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Found 14 results

  1. Dear all, It has been a while that I have visited this forum. I have been very busy with my studies—having completed my BA in Musicology and currently finalising my MA in Applied Musicology. I did keep on working on my singing, however. Yesterday, “The Music of the Night,” a song that I auditioned with at the Conservatory of Rotterdam over a decade ago and that I had used for my singing lessons with many different teachers, was one I had never actually performed—until now! Indeed, there appears to be balancing issues with volume between me and the piano. On the other hand, I asked several attendees whether they felt there were problems with it, but they all did not notice them live. While I do think we could work on balancing our instruments, I believe the recording is augmenting the issue quite a bit. I am really satisfied with the performance—especially my acting abilities, intonation, enunciation, and stage presence. I could be more confident with the fermata notes just doing them as long as I want, rather than thinking I might do them too long (I think the “soul”-note [2:32] is great, the “be”-note [3:44] is just about right, the ”night”-note [5:20] is executed pretty well, but could easily be five seconds longer). I could also definitely stabilise and pronounce my “ring” more. Manolito Mystiq
  2. Classical technique thread

    Hi guys, I'm super new here and I thought i'd start a classical technique thread since no one has seemed to have posted in this sub-forum yet. I'll start with posting a little something I've done. SHOW AND TELL !!!!!!! This was from a few weeks ago. I need to work on my breathing near the end. https://soundcloud.com/arfoo/nessun-dorma-rehearsal
  3. Hi! I'm Anthony, I'm new!! This is a clip from an audition I did in 2009: https://vid.me/n8jg This is a recording I did last year: http://picosong.com/9CTE/ I've never had any training or really performed in front of anyone, other than karaoke and that audition from six years ago. I have massive stage fright, so it makes things really difficult for me. I'm not even really sure what my voice type is, or what genre would suit me. I've been told I'd be good for Broadway or opera. I'd like to get some feedback and see what I can do, musically. Thanks!! - Anthony
  4. Hey guys, I'm new here. I started singing class just 6 months ago and 4 days ago I took for the first time "the stage" to perform Stars from Les Miserables. I'm sorry if I'm shakey sometimes, but it was my first time performing in public and I was really nervous. What do you think?
  5. Vocal 'Ring' and Operatic Tenor Top Notes

    Introduction In the Opera world, one of the most exciting things to anticipate and hear is the brilliant, climactic high note of the tenor soloist in an aria. Not only does the voice carry well without amplification, but takes on a distinctly thrilling, impressive quality of resonance that other parts of the voice do not quite have in the same way. In this post, I will explore the ways that these fine singers manage their voices to enable such singing. Since we will be objectively discussing vocal tone quality, I will be using spectragraphs to assist. With some of these particular ones, I will include annotations to the images so that the reader can make the connection between the visual representation and aural experience of harmonics within the vocal tone quality. The spectragraphs I use will all be of the final note in the Tenor Aria, 'Celeste Aida', from Verdi's Opera Aida, which is on the syllable 'Sol' on the Bb above middle C. To give credit where credit is due, my investigation in this area was inspired by the published work of Donald Miller at www.vocevista.com. The spectragraphs were produced with Spectragram16, by Richard Horne. Bjoerling and Domingo The spectragraph to the left shows that note from recordings of two of the most popular and capable operatic tenors of the 20th Century, Jussi Bjoerling (represented with the blue line) and Placido Domingo,(represented with the white line.) To help orient you to the image, I have annotated it with lines and text to show the locations of the harmonics of the sung tones. On this diagram, left=lower frequency, right=higher frequency. Up=higher intensity, down=lower intensity. The frequency range represented is 0 to 4000 cycles per second (Hz). So that these notes could be compared as well as can be from recordings, I equalized the volume of the fundamentals. What we can see and conclude With this equalization, the fundamentals and 2nd harmonics (H2) are about the same strength when comparing voice-to-voice, as evidenced by the nearly exact overlay of the blue and white lines. However, a very great difference is noticable in the intensity of H3. Bjoerling's H3 goes way higher on the intensity scale than Domingo's, indicating that it is very much stronger. H4 and H5 are also more intense than those of Domingo, though their intensity in Domingo's voice increases until they are in rough parity with that of Bjoerling at H6. From there, the intensity of harmonics falls off dramatically in both voices. So, as a proportion of the overall sound of the recorded voice, Jussi Bjoerling's tone quality and power are created mostly by H3, H6, H5 and H2 (in decreasing order by intensity) while Domingo's tone quality and power are created mostly via harmonics H6, H2, H1 and H5, again, in decreasing order by intensity. These different balances, while they both sound like tenors, make them distinguishable to our ears. What we cannot conclude Does this mean that Bjoerling's voice was 'bigger' or 'more resonant' than Domingo's, or perhaps the other way around? Neither one!. Engineers who make recordings adjust volumes and balances at their own discretion, to make recordings have a satisfying overall effect for the listener, while not overwhelming the recording or playback machines. There is simply no way to tell from a recording what the original sound intensities were, only how they were after they were recorded and mixed down. Sometimes (though not much with Opera) some EQ is added to overcome a recording problem, or to 'sweeten' the effect a bit. Some of that latter can be seen in some of the images here, and is discussed below under the section 'Engineering Artifacts'. So, even though we cannot learn the size of these voices in absolute terms, we can learn (in general) how the sound energy of the harmonics is distributed relative to one another within a single recorded voice, and can compare recording to recording. Vocal Resonance Strategies Vocal power that is distributed across the various harmonics is perceived by the listener differently, according to the frequency range of the particular harmonics. In the case of the Bjoerling and Domingo notes, the reason that there is such a dispartity in the displays of the blue and white lines is that these singers have balanced their resonances differently for this note in the recordings selected. Surveying recordings of more than fourty of the top tenors of the 20th Century, these voices predominately use one or both of two strategies to create the powerful top voice. In this next section, we will explore the strategies that they used, and comment on the overall effect. The 'Singers Formant' region Looking back at the picture for a moment, you may notice the two vertical red lines which bracket the frequency range of the 6th Harmonic, very strong in both voices. These lines show the 'center 400Hz ' of the Singers formant region, and also indicate the area of highest hearing sensitivity. When harmonics are strong in this frequency region, they are very audible, adding to the carrying power of the voice, and to the listener's perception of voice quality as well. For the singer without amplification, presence of these frequencies allows the voice to cut through above the sound of a piano easily, and even a full orchestra in the concert or Operatic venues. These frequencies also help the audience member locate the sound source very specifically on stage, a big help when singing an ensemble :-) Both Domingo and Bjoerling have this important feature in their voices. Incidentally, the frequency of the 6th harmonic is 2 octaves and a major third above the sung fundamental. The first most common strategy for vocal power and audibility is to have a strong singer's formant, as strong or stronger than the fundamental and 2nd harmonic. We could also call this the 'high ring' strategy. Lowest 3 Harmonics The perception of the 'darkness' or 'warmth' of the voice comes from the intensities of the lowest 2 harmonics, H1 and H2, which are the fundamental of the sung tone, and the octave above it. For these, both singers have about the same proportion, and this forms a solid core to the sound in both voices. To the listener, these two harmonics are very difficult to distinguish individually when they are approximately the same volume. The presence of the proportionally louder H3 in Bjoerling's voice introduces an interesting difference. H3 is the frequency an octave and a perfect 5th above the fundamental, what (to a classical organist) would be called a 'quint'. This quite strong harmonic colors the tone distinctively, and, because it is an odd-numbered harmonic, it stands out in the awareness of the listener, adding brilliance to the vowel. When the 3rd harmonic is the loudest in the whole voice (such as it is for Bjoerling) this becomes a significant feature of the tone quality, and carries a great deal of the vocal power. The second most common strategy for vocal power (and coloring) is to have a strong 3rd Harmonic. The strong H3 is obtained by singing a vowel which tunes the 2nd formant (F2) to just a little bit higher than H3, a process sometimes called vowel modification, or vocal tract tuning. We could also call this the mid+high ring strategy. (Note: For other combinations of note and vowel impression, the tuning of F2 is more advantageously made to H4.) In professional voices, both of these individual strategies can be found, and also combined. Jussi Bjoerling is a fine example of the combined, and Placido Domingo is an excellent example of the "singer's formant" or low+high ring strategy. Another Singer for Comparison - Franco Corelli Franco Corelli (one of Dennison's faves) is known for an heroic tenor voice. This spectragram shows the relative strength of the harmonics in his voice for the same note we were examining with Domingo and Bjoerling. Though there is a bit more orchestral clutter in the sample (sharp spikes here and there, and on the left end,) you can see clearly that the 3rd harmonic is very prominent in his voice, . Looking to the right, you see some strength with H4, H5 and H6, and then a strong H7 as well. This would make his approach a 'combined' one. Others for comparison. See if you can identify which strategies they employ Alfredo Kraus Benjamino Gigli Luciano Pavarotti Special note here: Pavarotti's voice is very interesting in that he uses the H3 formant tuning, but does not combine it with a strong singer's formant. The overall effect is very distinctive. Enrico Caruso Mario Lanza Engineering Artifacts - possible The clustering of the formants F3, F3 and F5 which combine in the Singer's formant region ordinarily produce somewhat jagged peaks in a spectragraphic display. When recorded and displayed 'as is', without any 'sweetening' EQ, they do not often take the shape of smooth curves, rounded on top, but will ramp up and down fairly sharply across 3 or 4 harmonics. Go back to the Kraus spectragraph, and look at the shape of the curve created by the tops of H4, H5, H6, H7 and H8. Disregard the leading (rightmost edge) pointy peaks that show up, that is an orchestral note. The 'wide' part is from the voice. IMO, the slow ramp-up of the harmonic intensities in this region, peaking at H7, and then diminishing a bit to H8, just looks too regular. I think this is a likely example of some EQ shaping to allow the voice to cut through the orchestral mix. Though I cannot be quite so sure on this one, the suddenly very strong H7 in the Correlli spectragraph looks a bit out of place, with the intensities of the immediately 3 lower harmonics at the levels they are. Now you know what you might look for, I will leave the judgment to you. Its not likely, while listening to the recording, that you would be aware of any of these harmonics individually, anyway. None of these latter points reflects on the quality of the singer in any way, nor would the singer likely have been aware that tweaks were done on their behalf. As I said earlier, the Engineers work to create an effective recording of the voice that fairly represents what the performance sounded like to them. Summary We've seen with these examples the most often occuring resonance strategies for creating the ringing top notes of the Operatic Tenor voice, and readily-accessible examples from some of the most popular singers of the 20th Century. We've also discussed the limitations of using recordings to make these conclusions. If you'd like to see more articles of this type, studying the vocalism of other voices, please send me a comment as to your interests. In any case, I plan to do a parallel discussion of the resonance strategies of the Operatic Baritone (Warren, Milnes, Tibett and Bastianini!), the female high voice, and discuss in detail the challenges involved with the transition from mid voice to the top in both types. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - A Christmas Egg The following spectragram is of Michael Bolton (in blue) and Luciano Pavarotti (in white) singing the climactic note of Puccini's Aria 'Nessun Dorma' from Turandot. These were public, large-hall performances, and the performers were close-miked, a very interesting way to hear Pavarotti's voice :-) The note being sung is the B natural above middle C. A problem I encountered in comparing the voices with these recordings is that orchestra is playing quite loudly, so the first harmonics are cluttered by those sounds, so much so that we cannot really distinguish what component of the sound is the singer, and what is the orchestra. To do this particular equalization, I matched volume of harmonics H2 (right above the '1' on the bottom scale) and H3 (midway between '1' and '2'), since the vocal vibrato in both voices makes the trace wide enough to see. Interesting, that Michael Bolton and Luciano Pavarotti have almost exactly the same resonance balance ratio for these two harmonics. Remember, this sort of comparison does not tell us about the absolute volume of the voices, just how the resonances are balanced. You can see some places in the higher harmonics where Bolton's voice has relative strength, too. He has characteristic singer's formant strength that peaks at H6, (right in the sweet spot of our hearing) which would make his resonance strategy for the note a 'combined' one, from our former terminology. If you are interested to listen to these performances: Luciano Pavarotti at
  6. Introduction In the Opera world, one of the most exciting things to anticipate and hear is the brilliant, climactic high note of the tenor soloist in an aria. Not only does the voice carry well without amplification, but takes on a distinctly thrilling, impressive quality of resonance that other parts of the voice do not quite have in the same way. In this post, I will explore the ways that these fine singers manage their voices to enable such singing. Since we will be objectively discussing vocal tone quality, I will be using spectragraphs to assist. With some of these particular ones, I will include annotations to the images so that the reader can make the connection between the visual representation and aural experience of harmonics within the vocal tone quality. The spectragraphs I use will all be of the final note in the Tenor Aria, 'Celeste Aida', from Verdi's Opera Aida, which is on the syllable 'Sol' on the Bb above middle C. To give credit where credit is due, my investigation in this area was inspired by the published work of Donald Miller at www.vocevista.com. The spectragraphs were produced with Spectragram16, by Richard Horne. Bjoerling and Domingo The spectragraph to the left shows that note from recordings of two of the most popular and capable operatic tenors of the 20th Century, Jussi Bjoerling (represented with the blue line) and Placido Domingo,(represented with the white line.) To help orient you to the image, I have annotated it with lines and text to show the locations of the harmonics of the sung tones. On this diagram, left=lower frequency, right=higher frequency. Up=higher intensity, down=lower intensity. The frequency range represented is 0 to 4000 cycles per second (Hz). So that these notes could be compared as well as can be from recordings, I equalized the volume of the fundamentals. What we can see and conclude With this equalization, the fundamentals and 2nd harmonics (H2) are about the same strength when comparing voice-to-voice, as evidenced by the nearly exact overlay of the blue and white lines. However, a very great difference is noticable in the intensity of H3. Bjoerling's H3 goes way higher on the intensity scale than Domingo's, indicating that it is very much stronger. H4 and H5 are also more intense than those of Domingo, though their intensity in Domingo's voice increases until they are in rough parity with that of Bjoerling at H6. From there, the intensity of harmonics falls off dramatically in both voices. So, as a proportion of the overall sound of the recorded voice, Jussi Bjoerling's tone quality and power are created mostly by H3, H6, H5 and H2 (in decreasing order by intensity) while Domingo's tone quality and power are created mostly via harmonics H6, H2, H1 and H5, again, in decreasing order by intensity. These different balances, while they both sound like tenors, make them distinguishable to our ears. What we cannot conclude Does this mean that Bjoerling's voice was 'bigger' or 'more resonant' than Domingo's, or perhaps the other way around? Neither one!. Engineers who make recordings adjust volumes and balances at their own discretion, to make recordings have a satisfying overall effect for the listener, while not overwhelming the recording or playback machines. There is simply no way to tell from a recording what the original sound intensities were, only how they were