It was announced last week that Rolando Villazon will have surgery to remove a cyst from his vocal cords. This is sad news, indeed. But we went over this a month or two back. There really is no such thing as singing too much, the problem comes from not being functionally capable of singing as much as you choose to do. Jussi Bjorling sang often, sometimes on consecutive nights, but he had the functional capacity to handle it. Villazon has such poor coordination of his voice that any amount of singing will be too much for the instrument to handle. Just saying that he sang too much, or worse the wrong repertoire, is just a cop-out. Saying that problems come from singing too often without enough rest implies that singing in itself is injurious. Granted, the way it is being done it very often is. But that is not how it should be. Good functional singing is therapeutic to the voice. It builds up rather than tears down. This latest event in the saga of Villazon is just the medical outcome that proves my point that he has been abusing his voice for years. He is an exciting performer, and audiences love that. But sometimes that adulation can blind you to what is the right thing to do. Just because it makes an impressive effect doesn’t make it a good thing to do. We can learn that from observing the career of Giuseppe Di Stefano. Actors step over that line all the time now with realistic acting, but singers can’t afford to let the emotion go past that point where the voice is still under control. Both Villazon and Di Stefano suffer from the effects of singing without a balanced resonance to naturally amplify the tone so they don’t have to sing loud all of the time. Jussi had great resonance balance so even though the tone seemed loud, he didn’t have to work hard vocally by singing loud. It is called vocal efficiency. Without it the voice breaks down. I don’t expect him to completely recover. A loss for opera lovers.