the language as it is sung in opera and mélodie. Often-overlooked topics are explored, including phrasal and emphatic stress, vocalic length, singing the French r, and traditions in the setting of French poetry. Considerable attention is paid to the subject of liaison, with recommendations on how to make decisions about optional liaisons in singing. A comprehensive guide to orthography provides instruction on the pronunciation of all French spellings, including many optional secondary pronunciations, and accepted francisé pronunciation for loanwords. Pronunciation dictionaries give transcriptions for over 10,000 names of composers, poets, artists, roles, performers, characters, and places, as well as everyday musical terms.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Jason Nedecky is an instructor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, and diction coach for its opera division. At the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, he teaches French lyric diction and repertoire courses. Nedecky has appeared as baritone soloist in North America and Europe and is a member of the Canadian Opera Company chorus. He has also covered and performed numerous supporting roles for the company and has acted as its French diction coach.

Editorial Reviews

"Professor Jason Nedecky's French Lyric Diction is not just another book about French diction; it is essential for English-speaking singers and vocal teachers to comprehend the subtleties of 'elevated' French language, details of style and phrasing. Including a list of proper nouns with their pronunciation, and many useful examples taken from French operas and mélodies, it presents with astonishing clarity and ease how singing French well is a great way to open wide the door on refined French culture and art. A must!"

--François Le Roux, baritone, voice teacher at the Paris Ecole normale de musique, recognized leading reference for French vocal repertoire

"Singing well in the French language customarily creates more concerns and problems than any other language encountered in a professional singer's life. There is no greater compliment to a French National than that we show our love and appreciation of this vast fund of music and our willingness to devote the time and understanding that Jason Nedecky shows for his subject. Highly recommended."

--Sir Thomas Allen CBE