after they were recorded and mixed down. Sometimes (though not much with Opera) some EQ is added to overcome a recording problem, or to 'sweeten' the effect a bit. Some of that latter can be seen in some of the images here, and is discussed below under the section 'Engineering Artifacts'. So, even though we cannot learn the size of these voices in absolute terms, we can learn (in general) how the sound energy of the harmonics is distributed relative to one another within a single recorded voice, and can compare recording to recording. Vocal Resonance Strategies Vocal power that is distributed across the various harmonics is perceived by the listener differently, according to the frequency range of the particular harmonics. In the case of the Bjoerling and Domingo notes, the reason that there is such a dispartity in the displays of the blue and white lines is that these singers have balanced their resonances differently for this note in the recordings selected. Surveying recordings of more than fourty of the top tenors of the 20th Century, these voices predominately use one or both of two strategies to create the powerful top voice. In this next section, we will explore the strategies that they used, and comment on the overall effect. The 'Singers Formant' region Looking back at the picture for a moment, you may notice the two vertical red lines which bracket the frequency range of the 6th Harmonic, very strong in both voices. These lines show the 'center 400Hz ' of the Singers formant region, and also indicate the area of highest hearing sensitivity. When harmonics are strong in this frequency region, they are very audible, adding to the carrying power of the voice, and to the listener's perception of voice quality as well. For the singer without amplification, presence of these frequencies allows the voice to cut through above the sound of a piano easily, and even a full orchestra in the concert or Operatic venues. These frequencies also help the audience member locate the sound source very specifically on stage, a big help when singing an ensemble :-) Both Domingo and Bjoerling have this important feature in their voices. Incidentally, the frequency of the 6th harmonic is 2 octaves and a major third above the sung fundamental. The first most common strategy for vocal power and audibility is to have a strong singer's formant, as strong or stronger than the fundamental and 2nd harmonic. We could also call this the 'high ring' strategy. Lowest 3 Harmonics The perception of the 'darkness' or 'warmth' of the voice comes from the intensities of the lowest 2 harmonics, H1 and H2, which are the fundamental of the sung tone, and the octave above it. For these, both singers have about the same proportion, and this forms a solid core to the sound in both voices. To the listener, these two harmonics are very difficult to distinguish individually when they are approximately the same volume. The presence of the proportionally louder H3 in Bjoerling's voice introduces an interesting difference. H3 is the frequency an octave and a perfect 5th above the fundamental, what (to a classical organist) would be called a 'quint'. This quite strong harmonic colors the tone distinctively, and, because it is an odd-numbered harmonic, it stands out in the awareness of the listener, adding brilliance to the vowel. When the 3rd harmonic is the loudest in the whole voice (such as it is for Bjoerling) this becomes a significant feature of the tone quality, and carries a great deal of the vocal power. The second most common strategy for vocal power (and coloring) is to have a strong 3rd Harmonic. The strong H3 is obtained by singing a vowel which tunes the 2nd formant (F2) to just a little bit higher than H3, a process sometimes called vowel modification, or vocal tract tuning. We could also call this the mid+high ring strategy. (Note: For other combinations of note and vowel impression, the tuning of F2 is more advantageously made to H4.) In professional voices, both of these individual strategies can be found, and also combined. Jussi Bjoerling is a fine example of the combined, and Placido Domingo is an excellent example of the "singer's formant" or low+high ring strategy. Another Singer for Comparison - Franco Corelli Franco Corelli (one of Dennison's faves) is known for an heroic tenor voice. This spectragram shows the relative strength of the harmonics in his voice for the same note we were examining with Domingo and Bjoerling. Though there is a bit more orchestral clutter in the sample (sharp spikes here and there, and on the left end,) you can see clearly that the 3rd harmonic is very prominent in his voice, . Looking to the right, you see some strength with H4, H5 and H6, and then a strong H7 as well. This would make his approach a 'combined' one. Others for comparison. See if you can identify which strategies they employ Alfredo Kraus Benjamino Gigli Luciano Pavarotti Special note here: Pavarotti's voice is very interesting in that he uses the H3 formant tuning, but does not combine it with a strong singer's formant. The overall effect is very distinctive. Enrico Caruso Mario Lanza Engineering Artifacts - possible The clustering of the formants F3, F3 and F5 which combine in the Singer's formant region ordinarily produce somewhat jagged peaks in a spectragraphic display. When recorded and displayed 'as is', without any 'sweetening' EQ, they do not often take the shape of smooth curves, rounded on top, but will ramp up and down fairly sharply across 3 or 4 harmonics. Go back to the Kraus spectragraph, and look at the shape of the curve created by the tops of H4, H5, H6, H7 and H8. Disregard the leading (rightmost edge) pointy peaks that show up, that is an orchestral note. The 'wide' part is from the voice. IMO, the slow ramp-up of the harmonic intensities in this region, peaking at H7, and then diminishing a bit to H8, just looks too regular. I think this is a likely example of some EQ shaping to allow the voice to cut through the orchestral mix. Though I cannot be quite so sure on this one, the suddenly very strong H7 in the Correlli spectragraph looks a bit out of place, with the intensities of the immediately 3 lower harmonics at the levels they are. Now you know what you might look for, I will leave the judgment to you. Its not likely, while listening to the recording, that you would be aware of any of these harmonics individually, anyway. None of these latter points reflects on the quality of the singer in any way, nor would the singer likely have been aware that tweaks were done on their behalf. As I said earlier, the Engineers work to create an effective recording of the voice that fairly represents what the performance sounded like to them. Summary We've seen with these examples the most often occuring resonance strategies for creating the ringing top notes of the Operatic Tenor voice, and readily-accessible examples from some of the most popular singers of the 20th Century. We've also discussed the limitations of using recordings to make these conclusions. If you'd like to see more articles of this type, studying the vocalism of other voices, please send me a comment as to your interests. In any case, I plan to do a parallel discussion of the resonance strategies of the Operatic Baritone (Warren, Milnes, Tibett and Bastianini!), the female high voice, and discuss in detail the challenges involved with the transition from mid voice to the top in both types. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - A Christmas Egg The following spectragram is of Michael Bolton (in blue) and Luciano Pavarotti (in white) singing the climactic note of Puccini's Aria 'Nessun Dorma' from Turandot. These were public, large-hall performances, and the performers were close-miked, a very interesting way to hear Pavarotti's voice :-) The note being sung is the B natural above middle C. A problem I encountered in comparing the voices with these recordings is that orchestra is playing quite loudly, so the first harmonics are cluttered by those sounds, so much so that we cannot really distinguish what component of the sound is the singer, and what is the orchestra. To do this particular equalization, I matched volume of harmonics H2 (right above the '1' on the bottom scale) and H3 (midway between '1' and '2'), since the vocal vibrato in both voices makes the trace wide enough to see. Interesting, that Michael Bolton and Luciano Pavarotti have almost exactly the same resonance balance ratio for these two harmonics. Remember, this sort of comparison does not tell us about the absolute volume of the voices, just how the resonances are balanced. You can see some places in the higher harmonics where Bolton's voice has relative strength, too. He has characteristic singer's formant strength that peaks at H6, (right in the sweet spot of our hearing) which would make his resonance strategy for the note a 'combined' one, from our former terminology. If you are interested to listen to these performances: Luciano Pavarotti at View full articles
  7. Spinto Voices - All Voice type Definitions

    I have decided to copy and paste Wikipedia definition of " SPINTO". I have had many people online and in this forum write. Telling me they are Spinto, upon listening to their voice sample however. It becomes clear they mis-understand what Spinto is. I have also had a few suggest I'm not a Spinto which indeed I am. They seem to confuse Tenore Leggerio with Tenore de forci. I am merely copying and posting this definition as I find it accurate and well worded. Some have suggested my voice is heavy for Tenor, It is proper for my Tenor type. I am going to organize full discription of voice types and add them to this post ASAP. I think it is Important for people to know their proper voice type. This in no way is indicative of range although the voices cover and change register usually one third higher, hence Baritone a third higher then Bass, Tenor a third higher then Baritone. The same is true of female Mezzo a third above Contralto, Soprano a third above Mezzo Soprano. There are voices which will fall in between. For those voices it is wise to train in the voice type closest to your natural register changes. Properly trained however every healthy voice can master the three main registers and many the forth that upper whistle register. However lower voices will not print( that is sound the same in those registers) when fully supported and properly articulated. "Spinto (from Italian, "pushed") is a vocal term used to characterize a soprano or tenor voice of a weight between lyric and dramatic that is capable of handling large dramatic climaxes at moderate intervals. Sometimes the terms lirico-spinto or jugendlich-dramatisch are used. This voice type is recognized by its "slice", allowing the singer to be heard over a full Romantic orchestra in roles excluding, in particular, the most taxing of the Verdi, Puccini and verismo parts, such as Otello. Spinto soprano: a lyric soprano with a fair amount of "pulp". As they have both a lyric and a dramatic quality, spinto sopranos are suitable for wide range of roles, from lyric roles such as Micaela in Carmen and Mim in La Bohame to Verdi heroines like Leonora (in Il Trovatore or La forza del destino), Aida or Puccini's Madame Butterfly. Tenore spinto: the tenor equivalent of the above. They can sing roles like Rodolfo in La Bohame and Alfredo in La Traviata all the way up to Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca and Radames in Aïda. The tenor lead in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is another well-known example of a spinto part. Rosalind Plowright defines a spinto voice as one that has a tonal colour one down from its range. For example, a voice with a mezzo's tone colour and the high notes of a soprano, or a voice with a tenor range and a baritone's tone colour, is a spinto. She names Placido Domingo as an instance of the latter.[1] Plowright's generalisation does not hold true for all spinto tenors, however. Giovanni Martinelli, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and Jussi Bjrling, for instance, sang spinto roles such as Radames with bright-toned voices that lacked any baritonal colouration." LIST: COLORATURA Coloratura has several meanings. The word derives from the Italian colorare (to colour; to heighten; to enliven) or colorazione (colouring, coloration). Its most well-known meaning is applied to voice type - i.e., the coloratura soprano, most famously typified by the role of Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflate.[1] This type of soprano has a high range and can execute with great facility the style of singing that includes elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills. Other female and male voice types may also be masters of coloratura technique, but the term coloratura when used without further qualification means soprano coloratura. Richard Miller names two types of soprano coloratura voices (the coloratura and the dramatic coloratura)[2] as well as a mezzo-soprano coloratura voice[3], and although he does not mention the coloratura contralto, he includes mention of specific works requiring coloratura technique for the contralto voice.[4] For Males the Term COLORATURO is more likely applied. SOPRANO A soprano is a singing voice with a vocal range (using scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4) from approximately (C4) to "high A" (A5) in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) or higher in operatic music. In four part chorale style harmony the soprano takes the highest part which usually encompasses the melody.[1] For other styles of singing see Voice classification in non-classical music. Typically, the term "soprano" refers to female singers but at times the term male soprano has been used by men who sing in the soprano vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England. However, these men are more commonly referred to as countertenors or sopranists. It should be noted that the practice of referring to countertenors as "male sopranos" is somewhat controversial within vocal pedagogical circles as these men do not produce sound in the same physiological way that female sopranos do.[2] The singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who can refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice like a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed like a man's voice does during puberty. In choral music the term soprano refers to a vocal part or line and not a voice type. Male singers whose voices have not yet changed and are singing the soprano line are technically known as "trebles". The term "boy soprano" is often used as well, but this is just a colloquialism and not the correct term. Historically women were not allowed to sing in the Church so the soprano roles were given to young boys and later to castrati - men whose larynxes had been fixed in a pre-adolescent state through the process of castration.[4] The term soprano may also be used to refer to a member of an instrumental family with the highest range such as the soprano saxophone. In opera, the tessitura, vocal weight, and timbre of soprano voices, and the roles they sing, are commonly categorized into voice types, often called fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). A singer's tessitura is where the voice has the best timbre, easy volume, and most comfort. For instance a soprano and a mezzo-soprano may have a similar range, but their tessituras will lie in different parts of that range. The low extreme for sopranos is roughly B3 or A3 (just below middle C). Often low notes in higher voices project less, lack timbre, and tend to "count less" in roles (although some Verdi, Strauss and Wagner roles call for stronger singing below the staff). Rarely is a soprano simply unable to sing a low note in a song within a soprano role. The high extreme: at a minimum, non-coloratura sopranos have to reach "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C), and many roles in the standard repertoire call for D6 or D-flat6. A couple of roles have optional E-flat's, as well. In the coloratura repertoire several roles call for E-flat6 on up to F6. In rare cases, some coloratura roles go as high as G6 or A6 such as the concert aria Popoli di Tessaglia or the role of Europa in Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. While not necessarily within the tessitura, a good soprano will be able to sing her top notes full-throated, with timbre and dynamic control. The following are the operatic soprano classifications Coloratura soprano Lyric coloratura soprano- A very agile light voice with a high upper extension, capable of fast vocal coloratura. Lyric coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower.[2] To hear an example of a Lyric coloratura soprano. Dramatic coloratura soprano- A coloratura soprano with great flexibility in high-lying velocity passages, yet with great sustaining power comparable to that of a full spinto or dramatic soprano. Dramatic coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower. Soubrette In classical music and opera, the term soubrette refers to both a voice type and a particular type of opera role. A soubrette voice is light with a bright, sweet timbre, a tessitura in the mid-range, and with no extensive coloratura. The soubrette voice is not a weak voice for it must carry over an orchestra without a microphone like all voices in opera. The voice however has a lighter vocal weight than other soprano voices with a brighter timbre. Many young singers start out as soubrettes but as they grow older and the voice matures more physically they may be reclassified as another voice type, usually either a light lyric soprano, a lyric coloratura soprano, or a coloratura mezzo-soprano. Rarely does a singer remain a soubrette throughout their entire career.[1] A soubrette's range extends approximately from middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). The tessitura of the soubrette tends to lie a bit lower than the lyric soprano and spinto soprano. Lyric soprano A warm voice with a bright, full timbre which can be heard over an orchestra. It generally has a higher tessitura than a soubrette and usually plays ingenues and other sympathetic characters in opera. Lyric sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6).[6] There is a tendency to divide lyric sopranos into two groups. Light lyric soprano- A light-lyric soprano has a bigger voice than a soubrette but still possesses a youthful qaulity Full lyric soprano- A full-lyric soprano has a more mature sound than a light-lyric soprano and can be heard over a bigger orchestra Spinto soprano Also lirico-spinto, Italian for "pushed lyric". This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric soprano, but can be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain, and may have a somewhat darker timbre. Spinto sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Dramatic soprano A dramatic soprano has a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over a full orchestra. Usually (but not always) this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have a very big voice that can assert itself over an exceptionally large orchestra (over eighty pieces). These voices are substantial and very powerful and ideally even throughout the registers. TENOR Within Choral and pop music, singers are classified into voice parts based almost solely on range with little consideration for other qualities in the voice. Within classical solo singing, however, a person is classified as a tenor through the identification of several vocal traits, including vocal range (the lowest and highest notes that the singer can reach), vocal timbre, vocal weight, vocal tessitura, vocal resonance, and vocal transition points (lifts or "passaggio") within the singer's voice. These different traits are used to identify different sub-types within the tenor voice sometimes referred to as fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). Within opera, particular roles are written with specific kinds of tenor voices in mind, causing certain roles to be associated with certain kinds of voices. Here follows the operatic tenor facher, with examples of the roles from the standard repertory that they commonly sing. It should be noted that there is considerable overlap between the various categories of role and of voice-type; and that some singers have begun with lyric voices but have transformed with time into spinto or even dramatic tenors. (Enrico Caruso is a prime example of this kind of vocal development.) The categories are: Leggiero tenor The male equivalent of a lyric coloratura, this voice is light and very agile and is able to perform dextrous coloratura passages. The Leggiero tenor has a range of approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the Eâ™­ above tenor C (Eâ™­ 5) with some leggiero tenors being able to sing up to the F or even Gâ™­. This voice is the highest tenor voice and is sometimes referred to as "tenore di grazia". This voice is utilized frequently in the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, and the highest Baroque repertoire for tenors. Leggiero tenors also frequently perform roles in the light-lyric tenor repertoire. Leggiero tenor roles in opera and operettas: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) Arturo, I puritani (Bellini) Belmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Ernesto, Don Pasquale (Donizetti) Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Mozart) Gualtiero, Il pirata (Bellini) Lindoro, L'italiana in Algeri (Rossini) Nemorino, L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti) Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Mozart) Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Rossini) Tonio, La fille du régiment (Donizetti) Leggiero tenor singers: John Aler Luigi Alva Rockwell Blake Alessandro Bonci Juan Diego Flarez Alfredo Kraus William Matteuzzi Chris Merritt Tito Schipa Ferruccio Tagliavini Fritz Wunderlich Lyric tenor A warm graceful voice with a bright, full timbre that is strong but not heavy and can be heard over an orchestra. Lyric tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5). Lyric tenors can be divided into two groups: Light lyric tenor A light-lyric tenor has a slightly warmer sound than the Leggiero tenor and some coloratura facility but does not have quite as high of an upper extension as the leggiero tenor. This voice is used frequently within French comic operas. Full lyric tenor A full-lyric tenor that has a more mature sound than a light-lyric tenor and can be heard over a bigger orchestra. Light-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Chapelou, Le postillon de Lonjumeau (Adolphe Adam) George Brown, La dame blanche (Francois-Adrien Boaeldieu) Gerald, Lakme (Delibes) Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon (Pauline Viardot) Nadir, Les pacheurs de perles (Bizet) Vincent, Mireille (Gounod) Full-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Alfredo, La traviata (Verdi) Chevalier, Dialogues des Carmelites (Poulenc) David, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Verdi) Edgardo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Faust, Faust (Gounod) Hoffman, The Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach) Idomeneo, Idomeneo (Mozart) Le Prince Charmant, Cendrillon (Massenet) (when performed by a tenor, originally written for soprano) Rodolfo, La bohème (Puccini) Romeo, Romeo et Juliette (Gounod) Tamino, Die Zauberflute (Mozart) Werther, Werther (Jules Massenet) Wilhelm Meister, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas) Lurcanio, "Ariodante" Handel Lyric tenor singers: Roberto Alagna Marcelo Ã�lvarez Giacomo Aragall Jussi Burling Joseph Calleja Jose Carreras Richard Crooks Giuseppe Di Stefano Salvatore Fisichella Miguel Fleta Beniamino Gigli Nicolai Gedda John McCormack Luciano Pavarotti Alfred Piccaver Dmitri Smirnov Leonid Sobinov Richard Tauber Joseph Schmidt Alain Vanzo Rolando Villazan Spinto tenor This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain. (They are also known as "lyric-dramatic" tenors.) Some spinto tenors may have a somewhat darker timbre than a lyric tenor as well, without being as dark as a dramatic tenor. Spinto tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5).[2] Spinto tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Alvaro, La forza del destino (Verdi) Andrea Chenier, Andrea Chenier (Umberto Giordano) Canio, Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Don Carlos, Don Carlos (Verdi) Don Jose, Carmen (Bizet) Erik, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Ernani, Ernani (Verdi) Manrico, Il trovatore (Verdi) Mario Cavaradossi, Tosca (Puccini) Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Riccardo, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Turiddu, Cavalleria rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Spinto tenor singers: Carlo Bergonzi Donald Braswell II Enrico Caruso Antonio Cortis Charles Dalmores Giacomo Lauri-Volpi Francesco Merli Aureliano Pertile Giovanni Martinelli Helge Roswaenge Harry Theyard Georges Thill Richard Tucker Dramatic tenor Also "tenore di forza" or "robusto" a ringing and very powerful, clarion heroic tenor. The dramatic tenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5).[2] Dramatic tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Calaf, Turandot (Puccini) Otello, Otello (Verdi) Radames, Aida (Verdi) Rodolfo, Luisa Miller (Verdi) Samson, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Sans) Dramatic tenor singers: Franco Bonisolli Franco Corelli Carlo Cossutta Jose Cura Mario del Monaco Jean de Reszke Placido Domingo Giuseppe Giacomini Ramon Vinay Francesco Vinas Franz Volker Ivan Yershov Giovanni Zenatello Heldentenor A rich, dark-toned, powerful, and dramatic voice. As its name implies, the Heldentenor (English: heroic tenor) vocal fach features in the German romantic operatic repertoire. The Heldentenor is the German equivalent of the tenore drammatico, however with a more baritonal quality: the typical Wagnerian protagonist. The keystone of any heldentenor's repertoire is arguably Wagner's Siegfried, an extremely demanding role requiring a wide vocal range, great stamina, and extended dramatic suspension. The Heldentenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). Heldentenor roles in opera and operettas: Florestan, Fidelio (Beethoven) Tannhäuser, Tannhuser (Wagner) Loge, Das Rheingold (Wagner) Lohengrin, Lohengrin (Wagner) Parsifal, Parsifal (Wagner) Siegfried, Gutterdmmerung (Wagner) Siegfried, Siegfried (Wagner) Siegmund, Die Walkare (Wagner) Walter von Stolzing, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Tristan, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Heldentenor singers: Bernd Aldenhoff Richard Cassilly James King Heinrich Knote Ernst Kraus Lauritz Melchior Albert Niemann Ticho Parly Ludwig Suthaus Set Svanholm Josef Tichatschek Jacques Urlus Jon Vickers Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld Wolfgang Windgassen Tenor buffo or Spieltenor A tenor with good acting ability, and the ability to create distinct voices for his characters. This voice specializes in smaller comic roles. The range of the tenor buffo is from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). The tessitura of these parts lies lower than the other tenor roles. These parts are often played by younger tenors who have not yet reached their full vocal potential or older tenors who are beyond their prime singing years. Only rarely will a singer specialize in these roles for an entire career. Tenor buffo roles in opera and operettas: Don Basilio, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) Mime, Siegfried (Wagner) Don Anchise/ Il Podesta , La finta giardiniera (Mozart) Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Mozart) Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Examples Fucher Singer Role Composer Opera Example on YouTube Leggiero tenor Juan Diego Florez Tonio Donizetti La fille du ragiment link Light lyric tenor Alain Vanzo Nadir Georges Bizet Les pcheurs de perles link Full lyric tenor Salvatore Fisichella Rodolfo Puccini La bohame link Spinto tenor Mario Lanza Canio Leoncavallo Pagliacci link Dramatic tenor Franco Corelli Radames Verdi Aida link Heldentenor Lauritz Melchior Lohengrin Wagner Lohengrin link Tenor buffo Norbert Orth Monostatos Mozart The Magic Flute NOTE IN REGARDS TO CROSSOVERS- You will notice some like Caruso, Corelli etc are classified in more the one voice type I.E- Dramatic ,Lyric Tenor Robusto. This is because many voices have greater dynamics then type specific and/or they upgrade/down grade with normal shifts in the voice at various ages. The typing is more a standard for role naming and what voice requirements are held for specific roles. MEZZO - SOPRANO A mezzo-soprano (meaning "medium" or "middle" "soprano" in Italian) is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3-A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the G below middle C (G3) and as high as "high C" (C6).While mezzo-sopranos generally have a heavier, darker tone than sopranos, the mezzo-soprano voice resonates in a higher range than that of a contralto. The terms Dugazon and Galli-Marié are sometimes used to refer to light mezzo-sopranos, after the names of famous singers. A castrato with a mezzo-soprano range was also called a mezzo-soprano castrato or mezzista. Today, however, only women should be referred to as mezzo-sopranos, and men singing within the female range should be called countertenors. Mezzo-sopranos typically sing secondary roles in operas, with the protagonist in Bizet's Carmen and Rosina in Rossini's Barber of Seville as the most notable exceptions. Typical roles for mezzo-sopranos include witches, nurses, and wise women such as Azucena in Verdi's Il trovatore; trouser role (male characters played by female singers) such as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro; and villains and seductresses such as Amneris in Verdi's Aida. Mezzo-sopranos are also well represented in baroque music, early music and baroque opera. Some roles designated for lighter soubrette sopranos are sung by mezzo sopranos, who often provide a fuller, more dramatic quality. Such roles include Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mezzos also sometimes play dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth, and Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal. In general mezzos are broken down into three categories: Coloratura mezzo-sopranos, Lyric mezzo-soprano, and Dramatic mezzo-sopranos. Coloratura mezzo-soprano A coloratura mezzo-soprano has a warm lower register and an agile high register. The roles they sing often demand not only the use of the lower register but also leaps into the upper tessitura with highly ornamented, rapid passages. They have a range from approximately the G (G3) below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C (B5). Some coloratura mezzo-sopranos can sing up to high C (C6) or high D (D6), but this is very rare.[1] What distinguishes these voices from being called sopranos is their extension into the lower register and warmer vocal quality. Although coloratura mezzo-sopranos have impressive and at times thrilling high notes, they are most comfortable singing in the middle of their range, rather than the top. Many of the hero roles in the operas of Handel and Monteverdi, originally sung by male castrati, can be successfully sung today by coloratura mezzo-sopranos. Rossini demanded similar qualities for his comic heroines, and Vivaldi wrote roles frequently for this voice as well. Coloratura mezzo-sopranos also often sing lyric-mezzo soprano roles or soubrette roles. Coloratura mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Angelina- Cenerentola, La Cenerentola (Rossini)@ Ariodante, Ariodante (Handel) -- trouser role)@ Griselda, Griselda (Vivaldi)@ Isabella, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini)@ Orsini, Lucrezia Borgia (Gaetano Donizetti) Romeo, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Vincenzo Bellini) -- trouser role @ Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Rossini)@ Julius Caesar, Giulio Cesare (Handel) -- trouser role@ @-denotes a lead role Coloratura mezzo-soprano singers Cecilia Bartoli Teresa Berganza Joyce DiDonato Gail Dubinbaum Vivica Genaux Marilyn Horne Vesselina Kasarova Giulietta Simionato Conchita Supervía Lucia Valentini Terrani Lyric mezzo-soprano The Lyric mezzo-soprano has a range from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] This voice has a very smooth, sensitive and at times lachrymose quality. Lyric mezzo-sopranos do not have the vocal agility of the coloratura mezzo-soprano or the size of the dramatic mezzo-soprano. The lyric mezzo-soprano is ideal for most trouser roles. Lyric mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Annio, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)-- trouser role Arianna Arianna (Claudio Monteverdi)@ Carmen Carmen (Georges Bizet)@ (Also Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano) Charlotte, Werther (Massenet)@ Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)-- trouser role The Composer Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)-- trouser role Sorceress, Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell) Dorabella, Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)@ Hänsel, Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) -- trouser role @ Mignon, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas)@ Mother, Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti)@ Nicklausse, Les contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach) -- trouser role though he is the (female) Muse in disguise. Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier (Richard Strauss) -- trouser role}@ Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) (Johann Strauss) -- trouser role Sesto, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) -- trouser role Siebel, Faust (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Stephano, Romeo et Juliette (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Suzuki, Madama Butterfly @-Denotes a lead role Lyric mezzo-soprano Singers Janet Baker Agnes Baltsa Sarah Connolly Malena Ernman Brigitte Fassbaender Susan Graham Magdalena Koen Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Christa Ludwig Nan Merriman Frederica von Stade Risa Stevens Tatiana Troyanos Anne Sofie von Otter Dramatic mezzo-soprano A dramatic mezzo-soprano has a strong medium register, a warm high register and a voice that is broader and more powerful than the lyric and coloratura mezzo-sopranos. This voice has less vocal facility than the coloratura mezzo-soprano. The range of the dramatic mezzo-soprano is from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] The dramatic mezzo-soprano can sing over an orchestra and chorus with ease and was often used in the 19th century opera, to portray older women, mothers, witches and evil characters. Verdi wrote many roles for this voice in the Italian repertoire and there are also a few good roles in the French Literature. The majority of these roles however are within the German Romantic repertoire of composers like Wagner and Strauss. Like Coloratura mezzos, dramatic mezzos are also often cast in lyric mezzo-soprano roles.[4] To hear an example of a dramatic mezzo-soprano (Olga Borodina as Eboli in Don Carlos) Dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Azucena, Il trovatore (Verdi) Amneris, Aida (Verdi) Brangune, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Carmen, Carmen (Bizet)@ (Also Lyric Mezzo) The Countess, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) Dalila, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns)@ Dido, Les Troyens (Berlioz)@ Eboli, Don Carlos (Verdi) Herodias, Salome (Richard Strauss) Hexe, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Judith, Bluebeard's Castle (Bartak)@ (Also Dramatic Soprano) Kundry, Parsifal (Wagner)@ (also Dramatic soprano) Klytemnastra , Elektra (Richard Strauss) Laura, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Marina, Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky) Mother, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Ortrud, Lohengrin (Wagner) Princess de Bouillon, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) @-denotes a lead role Dramatic mezzo-soprano Singers Irina Arkhipova Fedora Barbieri Olga Borodina Grace Bumbry Viorica Cortez Fiorenza Cossotto Maria Gay Rita Gorr Denyce Graves Waltraud Meier Elena Obraztsova Regina Resnik Giulietta Simionato Ebe Stignani Shirley Verrett Dolora Zajick BARITONE Bariton/Baryton-Martin Common Range: From the low C to the Ab above middle C (C3 to A­4)[7] Description: The Baryton-Martin lacks the lower G2-B2 range a heavier baritone is capable of. Has a lighter, almost tenor-like quality. Generally seen only in French repertoire, this fach was named after the French singer Jean-Blaise Martin. Associated with the rise of the baritone in the 19th century, Martin was well known for his fondness for falsetto singing, and the designation 'Baryton Martin' has been used (Faure, 1886) to separate his voice from the 'Verdi Baritone', which carried the chest register further into the upper range. Roles: Pellas, Pellas et Melisande (Claude Debussy) L'Horloge Comtoise, L'enfant et les sortilèges (Maurice Ravel) Orfeo, L'Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi) Ramiro, L'heure espagnole (Maurice Ravel) Singers: Jean Perier Pierre Bernac Wolfgang Holzmair Jacques Jansen Simon Keenlyside Camille Maurane Richard Stilwell Bel Canto (coloratura) baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4) Description: The sound is more or less the same as the lyric baritone voice, but must be considerably agile to sing fioritura and coloratura passages. They are usually the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini) Dandini, La Cenerentola (Gioachino Rossini) Belcore, L'elisir d'amore (Gaetano Donizetti) Note: Its ambitus is greater than the lyric baritone's. Lyric baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4). Description: A sweeter, milder sounding baritone voice, lacking in harshness; lighter and perhaps mellower than the dramatic baritone with a higher tessitura. It is typically assigned to comic roles. Roles: Conte Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Guglielmo, Cosa fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Papageno, The Magic Flute (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Marcello, La bohème (Giacomo Puccini) Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) The kavalierbariton Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A metallic voice, that can sing both lyric and dramatic phrases, a manly noble baritonal color, with good looks. Not quite as powerful as the Verdi baritone who is expected to have a powerful appearance on stage, perhaps muscular or physically large. Roles: Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Justin Labelle, Wakonda's Dream (Anthony Davis) Tonio, Pagliacci (Ruggero Leoncavallo) Count, Capriccio (Richard Strauss) Germont in La traviata (Giuseppe Verdi) Singers: Eberhard Wächter Dmitri Hvorostovsky Verdi baritone Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A more specialized voice category, Verdi baritone refers to a voice capable of singing consistently and with ease in the highest part of the baritone range, sometimes extend it up to the C above middle C. Roles: Amonasro, Aida Carlo, Ernani Conte di Luna, Il trovatore Don Carlo di Vargas, La forza del destino Falstaff, Falstaff Ford Falstaff Germont, La traviata Macbeth, Macbeth Renato, Un ballo in maschera Rigoletto, Rigoletto Rodrigo, Don Carlos Simon Boccanegra, Simon Boccanegra Singers: Ettore Bastianini Renato Bruson Robert Merrill Sherrill Milnes Titta Ruffo Leonard Warren Carlos Alvarez Dmitri Hvorostovsky Dramatic baritone Common Range: From the F half an octave below low C to the F above middle C (F2 to F4).[9] Description: A voice that is richer and fuller than a lyric baritone and with a darker quality. This category corresponds roughly to the Heldenbariton in the German fach system except the Verdi baritones have been separated. Roles for this voice are also called bass-baritone and are typically dramatic in their tone. Roles such as these tend not to have a slightly lower tessitura than typical Verdi baritone roles, only rising above an F at the moments of greatest intensity. Many of the Puccini roles fall into this category. Role Jack Rance, La Fanciulla del West (Giacomo Puccini) Scarpia, Tosca (Giacomo Puccini) Nabucco, Nabucco (Giuseppe Verdi) Iago, Otello (Giuseppe Verdi) Escamillo, Carmen (Bizet) Singers: Norman Bailey Tito Gobbi Peter Kajlinger Sergei Leiferkus Lyric Low Baritone/Lyric Bass-baritone Main article: Bass-baritone Some bass-baritones are baritones, like Friedrich Schorr, George London, James Morris and Bryn Terfel. The following are more often done by lower baritones as opposed to high basses. Roles: Don Pizarro Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Golaud Pellaas et Melisande by Claude Debussy Mephistopls, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosafan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Singer: Thomas Quasthoff Bryn Terfel Dramatic Bass-baritone/Low Baritone Range: From about the G below low C to the F above middle C (G2 to F4) Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Dutchman The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner Hans Sachs Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Amfortas Parsifal by Richard Wagner Examples: George London Hans Hotter Friedrich Schorr Baryton-noble Description: French for noble baritone and describes a part that requires a noble bearing, smooth vocalisation and forceful declamation, all in perfect balance. This category originated in the Paris Opéra, but it greatly influenced Verdi (Don Carlo in Ernani and La forza del destino; Count Luna in Il trovatore; Simon Boccanegra) and Wagner as well (Wotan; Amfortas). CONTRALTO In music, a contralto is a type of classical female singing voice with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a mezzo-soprano. The term is used to refer to the deepest female singing voice. The typical contralto range lies between the F below middle C (F3) to two Fs above middle C (F5). In the lower and upper extremes, some contralto voices can sing from the E below middle C (E3) to two Bâ™­s above middle C (Bâ™­5).The contralto voice has the lowest tessitura of the female voices and is noted for its rich and deep vocal timbre. In current operatic practice, female singers with very low tessituras are often included among mezzo-sopranos, because singers in both ranges are able to cover the other, and true operatic contraltos are very rare. The term contralto is not synonymous with the term alto which designates a specific part within choral music and is not a voice type. Technically, "alto" is only a separate category in choral music where it refers simply to the vocal range and does not consider factors like vocal tessitura, vocal timbre, vocal facility, and vocal weight. Although both men and women may have voices in the contralto vocal range, the word is always used in the context of a female singer. Men singing in the contralto, mezzo-soprano, or soprano range are called countertenors. Contraltos are fairly rare in opera, since there is very little work that was written specifically for them. Most of the time, contralto roles are limited to maids, mothers and grandmothers, but they do occasionally get notable roles, often playing female villains such as witches or playing male figures that were originally intended to be performed by castrato singers. "A common saying among contraltos is that they're only allowed to play 'witches', 'bitches', or 'britches'." Contralto roles in operas The following is a list of examples of contralto roles in the standard operatic repertoire Art Banker, Facing Goya (Michael Nyman) Auntie, landlady of The Boar, Peter Grimes (Britten)* Azucena, Il Trovatore (Verdi)* The Baroness, Vanessa (Barber) La Cieca, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Erda, Das Rheingold, Siegfried (Wagner) Madame Flora, The Medium (Gian-Carlo Menotti) Katisha, The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan) Klytemnestra, Elektra (Strauss)* Maddalena, Rigoletto (Verdi)* Mama Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Malcolm, La donna del lago (Rossini)* Mary, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Olga, Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)* Orfeo, Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) trouser role Lel, The Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov) Didone, Egisto (Cavalli) Pauline, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) La Principessa, Suor Angelica (Puccini) Ruth The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan) Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Widow Begbick, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Kurt Weill) * : Indicates a role that may also be sung by a mezzo-soprano. Notable contraltos Classical and operatic contraltos are singers who have regularly performed unamplified classical or operatic music in concert halls and/or opera houses. Some of the most notable of all historic and contemporary contraltos include: Marietta Alboni (1826-1894) Marian Anderson (1897-1993) Irina Arkhipova (1925-) Eula Beal (1919-2008) Marianne Brandt (1842-1921) Muriel Brunskill (1899-1980) Clara Butt (1872-1936) Lili Chookasian (1921-) Belle Cole (1845-1905) Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) Maureen Forrester (1930-) Louise Homer (1871-1947) Sigrid Onegin (1889-1943) Ewa PodleÅ› (1952-) Marie Powers (1902-1973) Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936) Annice Sidwells (1902-2001) Nathalie Stutzmann (1965-) Vittoria Tesi (1700-1775) BASSO - BASS A bass is a type of classical male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the F two octaves below middle C to the E above middle C (i.e., F2, E4), with a tessitura, or comfortable range, normally ranging between the outermost lines of the bass clef. Basso Cantante/Lyric High Bass/Lyric Bass-baritone Basso Cantante means 'singing bass'.[4] Basso cantante is a higher, more lyrical voice. It is produced by a more Italianate vocal production with a faster vibrato. A lyric bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Duke Bluebeard Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartak Don Pizarro, Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Count Rodolfo, La sonnambula by Bellini Blitch, Susannah by Carlisle Floyd Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosa fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Voice of the Oracle, "Idomeneo" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Boris, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Silva, Ernani by Giuseppe Verdi Philip II, Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi Count Walter, Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi Banquo, Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi Zaccaria, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi Fiesco, Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner The King of Scotland, "Ariodante" by G.F. Handel Hoherbass/Dramatic High Bass/Dramatic Bass-baritone Hoherbass or "high bass" is a dramatic bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Boris, and Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Klingsor, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Caspar, Der Freischatz by Carl Maria von Weber Jugendlicher Bass Jugendlicher Bass a young man (regardless of the age of the singer). Roles: Leporello, Masetto, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Colline, La bohame (Giacomo Puccini) Basso Buffo/Bel Canto/Lyric Buffo Buffo, literally "funny", basses are lyrical roles but demand a solid coloratura technique. They are usually the antagonist or the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale (Gaetano Donizetti) Dottor Dulcamara, L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti Don Bartolo, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Magnifico, La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Leporello, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Schwerer Spielbass/Dramatic Buffo English equivalent: Dramatic comic bass Roles:: Khan Konchak, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Baculus, Der Wildschütz (Albert Lortzing) Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner Lyric Basso Profondo English equivalent: lyric low bass Basso profondo, is the lowest bass voice type. According to J. B. Steane in "Voices, Singers & Critics", the basso profondo voice «derives from a method of tone-production that eliminates the more Italian quick vibrato. In its place is a kind of tonal solidity, a wall-like front, which may nevertheless prove susceptible to the other kind of vibrato, the slow beat or dreaded wobble». Roles: Rocco, Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven Osmin, Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sarastro, Die Zauberflte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pimen, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Baron Ochs, Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Dramatic Basso Profondo English equivalent: Dramatic low bass. Dramatic Basso Profondo is a powerful basso profondo voice. Roles: Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Hagen, Gutterdmmerung by Richard Wagner Heinrich, Lohengrin by Richard Wagner Gurnemanz, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Fafner, Das Rheingold and Siegfried by Richard Wagner Marke, Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner Hunding, Die Walkare by Richard Wagner The Grand Inquisitor, Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi Bass roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas The Mikado of Japan (The Mikado) Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) Old Adam Goodheart, and Sir Roderick (Ruddigore) Private Willis (Iolanthe) Carpenter's mate (HMS Pinafore) Notary (The Sorcerer) Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen of the Guard (bass-baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Wilfred Shadbolt, Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor (bass-baritone or baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Don Alhambra (Bass) (The Gondoliers) Some prominent operatic basses Norman Allin Ivar Andresen Feodor Chaliapin Boris Christoff Nazzareno De Angelis Edouard de Reszke Adam Didur Gottlob Frick Ferruccio Furlanetto Nicolai Ghiaurov Jerome Hines Marcel Journet Alexander Kipnis Emanuel List John Macurdy Kurt Moll Giulio Neri Rena Pape Tancredi Pasero Ezio Pinza Paul Plishka Samuel Ramey Lorenzo Regazzo Mark Reizen Leon Rothier Matti Salminen Cesare Siepi Martti Talvela John Tomlinson Ludwig Weber COUNTERTENOR A countertenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of a contralto, mezzo-soprano or (less frequently) a soprano, usually through use of falsetto, or more rarely the normal or modal voice. A pre-pubescent male who has this ability is called a treble. This term is used exclusively in the context of the classical vocal tradition, although numerous popular music artists also prefer employing falsetto. The term first came into use in England during the mid 17th century and was in wide use by the late 17th century. During the Romantic period, the popularity of the countertenor voice waned and few compositions were written with that voice type in mind. In the second half of the 20th century, the countertenor voice went through a massive resurgence in popularity, partly due to pioneers such as Alfred Deller, by the increased popularity of Baroque opera and the need of male singers to replace the castrati roles in such works. Although the voice has been considered largely an early music phenomenon, there is a growing modern repertoire. The countertenor in history In polyphonic compositions of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the contratenor was a voice part added to the basic two-part contrapuntal texture of discant (superius) and tenor (from the Latin tenere which means to hold, since this part "held" the music's melody, while the superius descanted upon it at a higher pitch). Though having approximately the same range as the tenor, it was generally of a much less melodic nature than either of these other two parts. With the introduction in about 1450 of four-part writing by composers like Ockeghem and Obrecht, the contratenor split into contratenor altus and contratenor bassus, which were respectively above and below the tenor.[2] Later the term became obsolete: in Italy, contratenor altus became simply alto, in France, haute-contre, and in England, countertenor. Though originally these words were used to designate a vocal part, they are now used to describe singers of that part, whose vocal techniques may differ. In the Catholic church during the Renaissance, St Paul's admonition "mulieres in ecclesiis taceant" ("let women keep silent in churches" - I Corinthians 14, verse 34) still prevailed, and so women were banned from singing in church services. Countertenors, though rarely described as such, therefore found a prominent part in liturgical music, whether singing a line alone or with boy trebles or altos; (in Spain there was a long tradition of male falsettists singing soprano lines). However, countertenors were much less prominent in early opera, the rise of which coincided with the arrival of a fashion for castrati, who took, for example, several roles in the first performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607). Castrati were already prominent by this date in Italian church choirs, replacing both falsettists and trebles; the last soprano falsettist singing in Rome, Juan [Johannes de] San[c]tos (a Spaniard), died in 1652.[3] In Italian opera, by the late seventeenth century, castrati predominated, though in France, the haute-contre remained the voice of choice for leading male roles, and this was also true to a considerable extent in English stage works of this period, for example, the roles of Secrecy and Summer in Purcell's The Fairy Queen (1692). In Purcell's choral music the situation is further complicated by the occasional appearance of more than one solo part designated "countertenor", but with a considerable difference in range and tessitura. Such is the case in Hail, bright Cecilia (The Ode on St Cecilia's Day 1692) in which the solo "'Tis Nature's Voice" has the range F3 to Bâ­4 (similar to those stage roles cited previously), whereas, in the duet "Hark each tree" the countertenor soloist sings from E4 to D5 (in the trio "With that sublime celestial lay". Later in the same work, Purcell's own manuscript designates the same singer, Mr Howel, described as "a High Contra tenor" to perform in the range G3 to C4; it is very likely that he took some of the lowest notes in a well-blended "chest voice" By Handel's time, castrati had come to dominate the English operatic stage as much as that of Italy (and indeed most of Europe outside France), and also took part in several of his oratorios, though countertenors also featured as soloists in the latter, the parts written for them being closer in compass to the higher ones of Purcell, with a usual range of A3 to E5. They also sang the alto parts in Handel's choruses, and it was as choral singers within the Anglican church tradition that countertenors survived throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Otherwise they largely faded from public notice The modern countertenor The most visible icon of the countertenor revival in the twentieth century was Alfred Deller, an English singer and champion of authentic early music performance. Deller initially called himself an "alto", but his collaborator Michael Tippett recommended the archaic term "countertenor" to describe his voice. In the 1950s and 60s, his group, the Deller Consort, was important in increasing audiences' awareness (and appreciation) of Renaissance and Baroque music. Deller was the first modern countertenor to achieve fame, and has had many prominent successors. Benjamin Britten wrote the leading role of Oberon in his setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1960) especially for him; the countertenor role of Apollo in Britten's Death in Venice (1973) was created by James Bowman, the best-known amongst the next generation of English countertenors. Russell Oberlin was Deller's American counterpart, and another early music pioneer. Oberlin's success was entirely unprecedented in a country that had seen little exposure to anything before Bach, and it paved the way for the recent great success of countertenors there also. Today, countertenors are much in demand in many forms of classical music. In opera, many roles originally written for castrati are now sung and recorded by countertenors, as are some trouser roles originally written for female singers. The former category is much more numerous, and includes Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and many Handel roles, such as the name parts in Giulio Cesare and Orlando, and Bertarido in Rodelinda. This is also the case in several of Mozart's early operas, including Amintas in Il Re Pastore and Cecilio in Lucio Silla. Many modern composers other than Britten have written, and continue to write, countertenor parts, both in choral works and opera, as well as songs and song-cycles for the voice. Men's choral groups such as Chanticleer and the King's Singers employ the voice to great effect in a variety of genres, including early music, gospel, and even folk songs. Other recent operatic parts written for the countertenor voice include Edgar in Aribert Reimann's Lear (1978), the title role in Philip Glass's Akhnaten (1983), and Trinculo in Thomas Adès's The Tempest (2004). Countertenors have also appeared in rock music, most notably Freddie Mercury and Roger Meddows-Taylor of Queen and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. Anthony Green of the band Circa Survive sings entirely in the contralto range without any use of falsetto. A trained countertenor will typically have a vocal centre similar in placement to that of a contralto or mezzo-soprano. Peter Giles, a professional countertenor and noted author on the subject, defines the countertenor as a musical part rather than as a vocal style or mechanism. In modern usage, the term "countertenor" is essentially equivalent to the medieval term contratenor altus (see above). In this way, a countertenor singer can be operationally defined as a man who sings the countertenor part, whatever vocal style or mechanism is employed.The countertenor range is generally equivalent to an alto range, extending from approximately G or A3 to E5 or perhaps F5. In actual practice, it is generally acknowledged that a majority of countertenors sing with a falsetto vocal production for at least the upper half of this range, although most use some form of "chest voice" (akin to the range of their speaking voice) for the lower notes. The most difficult challenge for such a singer is managing the lower middle range, for there are normally a few notes (around Bâ™­3) that can be sung with either vocal mechanism, and the transition between registers must somehow be blended or smoothly managed. In response to the (in his view) pejorative connotation of the term falsetto, Giles refuses to use it, calling the upper register "head voice." Many voice experts would disagree with this choice of terminology, reserving the designation "head voice" for the high damped register accompanied by a relatively low larynx that is typical of modern high operatic tenor voice production. The latter type of head voice is, in terms of the vocal cord vibration, actually more similar to "chest voice" than to falsetto, since it uses the same "speaking voice" production (referred to as "modal" by voice scientists), and this is reflected in the timbre. Controversy over the terms male soprano, male alto, and countertenor The terms male soprano and male alto have been invariably used to refer to men who sing in the soprano or alto vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England but has not been universally embraced elsewhere, particularly within operatic vocal classification which prefers the terms countertenor or sopranist. Several vocal pedagogists have argued against the use of the terms male soprano and male alto because of the differences in the physiological processes of vocal production between female singers and countertenors. From this perspective, the singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who could refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice as a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed as a man's voice does during puberty. Other authorities have the opposite view, preferring to restrict use of the term countertenor to singers employing little or no falsetto, equating it with haute-contre and the Italian term tenor altino. Russell Oberlin was himself a countertenor of this type, noted for his ability to sing alto and/or countertenor parts extending above C5 (the notorious "tenor high C" popularized by Italian opera) while still employing modal voice (many high tenors, particularly those who specialise in the bel canto repertoire of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and their contemporaries can also do this, but generally use a more robust voice production). Some writers insist that this can only be accomplished physically by a man in possession of vocal cords considerably shorter than average, and that such a singer would therefore possess an unusually high speaking voice (a falsettist countertenor normally speaks as a baritone or bass). Like the haute-contre, these tenorial countertenors have a lower range and tessitura than their falsettist counterparts, perhaps from D3 to D5. Those authorities who hold that only non-falsettists are "real" countertenors would prefer the phrase "male alto" or "male soprano" for the more common falsettist type.
  8. I have decided to copy and paste Wikipedia definition of " SPINTO". I have had many people online and in this forum write. Telling me they are Spinto, upon listening to their voice sample however. It becomes clear they mis-understand what Spinto is. I have also had a few suggest I'm not a Spinto which indeed I am. They seem to confuse Tenore Leggerio with Tenore de forci. I am merely copying and posting this definition as I find it accurate and well worded. Some have suggested my voice is heavy for Tenor, It is proper for my Tenor type. I am going to organize full discription of voice types and add them to this post ASAP. I think it is Important for people to know their proper voice type. This in no way is indicative of range although the voices cover and change register usually one third higher, hence Baritone a third higher then Bass, Tenor a third higher then Baritone. The same is true of female Mezzo a third above Contralto, Soprano a third above Mezzo Soprano. There are voices which will fall in between. For those voices it is wise to train in the voice type closest to your natural register changes. Properly trained however every healthy voice can master the three main registers and many the forth that upper whistle register. However lower voices will not print( that is sound the same in those registers) when fully supported and properly articulated. "Spinto (from Italian, "pushed") is a vocal term used to characterize a soprano or tenor voice of a weight between lyric and dramatic that is capable of handling large dramatic climaxes at moderate intervals. Sometimes the terms lirico-spinto or jugendlich-dramatisch are used. This voice type is recognized by its "slice", allowing the singer to be heard over a full Romantic orchestra in roles excluding, in particular, the most taxing of the Verdi, Puccini and verismo parts, such as Otello. Spinto soprano: a lyric soprano with a fair amount of "pulp". As they have both a lyric and a dramatic quality, spinto sopranos are suitable for wide range of roles, from lyric roles such as Micaela in Carmen and Mim in La Bohame to Verdi heroines like Leonora (in Il Trovatore or La forza del destino), Aida or Puccini's Madame Butterfly. Tenore spinto: the tenor equivalent of the above. They can sing roles like Rodolfo in La Bohame and Alfredo in La Traviata all the way up to Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca and Radames in Aïda. The tenor lead in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is another well-known example of a spinto part. Rosalind Plowright defines a spinto voice as one that has a tonal colour one down from its range. For example, a voice with a mezzo's tone colour and the high notes of a soprano, or a voice with a tenor range and a baritone's tone colour, is a spinto. She names Placido Domingo as an instance of the latter.[1] Plowright's generalisation does not hold true for all spinto tenors, however. Giovanni Martinelli, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and Jussi Bjrling, for instance, sang spinto roles such as Radames with bright-toned voices that lacked any baritonal colouration." LIST: COLORATURA Coloratura has several meanings. The word derives from the Italian colorare (to colour; to heighten; to enliven) or colorazione (colouring, coloration). Its most well-known meaning is applied to voice type - i.e., the coloratura soprano, most famously typified by the role of Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflate.[1] This type of soprano has a high range and can execute with great facility the style of singing that includes elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills. Other female and male voice types may also be masters of coloratura technique, but the term coloratura when used without further qualification means soprano coloratura. Richard Miller names two types of soprano coloratura voices (the coloratura and the dramatic coloratura)[2] as well as a mezzo-soprano coloratura voice[3], and although he does not mention the coloratura contralto, he includes mention of specific works requiring coloratura technique for the contralto voice.[4] For Males the Term COLORATURO is more likely applied. SOPRANO A soprano is a singing voice with a vocal range (using scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4) from approximately (C4) to "high A" (A5) in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) or higher in operatic music. In four part chorale style harmony the soprano takes the highest part which usually encompasses the melody.[1] For other styles of singing see Voice classification in non-classical music. Typically, the term "soprano" refers to female singers but at times the term male soprano has been used by men who sing in the soprano vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England. However, these men are more commonly referred to as countertenors or sopranists. It should be noted that the practice of referring to countertenors as "male sopranos" is somewhat controversial within vocal pedagogical circles as these men do not produce sound in the same physiological way that female sopranos do.[2] The singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who can refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice like a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed like a man's voice does during puberty. In choral music the term soprano refers to a vocal part or line and not a voice type. Male singers whose voices have not yet changed and are singing the soprano line are technically known as "trebles". The term "boy soprano" is often used as well, but this is just a colloquialism and not the correct term. Historically women were not allowed to sing in the Church so the soprano roles were given to young boys and later to castrati - men whose larynxes had been fixed in a pre-adolescent state through the process of castration.[4] The term soprano may also be used to refer to a member of an instrumental family with the highest range such as the soprano saxophone. In opera, the tessitura, vocal weight, and timbre of soprano voices, and the roles they sing, are commonly categorized into voice types, often called fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). A singer's tessitura is where the voice has the best timbre, easy volume, and most comfort. For instance a soprano and a mezzo-soprano may have a similar range, but their tessituras will lie in different parts of that range. The low extreme for sopranos is roughly B3 or A3 (just below middle C). Often low notes in higher voices project less, lack timbre, and tend to "count less" in roles (although some Verdi, Strauss and Wagner roles call for stronger singing below the staff). Rarely is a soprano simply unable to sing a low note in a song within a soprano role. The high extreme: at a minimum, non-coloratura sopranos have to reach "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C), and many roles in the standard repertoire call for D6 or D-flat6. A couple of roles have optional E-flat's, as well. In the coloratura repertoire several roles call for E-flat6 on up to F6. In rare cases, some coloratura roles go as high as G6 or A6 such as the concert aria Popoli di Tessaglia or the role of Europa in Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. While not necessarily within the tessitura, a good soprano will be able to sing her top notes full-throated, with timbre and dynamic control. The following are the operatic soprano classifications Coloratura soprano Lyric coloratura soprano- A very agile light voice with a high upper extension, capable of fast vocal coloratura. Lyric coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower.[2] To hear an example of a Lyric coloratura soprano. Dramatic coloratura soprano- A coloratura soprano with great flexibility in high-lying velocity passages, yet with great sustaining power comparable to that of a full spinto or dramatic soprano. Dramatic coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower. Soubrette In classical music and opera, the term soubrette refers to both a voice type and a particular type of opera role. A soubrette voice is light with a bright, sweet timbre, a tessitura in the mid-range, and with no extensive coloratura. The soubrette voice is not a weak voice for it must carry over an orchestra without a microphone like all voices in opera. The voice however has a lighter vocal weight than other soprano voices with a brighter timbre. Many young singers start out as soubrettes but as they grow older and the voice matures more physically they may be reclassified as another voice type, usually either a light lyric soprano, a lyric coloratura soprano, or a coloratura mezzo-soprano. Rarely does a singer remain a soubrette throughout their entire career.[1] A soubrette's range extends approximately from middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). The tessitura of the soubrette tends to lie a bit lower than the lyric soprano and spinto soprano. Lyric soprano A warm voice with a bright, full timbre which can be heard over an orchestra. It generally has a higher tessitura than a soubrette and usually plays ingenues and other sympathetic characters in opera. Lyric sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6).[6] There is a tendency to divide lyric sopranos into two groups. Light lyric soprano- A light-lyric soprano has a bigger voice than a soubrette but still possesses a youthful qaulity Full lyric soprano- A full-lyric soprano has a more mature sound than a light-lyric soprano and can be heard over a bigger orchestra Spinto soprano Also lirico-spinto, Italian for "pushed lyric". This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric soprano, but can be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain, and may have a somewhat darker timbre. Spinto sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Dramatic soprano A dramatic soprano has a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over a full orchestra. Usually (but not always) this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have a very big voice that can assert itself over an exceptionally large orchestra (over eighty pieces). These voices are substantial and very powerful and ideally even throughout the registers. TENOR Within Choral and pop music, singers are classified into voice parts based almost solely on range with little consideration for other qualities in the voice. Within classical solo singing, however, a person is classified as a tenor through the identification of several vocal traits, including vocal range (the lowest and highest notes that the singer can reach), vocal timbre, vocal weight, vocal tessitura, vocal resonance, and vocal transition points (lifts or "passaggio") within the singer's voice. These different traits are used to identify different sub-types within the tenor voice sometimes referred to as fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). Within opera, particular roles are written with specific kinds of tenor voices in mind, causing certain roles to be associated with certain kinds of voices. Here follows the operatic tenor facher, with examples of the roles from the standard repertory that they commonly sing. It should be noted that there is considerable overlap between the various categories of role and of voice-type; and that some singers have begun with lyric voices but have transformed with time into spinto or even dramatic tenors. (Enrico Caruso is a prime example of this kind of vocal development.) The categories are: Leggiero tenor The male equivalent of a lyric coloratura, this voice is light and very agile and is able to perform dextrous coloratura passages. The Leggiero tenor has a range of approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the Eâ™­ above tenor C (Eâ™­ 5) with some leggiero tenors being able to sing up to the F or even Gâ™­. This voice is the highest tenor voice and is sometimes referred to as "tenore di grazia". This voice is utilized frequently in the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, and the highest Baroque repertoire for tenors. Leggiero tenors also frequently perform roles in the light-lyric tenor repertoire. Leggiero tenor roles in opera and operettas: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) Arturo, I puritani (Bellini) Belmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Ernesto, Don Pasquale (Donizetti) Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Mozart) Gualtiero, Il pirata (Bellini) Lindoro, L'italiana in Algeri (Rossini) Nemorino, L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti) Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Mozart) Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Rossini) Tonio, La fille du régiment (Donizetti) Leggiero tenor singers: John Aler Luigi Alva Rockwell Blake Alessandro Bonci Juan Diego Flarez Alfredo Kraus William Matteuzzi Chris Merritt Tito Schipa Ferruccio Tagliavini Fritz Wunderlich Lyric tenor A warm graceful voice with a bright, full timbre that is strong but not heavy and can be heard over an orchestra. Lyric tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5). Lyric tenors can be divided into two groups: Light lyric tenor A light-lyric tenor has a slightly warmer sound than the Leggiero tenor and some coloratura facility but does not have quite as high of an upper extension as the leggiero tenor. This voice is used frequently within French comic operas. Full lyric tenor A full-lyric tenor that has a more mature sound than a light-lyric tenor and can be heard over a bigger orchestra. Light-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Chapelou, Le postillon de Lonjumeau (Adolphe Adam) George Brown, La dame blanche (Francois-Adrien Boaeldieu) Gerald, Lakme (Delibes) Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon (Pauline Viardot) Nadir, Les pacheurs de perles (Bizet) Vincent, Mireille (Gounod) Full-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Alfredo, La traviata (Verdi) Chevalier, Dialogues des Carmelites (Poulenc) David, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Verdi) Edgardo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Faust, Faust (Gounod) Hoffman, The Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach) Idomeneo, Idomeneo (Mozart) Le Prince Charmant, Cendrillon (Massenet) (when performed by a tenor, originally written for soprano) Rodolfo, La bohème (Puccini) Romeo, Romeo et Juliette (Gounod) Tamino, Die Zauberflute (Mozart) Werther, Werther (Jules Massenet) Wilhelm Meister, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas) Lurcanio, "Ariodante" Handel Lyric tenor singers: Roberto Alagna Marcelo Ã�lvarez Giacomo Aragall Jussi Burling Joseph Calleja Jose Carreras Richard Crooks Giuseppe Di Stefano Salvatore Fisichella Miguel Fleta Beniamino Gigli Nicolai Gedda John McCormack Luciano Pavarotti Alfred Piccaver Dmitri Smirnov Leonid Sobinov Richard Tauber Joseph Schmidt Alain Vanzo Rolando Villazan Spinto tenor This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain. (They are also known as "lyric-dramatic" tenors.) Some spinto tenors may have a somewhat darker timbre than a lyric tenor as well, without being as dark as a dramatic tenor. Spinto tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5).[2] Spinto tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Alvaro, La forza del destino (Verdi) Andrea Chenier, Andrea Chenier (Umberto Giordano) Canio, Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Don Carlos, Don Carlos (Verdi) Don Jose, Carmen (Bizet) Erik, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Ernani, Ernani (Verdi) Manrico, Il trovatore (Verdi) Mario Cavaradossi, Tosca (Puccini) Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Riccardo, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Turiddu, Cavalleria rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Spinto tenor singers: Carlo Bergonzi Donald Braswell II Enrico Caruso Antonio Cortis Charles Dalmores Giacomo Lauri-Volpi Francesco Merli Aureliano Pertile Giovanni Martinelli Helge Roswaenge Harry Theyard Georges Thill Richard Tucker Dramatic tenor Also "tenore di forza" or "robusto" a ringing and very powerful, clarion heroic tenor. The dramatic tenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5).[2] Dramatic tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Calaf, Turandot (Puccini) Otello, Otello (Verdi) Radames, Aida (Verdi) Rodolfo, Luisa Miller (Verdi) Samson, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Sans) Dramatic tenor singers: Franco Bonisolli Franco Corelli Carlo Cossutta Jose Cura Mario del Monaco Jean de Reszke Placido Domingo Giuseppe Giacomini Ramon Vinay Francesco Vinas Franz Volker Ivan Yershov Giovanni Zenatello Heldentenor A rich, dark-toned, powerful, and dramatic voice. As its name implies, the Heldentenor (English: heroic tenor) vocal fach features in the German romantic operatic repertoire. The Heldentenor is the German equivalent of the tenore drammatico, however with a more baritonal quality: the typical Wagnerian protagonist. The keystone of any heldentenor's repertoire is arguably Wagner's Siegfried, an extremely demanding role requiring a wide vocal range, great stamina, and extended dramatic suspension. The Heldentenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). Heldentenor roles in opera and operettas: Florestan, Fidelio (Beethoven) Tannhäuser, Tannhuser (Wagner) Loge, Das Rheingold (Wagner) Lohengrin, Lohengrin (Wagner) Parsifal, Parsifal (Wagner) Siegfried, Gutterdmmerung (Wagner) Siegfried, Siegfried (Wagner) Siegmund, Die Walkare (Wagner) Walter von Stolzing, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Tristan, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Heldentenor singers: Bernd Aldenhoff Richard Cassilly James King Heinrich Knote Ernst Kraus Lauritz Melchior Albert Niemann Ticho Parly Ludwig Suthaus Set Svanholm Josef Tichatschek Jacques Urlus Jon Vickers Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld Wolfgang Windgassen Tenor buffo or Spieltenor A tenor with good acting ability, and the ability to create distinct voices for his characters. This voice specializes in smaller comic roles. The range of the tenor buffo is from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). The tessitura of these parts lies lower than the other tenor roles. These parts are often played by younger tenors who have not yet reached their full vocal potential or older tenors who are beyond their prime singing years. Only rarely will a singer specialize in these roles for an entire career. Tenor buffo roles in opera and operettas: Don Basilio, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) Mime, Siegfried (Wagner) Don Anchise/ Il Podesta , La finta giardiniera (Mozart) Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Mozart) Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Examples Fucher Singer Role Composer Opera Example on YouTube Leggiero tenor Juan Diego Florez Tonio Donizetti La fille du ragiment link Light lyric tenor Alain Vanzo Nadir Georges Bizet Les pcheurs de perles link Full lyric tenor Salvatore Fisichella Rodolfo Puccini La bohame link Spinto tenor Mario Lanza Canio Leoncavallo Pagliacci link Dramatic tenor Franco Corelli Radames Verdi Aida link Heldentenor Lauritz Melchior Lohengrin Wagner Lohengrin link Tenor buffo Norbert Orth Monostatos Mozart The Magic Flute NOTE IN REGARDS TO CROSSOVERS- You will notice some like Caruso, Corelli etc are classified in more the one voice type I.E- Dramatic ,Lyric Tenor Robusto. This is because many voices have greater dynamics then type specific and/or they upgrade/down grade with normal shifts in the voice at various ages. The typing is more a standard for role naming and what voice requirements are held for specific roles. MEZZO - SOPRANO A mezzo-soprano (meaning "medium" or "middle" "soprano" in Italian) is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3-A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the G below middle C (G3) and as high as "high C" (C6).While mezzo-sopranos generally have a heavier, darker tone than sopranos, the mezzo-soprano voice resonates in a higher range than that of a contralto. The terms Dugazon and Galli-Marié are sometimes used to refer to light mezzo-sopranos, after the names of famous singers. A castrato with a mezzo-soprano range was also called a mezzo-soprano castrato or mezzista. Today, however, only women should be referred to as mezzo-sopranos, and men singing within the female range should be called countertenors. Mezzo-sopranos typically sing secondary roles in operas, with the protagonist in Bizet's Carmen and Rosina in Rossini's Barber of Seville as the most notable exceptions. Typical roles for mezzo-sopranos include witches, nurses, and wise women such as Azucena in Verdi's Il trovatore; trouser role (male characters played by female singers) such as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro; and villains and seductresses such as Amneris in Verdi's Aida. Mezzo-sopranos are also well represented in baroque music, early music and baroque opera. Some roles designated for lighter soubrette sopranos are sung by mezzo sopranos, who often provide a fuller, more dramatic quality. Such roles include Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mezzos also sometimes play dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth, and Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal. In general mezzos are broken down into three categories: Coloratura mezzo-sopranos, Lyric mezzo-soprano, and Dramatic mezzo-sopranos. Coloratura mezzo-soprano A coloratura mezzo-soprano has a warm lower register and an agile high register. The roles they sing often demand not only the use of the lower register but also leaps into the upper tessitura with highly ornamented, rapid passages. They have a range from approximately the G (G3) below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C (B5). Some coloratura mezzo-sopranos can sing up to high C (C6) or high D (D6), but this is very rare.[1] What distinguishes these voices from being called sopranos is their extension into the lower register and warmer vocal quality. Although coloratura mezzo-sopranos have impressive and at times thrilling high notes, they are most comfortable singing in the middle of their range, rather than the top. Many of the hero roles in the operas of Handel and Monteverdi, originally sung by male castrati, can be successfully sung today by coloratura mezzo-sopranos. Rossini demanded similar qualities for his comic heroines, and Vivaldi wrote roles frequently for this voice as well. Coloratura mezzo-sopranos also often sing lyric-mezzo soprano roles or soubrette roles. Coloratura mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Angelina- Cenerentola, La Cenerentola (Rossini)@ Ariodante, Ariodante (Handel) -- trouser role)@ Griselda, Griselda (Vivaldi)@ Isabella, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini)@ Orsini, Lucrezia Borgia (Gaetano Donizetti) Romeo, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Vincenzo Bellini) -- trouser role @ Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Rossini)@ Julius Caesar, Giulio Cesare (Handel) -- trouser role@ @-denotes a lead role Coloratura mezzo-soprano singers Cecilia Bartoli Teresa Berganza Joyce DiDonato Gail Dubinbaum Vivica Genaux Marilyn Horne Vesselina Kasarova Giulietta Simionato Conchita Supervía Lucia Valentini Terrani Lyric mezzo-soprano The Lyric mezzo-soprano has a range from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] This voice has a very smooth, sensitive and at times lachrymose quality. Lyric mezzo-sopranos do not have the vocal agility of the coloratura mezzo-soprano or the size of the dramatic mezzo-soprano. The lyric mezzo-soprano is ideal for most trouser roles. Lyric mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Annio, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)-- trouser role Arianna Arianna (Claudio Monteverdi)@ Carmen Carmen (Georges Bizet)@ (Also Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano) Charlotte, Werther (Massenet)@ Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)-- trouser role The Composer Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)-- trouser role Sorceress, Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell) Dorabella, Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)@ Hänsel, Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) -- trouser role @ Mignon, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas)@ Mother, Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti)@ Nicklausse, Les contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach) -- trouser role though he is the (female) Muse in disguise. Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier (Richard Strauss) -- trouser role}@ Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) (Johann Strauss) -- trouser role Sesto, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) -- trouser role Siebel, Faust (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Stephano, Romeo et Juliette (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Suzuki, Madama Butterfly @-Denotes a lead role Lyric mezzo-soprano Singers Janet Baker Agnes Baltsa Sarah Connolly Malena Ernman Brigitte Fassbaender Susan Graham Magdalena Koen Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Christa Ludwig Nan Merriman Frederica von Stade Risa Stevens Tatiana Troyanos Anne Sofie von Otter Dramatic mezzo-soprano A dramatic mezzo-soprano has a strong medium register, a warm high register and a voice that is broader and more powerful than the lyric and coloratura mezzo-sopranos. This voice has less vocal facility than the coloratura mezzo-soprano. The range of the dramatic mezzo-soprano is from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] The dramatic mezzo-soprano can sing over an orchestra and chorus with ease and was often used in the 19th century opera, to portray older women, mothers, witches and evil characters. Verdi wrote many roles for this voice in the Italian repertoire and there are also a few good roles in the French Literature. The majority of these roles however are within the German Romantic repertoire of composers like Wagner and Strauss. Like Coloratura mezzos, dramatic mezzos are also often cast in lyric mezzo-soprano roles.[4] To hear an example of a dramatic mezzo-soprano (Olga Borodina as Eboli in Don Carlos) Dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Azucena, Il trovatore (Verdi) Amneris, Aida (Verdi) Brangune, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Carmen, Carmen (Bizet)@ (Also Lyric Mezzo) The Countess, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) Dalila, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns)@ Dido, Les Troyens (Berlioz)@ Eboli, Don Carlos (Verdi) Herodias, Salome (Richard Strauss) Hexe, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Judith, Bluebeard's Castle (Bartak)@ (Also Dramatic Soprano) Kundry, Parsifal (Wagner)@ (also Dramatic soprano) Klytemnastra , Elektra (Richard Strauss) Laura, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Marina, Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky) Mother, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Ortrud, Lohengrin (Wagner) Princess de Bouillon, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) @-denotes a lead role Dramatic mezzo-soprano Singers Irina Arkhipova Fedora Barbieri Olga Borodina Grace Bumbry Viorica Cortez Fiorenza Cossotto Maria Gay Rita Gorr Denyce Graves Waltraud Meier Elena Obraztsova Regina Resnik Giulietta Simionato Ebe Stignani Shirley Verrett Dolora Zajick BARITONE Bariton/Baryton-Martin Common Range: From the low C to the Ab above middle C (C3 to A­4)[7] Description: The Baryton-Martin lacks the lower G2-B2 range a heavier baritone is capable of. Has a lighter, almost tenor-like quality. Generally seen only in French repertoire, this fach was named after the French singer Jean-Blaise Martin. Associated with the rise of the baritone in the 19th century, Martin was well known for his fondness for falsetto singing, and the designation 'Baryton Martin' has been used (Faure, 1886) to separate his voice from the 'Verdi Baritone', which carried the chest register further into the upper range. Roles: Pellas, Pellas et Melisande (Claude Debussy) L'Horloge Comtoise, L'enfant et les sortilèges (Maurice Ravel) Orfeo, L'Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi) Ramiro, L'heure espagnole (Maurice Ravel) Singers: Jean Perier Pierre Bernac Wolfgang Holzmair Jacques Jansen Simon Keenlyside Camille Maurane Richard Stilwell Bel Canto (coloratura) baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4) Description: The sound is more or less the same as the lyric baritone voice, but must be considerably agile to sing fioritura and coloratura passages. They are usually the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini) Dandini, La Cenerentola (Gioachino Rossini) Belcore, L'elisir d'amore (Gaetano Donizetti) Note: Its ambitus is greater than the lyric baritone's. Lyric baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4). Description: A sweeter, milder sounding baritone voice, lacking in harshness; lighter and perhaps mellower than the dramatic baritone with a higher tessitura. It is typically assigned to comic roles. Roles: Conte Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Guglielmo, Cosa fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Papageno, The Magic Flute (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Marcello, La bohème (Giacomo Puccini) Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) The kavalierbariton Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A metallic voice, that can sing both lyric and dramatic phrases, a manly noble baritonal color, with good looks. Not quite as powerful as the Verdi baritone who is expected to have a powerful appearance on stage, perhaps muscular or physically large. Roles: Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Justin Labelle, Wakonda's Dream (Anthony Davis) Tonio, Pagliacci (Ruggero Leoncavallo) Count, Capriccio (Richard Strauss) Germont in La traviata (Giuseppe Verdi) Singers: Eberhard Wächter Dmitri Hvorostovsky Verdi baritone Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A more specialized voice category, Verdi baritone refers to a voice capable of singing consistently and with ease in the highest part of the baritone range, sometimes extend it up to the C above middle C. Roles: Amonasro, Aida Carlo, Ernani Conte di Luna, Il trovatore Don Carlo di Vargas, La forza del destino Falstaff, Falstaff Ford Falstaff Germont, La traviata Macbeth, Macbeth Renato, Un ballo in maschera Rigoletto, Rigoletto Rodrigo, Don Carlos Simon Boccanegra, Simon Boccanegra Singers: Ettore Bastianini Renato Bruson Robert Merrill Sherrill Milnes Titta Ruffo Leonard Warren Carlos Alvarez Dmitri Hvorostovsky Dramatic baritone Common Range: From the F half an octave below low C to the F above middle C (F2 to F4).[9] Description: A voice that is richer and fuller than a lyric baritone and with a darker quality. This category corresponds roughly to the Heldenbariton in the German fach system except the Verdi baritones have been separated. Roles for this voice are also called bass-baritone and are typically dramatic in their tone. Roles such as these tend not to have a slightly lower tessitura than typical Verdi baritone roles, only rising above an F at the moments of greatest intensity. Many of the Puccini roles fall into this category. Role Jack Rance, La Fanciulla del West (Giacomo Puccini) Scarpia, Tosca (Giacomo Puccini) Nabucco, Nabucco (Giuseppe Verdi) Iago, Otello (Giuseppe Verdi) Escamillo, Carmen (Bizet) Singers: Norman Bailey Tito Gobbi Peter Kajlinger Sergei Leiferkus Lyric Low Baritone/Lyric Bass-baritone Main article: Bass-baritone Some bass-baritones are baritones, like Friedrich Schorr, George London, James Morris and Bryn Terfel. The following are more often done by lower baritones as opposed to high basses. Roles: Don Pizarro Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Golaud Pellaas et Melisande by Claude Debussy Mephistopls, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosafan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Singer: Thomas Quasthoff Bryn Terfel Dramatic Bass-baritone/Low Baritone Range: From about the G below low C to the F above middle C (G2 to F4) Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Dutchman The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner Hans Sachs Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Amfortas Parsifal by Richard Wagner Examples: George London Hans Hotter Friedrich Schorr Baryton-noble Description: French for noble baritone and describes a part that requires a noble bearing, smooth vocalisation and forceful declamation, all in perfect balance. This category originated in the Paris Opéra, but it greatly influenced Verdi (Don Carlo in Ernani and La forza del destino; Count Luna in Il trovatore; Simon Boccanegra) and Wagner as well (Wotan; Amfortas). CONTRALTO In music, a contralto is a type of classical female singing voice with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a mezzo-soprano. The term is used to refer to the deepest female singing voice. The typical contralto range lies between the F below middle C (F3) to two Fs above middle C (F5). In the lower and upper extremes, some contralto voices can sing from the E below middle C (E3) to two Bâ™­s above middle C (Bâ™­5).The contralto voice has the lowest tessitura of the female voices and is noted for its rich and deep vocal timbre. In current operatic practice, female singers with very low tessituras are often included among mezzo-sopranos, because singers in both ranges are able to cover the other, and true operatic contraltos are very rare. The term contralto is not synonymous with the term alto which designates a specific part within choral music and is not a voice type. Technically, "alto" is only a separate category in choral music where it refers simply to the vocal range and does not consider factors like vocal tessitura, vocal timbre, vocal facility, and vocal weight. Although both men and women may have voices in the contralto vocal range, the word is always used in the context of a female singer. Men singing in the contralto, mezzo-soprano, or soprano range are called countertenors. Contraltos are fairly rare in opera, since there is very little work that was written specifically for them. Most of the time, contralto roles are limited to maids, mothers and grandmothers, but they do occasionally get notable roles, often playing female villains such as witches or playing male figures that were originally intended to be performed by castrato singers. "A common saying among contraltos is that they're only allowed to play 'witches', 'bitches', or 'britches'." Contralto roles in operas The following is a list of examples of contralto roles in the standard operatic repertoire Art Banker, Facing Goya (Michael Nyman) Auntie, landlady of The Boar, Peter Grimes (Britten)* Azucena, Il Trovatore (Verdi)* The Baroness, Vanessa (Barber) La Cieca, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Erda, Das Rheingold, Siegfried (Wagner) Madame Flora, The Medium (Gian-Carlo Menotti) Katisha, The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan) Klytemnestra, Elektra (Strauss)* Maddalena, Rigoletto (Verdi)* Mama Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Malcolm, La donna del lago (Rossini)* Mary, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Olga, Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)* Orfeo, Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) trouser role Lel, The Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov) Didone, Egisto (Cavalli) Pauline, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) La Principessa, Suor Angelica (Puccini) Ruth The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan) Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Widow Begbick, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Kurt Weill) * : Indicates a role that may also be sung by a mezzo-soprano. Notable contraltos Classical and operatic contraltos are singers who have regularly performed unamplified classical or operatic music in concert halls and/or opera houses. Some of the most notable of all historic and contemporary contraltos include: Marietta Alboni (1826-1894) Marian Anderson (1897-1993) Irina Arkhipova (1925-) Eula Beal (1919-2008) Marianne Brandt (1842-1921) Muriel Brunskill (1899-1980) Clara Butt (1872-1936) Lili Chookasian (1921-) Belle Cole (1845-1905) Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) Maureen Forrester (1930-) Louise Homer (1871-1947) Sigrid Onegin (1889-1943) Ewa PodleÅ› (1952-) Marie Powers (1902-1973) Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936) Annice Sidwells (1902-2001) Nathalie Stutzmann (1965-) Vittoria Tesi (1700-1775) BASSO - BASS A bass is a type of classical male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the F two octaves below middle C to the E above middle C (i.e., F2, E4), with a tessitura, or comfortable range, normally ranging between the outermost lines of the bass clef. Basso Cantante/Lyric High Bass/Lyric Bass-baritone Basso Cantante means 'singing bass'.[4] Basso cantante is a higher, more lyrical voice. It is produced by a more Italianate vocal production with a faster vibrato. A lyric bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Duke Bluebeard Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartak Don Pizarro, Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Count Rodolfo, La sonnambula by Bellini Blitch, Susannah by Carlisle Floyd Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosa fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Voice of the Oracle, "Idomeneo" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Boris, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Silva, Ernani by Giuseppe Verdi Philip II, Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi Count Walter, Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi Banquo, Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi Zaccaria, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi Fiesco, Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner The King of Scotland, "Ariodante" by G.F. Handel Hoherbass/Dramatic High Bass/Dramatic Bass-baritone Hoherbass or "high bass" is a dramatic bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Boris, and Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Klingsor, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Caspar, Der Freischatz by Carl Maria von Weber Jugendlicher Bass Jugendlicher Bass a young man (regardless of the age of the singer). Roles: Leporello, Masetto, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Colline, La bohame (Giacomo Puccini) Basso Buffo/Bel Canto/Lyric Buffo Buffo, literally "funny", basses are lyrical roles but demand a solid coloratura technique. They are usually the antagonist or the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale (Gaetano Donizetti) Dottor Dulcamara, L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti Don Bartolo, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Magnifico, La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Leporello, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Schwerer Spielbass/Dramatic Buffo English equivalent: Dramatic comic bass Roles:: Khan Konchak, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Baculus, Der Wildschütz (Albert Lortzing) Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner Lyric Basso Profondo English equivalent: lyric low bass Basso profondo, is the lowest bass voice type. According to J. B. Steane in "Voices, Singers & Critics", the basso profondo voice «derives from a method of tone-production that eliminates the more Italian quick vibrato. In its place is a kind of tonal solidity, a wall-like front, which may nevertheless prove susceptible to the other kind of vibrato, the slow beat or dreaded wobble». Roles: Rocco, Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven Osmin, Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sarastro, Die Zauberflte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pimen, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Baron Ochs, Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Dramatic Basso Profondo English equivalent: Dramatic low bass. Dramatic Basso Profondo is a powerful basso profondo voice. Roles: Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Hagen, Gutterdmmerung by Richard Wagner Heinrich, Lohengrin by Richard Wagner Gurnemanz, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Fafner, Das Rheingold and Siegfried by Richard Wagner Marke, Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner Hunding, Die Walkare by Richard Wagner The Grand Inquisitor, Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi Bass roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas The Mikado of Japan (The Mikado) Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) Old Adam Goodheart, and Sir Roderick (Ruddigore) Private Willis (Iolanthe) Carpenter's mate (HMS Pinafore) Notary (The Sorcerer) Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen of the Guard (bass-baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Wilfred Shadbolt, Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor (bass-baritone or baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Don Alhambra (Bass) (The Gondoliers) Some prominent operatic basses Norman Allin Ivar Andresen Feodor Chaliapin Boris Christoff Nazzareno De Angelis Edouard de Reszke Adam Didur Gottlob Frick Ferruccio Furlanetto Nicolai Ghiaurov Jerome Hines Marcel Journet Alexander Kipnis Emanuel List John Macurdy Kurt Moll Giulio Neri Rena Pape Tancredi Pasero Ezio Pinza Paul Plishka Samuel Ramey Lorenzo Regazzo Mark Reizen Leon Rothier Matti Salminen Cesare Siepi Martti Talvela John Tomlinson Ludwig Weber COUNTERTENOR A countertenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of a contralto, mezzo-soprano or (less frequently) a soprano, usually through use of falsetto, or more rarely the normal or modal voice. A pre-pubescent male who has this ability is called a treble. This term is used exclusively in the context of the classical vocal tradition, although numerous popular music artists also prefer employing falsetto. The term first came into use in England during the mid 17th century and was in wide use by the late 17th century. During the Romantic period, the popularity of the countertenor voice waned and few compositions were written with that voice type in mind. In the second half of the 20th century, the countertenor voice went through a massive resurgence in popularity, partly due to pioneers such as Alfred Deller, by the increased popularity of Baroque opera and the need of male singers to replace the castrati roles in such works. Although the voice has been considered largely an early music phenomenon, there is a growing modern repertoire. The countertenor in history In polyphonic compositions of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the contratenor was a voice part added to the basic two-part contrapuntal texture of discant (superius) and tenor (from the Latin tenere which means to hold, since this part "held" the music's melody, while the superius descanted upon it at a higher pitch). Though having approximately the same range as the tenor, it was generally of a much less melodic nature than either of these other two parts. With the introduction in about 1450 of four-part writing by composers like Ockeghem and Obrecht, the contratenor split into contratenor altus and contratenor bassus, which were respectively above and below the tenor.[2] Later the term became obsolete: in Italy, contratenor altus became simply alto, in France, haute-contre, and in England, countertenor. Though originally these words were used to designate a vocal part, they are now used to describe singers of that part, whose vocal techniques may differ. In the Catholic church during the Renaissance, St Paul's admonition "mulieres in ecclesiis taceant" ("let women keep silent in churches" - I Corinthians 14, verse 34) still prevailed, and so women were banned from singing in church services. Countertenors, though rarely described as such, therefore found a prominent part in liturgical music, whether singing a line alone or with boy trebles or altos; (in Spain there was a long tradition of male falsettists singing soprano lines). However, countertenors were much less prominent in early opera, the rise of which coincided with the arrival of a fashion for castrati, who took, for example, several roles in the first performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607). Castrati were already prominent by this date in Italian church choirs, replacing both falsettists and trebles; the last soprano falsettist singing in Rome, Juan [Johannes de] San[c]tos (a Spaniard), died in 1652.[3] In Italian opera, by the late seventeenth century, castrati predominated, though in France, the haute-contre remained the voice of choice for leading male roles, and this was also true to a considerable extent in English stage works of this period, for example, the roles of Secrecy and Summer in Purcell's The Fairy Queen (1692). In Purcell's choral music the situation is further complicated by the occasional appearance of more than one solo part designated "countertenor", but with a considerable difference in range and tessitura. Such is the case in Hail, bright Cecilia (The Ode on St Cecilia's Day 1692) in which the solo "'Tis Nature's Voice" has the range F3 to Bâ­4 (similar to those stage roles cited previously), whereas, in the duet "Hark each tree" the countertenor soloist sings from E4 to D5 (in the trio "With that sublime celestial lay". Later in the same work, Purcell's own manuscript designates the same singer, Mr Howel, described as "a High Contra tenor" to perform in the range G3 to C4; it is very likely that he took some of the lowest notes in a well-blended "chest voice" By Handel's time, castrati had come to dominate the English operatic stage as much as that of Italy (and indeed most of Europe outside France), and also took part in several of his oratorios, though countertenors also featured as soloists in the latter, the parts written for them being closer in compass to the higher ones of Purcell, with a usual range of A3 to E5. They also sang the alto parts in Handel's choruses, and it was as choral singers within the Anglican church tradition that countertenors survived throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Otherwise they largely faded from public notice The modern countertenor The most visible icon of the countertenor revival in the twentieth century was Alfred Deller, an English singer and champion of authentic early music performance. Deller initially called himself an "alto", but his collaborator Michael Tippett recommended the archaic term "countertenor" to describe his voice. In the 1950s and 60s, his group, the Deller Consort, was important in increasing audiences' awareness (and appreciation) of Renaissance and Baroque music. Deller was the first modern countertenor to achieve fame, and has had many prominent successors. Benjamin Britten wrote the leading role of Oberon in his setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1960) especially for him; the countertenor role of Apollo in Britten's Death in Venice (1973) was created by James Bowman, the best-known amongst the next generation of English countertenors. Russell Oberlin was Deller's American counterpart, and another early music pioneer. Oberlin's success was entirely unprecedented in a country that had seen little exposure to anything before Bach, and it paved the way for the recent great success of countertenors there also. Today, countertenors are much in demand in many forms of classical music. In opera, many roles originally written for castrati are now sung and recorded by countertenors, as are some trouser roles originally written for female singers. The former category is much more numerous, and includes Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and many Handel roles, such as the name parts in Giulio Cesare and Orlando, and Bertarido in Rodelinda. This is also the case in several of Mozart's early operas, including Amintas in Il Re Pastore and Cecilio in Lucio Silla. Many modern composers other than Britten have written, and continue to write, countertenor parts, both in choral works and opera, as well as songs and song-cycles for the voice. Men's choral groups such as Chanticleer and the King's Singers employ the voice to great effect in a variety of genres, including early music, gospel, and even folk songs. Other recent operatic parts written for the countertenor voice include Edgar in Aribert Reimann's Lear (1978), the title role in Philip Glass's Akhnaten (1983), and Trinculo in Thomas Adès's The Tempest (2004). Countertenors have also appeared in rock music, most notably Freddie Mercury and Roger Meddows-Taylor of Queen and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. Anthony Green of the band Circa Survive sings entirely in the contralto range without any use of falsetto. A trained countertenor will typically have a vocal centre similar in placement to that of a contralto or mezzo-soprano. Peter Giles, a professional countertenor and noted author on the subject, defines the countertenor as a musical part rather than as a vocal style or mechanism. In modern usage, the term "countertenor" is essentially equivalent to the medieval term contratenor altus (see above). In this way, a countertenor singer can be operationally defined as a man who sings the countertenor part, whatever vocal style or mechanism is employed.The countertenor range is generally equivalent to an alto range, extending from approximately G or A3 to E5 or perhaps F5. In actual practice, it is generally acknowledged that a majority of countertenors sing with a falsetto vocal production for at least the upper half of this range, although most use some form of "chest voice" (akin to the range of their speaking voice) for the lower notes. The most difficult challenge for such a singer is managing the lower middle range, for there are normally a few notes (around Bâ™­3) that can be sung with either vocal mechanism, and the transition between registers must somehow be blended or smoothly managed. In response to the (in his view) pejorative connotation of the term falsetto, Giles refuses to use it, calling the upper register "head voice." Many voice experts would disagree with this choice of terminology, reserving the designation "head voice" for the high damped register accompanied by a relatively low larynx that is typical of modern high operatic tenor voice production. The latter type of head voice is, in terms of the vocal cord vibration, actually more similar to "chest voice" than to falsetto, since it uses the same "speaking voice" production (referred to as "modal" by voice scientists), and this is reflected in the timbre. Controversy over the terms male soprano, male alto, and countertenor The terms male soprano and male alto have been invariably used to refer to men who sing in the soprano or alto vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England but has not been universally embraced elsewhere, particularly within operatic vocal classification which prefers the terms countertenor or sopranist. Several vocal pedagogists have argued against the use of the terms male soprano and male alto because of the differences in the physiological processes of vocal production between female singers and countertenors. From this perspective, the singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who could refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice as a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed as a man's voice does during puberty. Other authorities have the opposite view, preferring to restrict use of the term countertenor to singers employing little or no falsetto, equating it with haute-contre and the Italian term tenor altino. Russell Oberlin was himself a countertenor of this type, noted for his ability to sing alto and/or countertenor parts extending above C5 (the notorious "tenor high C" popularized by Italian opera) while still employing modal voice (many high tenors, particularly those who specialise in the bel canto repertoire of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and their contemporaries can also do this, but generally use a more robust voice production). Some writers insist that this can only be accomplished physically by a man in possession of vocal cords considerably shorter than average, and that such a singer would therefore possess an unusually high speaking voice (a falsettist countertenor normally speaks as a baritone or bass). Like the haute-contre, these tenorial countertenors have a lower range and tessitura than their falsettist counterparts, perhaps from D3 to D5. Those authorities who hold that only non-falsettists are "real" countertenors would prefer the phrase "male alto" or "male soprano" for the more common falsettist type. View full articles
  9. Introduction Of all the dynamic effects used in singing, one of the most challenging to do elegantly is the 'messa di voce' (pronounced by English speakers more-or-less like 'mess ah dee voh chay'. :-) It is the combination of a smooth crescendo (getting louder) for some amount of time, followed by a smooth decrescendo (getting softer) for the same amount of time, on a single vowel, on a single note. Using musical symbols, it can be represented this way: Why is this challenging? The exercise requires that the singer be able to: o Start a note cleanly and vibrantly, but softly. o Crescendo that note smoothly, progressively adjusting the balance of breath energy and laryngeal muscle action so that the tone gets louder, not going sharp or flat, and maintaining the vowel color until a specific louder level is reached . o Decrescendo that note smoothly, with similar requirements as during the crescendo, while approaching the end of the usable supply of breath o End the note cleanly and vibrantly, but softly The easiest of the skills For most singers with some training, the skill which most readily can be managed is the 2nd one, the crescendo. Even so, the requirement to maintain the vowel and the pitch consistency represents a challenge. If the breath energy is not balanced with the laryngeal muscle action, the pitch will go astray. The intermediate skills Next in line of difficulty is the soft starting and stopping of the vibrant tone. This skill requires the singer to be able to manage breath energy at very low subglottic pressures, with the requisite light laryngeal muscle action levels, while at the same time keeping the tone free, clear and accurately pitched. The starting of the note is challenging, because there is usually a surplus of breath energy for the 1st onset, and the ending of the note is challenging, because there is very little left for the release. To correctly do these two skills, the singer must have mastery of soft dynamics with full lungs, and with nearly empty ones. The most challenging of the skills This is the smooth decrescendo. As the singer begins to do this on the latter half of the breath, there is a great tendency to make the action too swiftly. If, for example, the crescendo is taken for 5 seconds, the singer will tend to make the first part of the decrescendo very much too rapidly, returning to the original volume in 3 or 4 seconds. Additional difficulty lies in the need for the singer to perform the decrescendo smoothly, and while doing so, gradually decrease the subglottic pressures by coordination of breath energy and laryngeal muscle action, maintaining pitch and vibrancy on an increasingly smaller lung volumes of air. This presents a breath management/support challenge. And, to top it off The exercise should be able to be performed throughout the complete performance compass of the voice. Pedagogic Use of the Messa Di Voce The exercise is useful for both voice evaluation, and for training. When performed, it immediately reveals where the singer's issues are, by the characteristics of the individual skills which are combined in it. When first performed, the student takes a small breath, begins and ends at mezzopiano (mp), and crescendos to mezzo forte. (mf) over a few counts time. When smooth and accurate with these levels and times for all vowels, the teacher may either (1) extend the dynamic range (starting softer, i.e., at piano, or ending louder, i.e., at mezzo forte), and/or (2) lengthening the time for the crescendo and the matching decrescendo, with a slightly larger breath. As the singer becomes more accomplished, the teacher may vary the dynamics and lengths independently, so that complete facility of dynamic control is gained. Examples of Use If you listen carefully to some of the longer notes in 'The prayer' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ELLI2-lRTM you can hear the messa di voce done very subtly. Also, you can hear good examples of the sustained notes in decrescendo, which is the 2nd half of the exercise. Probably the best example I have found of this effect in theatre is the sustained, almost inperceptible decrescendo on the last note of 'The Music of the Night' in Phantom of the Opera. Michael Crawford does it very well at Amongst the singers of the 'Standards', excellent examples are in the singing of Tony Bennett. In 'Fly me to the moon', at you can hear some very subtle ones. Messa di voce is not an end in itself. The abilities it requires, and which it helps to develop, are essential in the dynamic shaping of phrases, the ebb and flow of vocal volume to create arched, legato lines. In Tony's singing, you can hear how he nuances these volume relationships note-to-note so smoothly. In classical music, especially pieces in Bel Canto style, this effect is very readily found. For example, in the 'mad scene' in Donizetti's Lucia, (eg at you can hear some of the longer notes with it done subtly, but also how the singer uses dynamic control to connect the coloratura in long, shaped phrases on a single vowel. Interesting note: This is the same aria which begins the 'Diva' section in the Bruce Willis movie 'The fifth element' (as seen at before the 'dance' section ). Conclusion By varying the dynamic levels and the lengths of the crescendo/decrescendo pair, the singer becomes very familiar with the way their own instrument responds to these demands, and how they must be thinking to achieve the effect in the various ranges of their voice. The end results is a wonderful ability and sense of mastery that comes from the familiarity of these aspects of singing, and which is directly applied to the artistic use of dynamics in performance. View full articles
  10. Vocal Terminology : 'Messa di Voce'

    Introduction Of all the dynamic effects used in singing, one of the most challenging to do elegantly is the 'messa di voce' (pronounced by English speakers more-or-less like 'mess ah dee voh chay'. :-) It is the combination of a smooth crescendo (getting louder) for some amount of time, followed by a smooth decrescendo (getting softer) for the same amount of time, on a single vowel, on a single note. Using musical symbols, it can be represented this way: Why is this challenging? The exercise requires that the singer be able to: o Start a note cleanly and vibrantly, but softly. o Crescendo that note smoothly, progressively adjusting the balance of breath energy and laryngeal muscle action so that the tone gets louder, not going sharp or flat, and maintaining the vowel color until a specific louder level is reached . o Decrescendo that note smoothly, with similar requirements as during the crescendo, while approaching the end of the usable supply of breath o End the note cleanly and vibrantly, but softly The easiest of the skills For most singers with some training, the skill which most readily can be managed is the 2nd one, the crescendo. Even so, the requirement to maintain the vowel and the pitch consistency represents a challenge. If the breath energy is not balanced with the laryngeal muscle action, the pitch will go astray. The intermediate skills Next in line of difficulty is the soft starting and stopping of the vibrant tone. This skill requires the singer to be able to manage breath energy at very low subglottic pressures, with the requisite light laryngeal muscle action levels, while at the same time keeping the tone free, clear and accurately pitched. The starting of the note is challenging, because there is usually a surplus of breath energy for the 1st onset, and the ending of the note is challenging, because there is very little left for the release. To correctly do these two skills, the singer must have mastery of soft dynamics with full lungs, and with nearly empty ones. The most challenging of the skills This is the smooth decrescendo. As the singer begins to do this on the latter half of the breath, there is a great tendency to make the action too swiftly. If, for example, the crescendo is taken for 5 seconds, the singer will tend to make the first part of the decrescendo very much too rapidly, returning to the original volume in 3 or 4 seconds. Additional difficulty lies in the need for the singer to perform the decrescendo smoothly, and while doing so, gradually decrease the subglottic pressures by coordination of breath energy and laryngeal muscle action, maintaining pitch and vibrancy on an increasingly smaller lung volumes of air. This presents a breath management/support challenge. And, to top it off The exercise should be able to be performed throughout the complete performance compass of the voice. Pedagogic Use of the Messa Di Voce The exercise is useful for both voice evaluation, and for training. When performed, it immediately reveals where the singer's issues are, by the characteristics of the individual skills which are combined in it. When first performed, the student takes a small breath, begins and ends at mezzopiano (mp), and crescendos to mezzo forte. (mf) over a few counts time. When smooth and accurate with these levels and times for all vowels, the teacher may either (1) extend the dynamic range (starting softer, i.e., at piano, or ending louder, i.e., at mezzo forte), and/or (2) lengthening the time for the crescendo and the matching decrescendo, with a slightly larger breath. As the singer becomes more accomplished, the teacher may vary the dynamics and lengths independently, so that complete facility of dynamic control is gained. Examples of Use If you listen carefully to some of the longer notes in 'The prayer' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ELLI2-lRTM you can hear the messa di voce done very subtly. Also, you can hear good examples of the sustained notes in decrescendo, which is the 2nd half of the exercise. Probably the best example I have found of this effect in theatre is the sustained, almost inperceptible decrescendo on the last note of 'The Music of the Night' in Phantom of the Opera. Michael Crawford does it very well at Amongst the singers of the 'Standards', excellent examples are in the singing of Tony Bennett. In 'Fly me to the moon', at you can hear some very subtle ones. Messa di voce is not an end in itself. The abilities it requires, and which it helps to develop, are essential in the dynamic shaping of phrases, the ebb and flow of vocal volume to create arched, legato lines. In Tony's singing, you can hear how he nuances these volume relationships note-to-note so smoothly. In classical music, especially pieces in Bel Canto style, this effect is very readily found. For example, in the 'mad scene' in Donizetti's Lucia, (eg at you can hear some of the longer notes with it done subtly, but also how the singer uses dynamic control to connect the coloratura in long, shaped phrases on a single vowel. Interesting note: This is the same aria which begins the 'Diva' section in the Bruce Willis movie 'The fifth element' (as seen at before the 'dance' section ). Conclusion By varying the dynamic levels and the lengths of the crescendo/decrescendo pair, the singer becomes very familiar with the way their own instrument responds to these demands, and how they must be thinking to achieve the effect in the various ranges of their voice. The end results is a wonderful ability and sense of mastery that comes from the familiarity of these aspects of singing, and which is directly applied to the artistic use of dynamics in performance.
  11. Let me know what you think! :)

    Hi all,   I've just signed up to see if you could let me know what you think of my recordings on my website - www.davidirelandsings.com. They're not great quality, but it'll be nice to hear what you think!   All the best,   David
  12. I would like to share with the singing public my own struggle with changing styles and sound from opera to pop. I teach from my own experience. I may be an expert today, but I am never far from my client's struggles and frustrations. It doesn't matter who the singer is, everyone at some point in their career has struggled with their voice in some way. Early on, even someone as gifted as Celine Dion had her own fair share of struggle with a tongue that wouldn't quit pulling back when singing, trapping her higher tones. (The culprit: her native language). Then there are those famed artists who claim to never have taken a lesson. Yet they have been seen by the public taking lessons with the some of the best teachers around. For me the issue isn't about who I teach. The issue is whether I can teach you how to sing, sing well, and without injuring yourself. Can I educate you well enough to become your own teacher? Yes. I was one of those who came out of the womb with an extremely gifted classical voice. At 12, I was seen in a Beverly Hills Elementary school production of The Magic Flute. After that appearance, many teachers wanted to teach me but I was still very young, and not that interested. I knew I already had a gift. My thinking was, Why do I need lessons? Yet at 16, I noticed I couldn't sing the songs I wanted to sing. My voice was too operatic for Pop, Pop/Rock, or Country. Now it was time for lessons. It got very depressing. Whenever I tried singing other styles, I felt horribly embarrassed. I could never figure out how the Mariah Carey's, Whitney Houston's, or Celine Dion's could belt like they did without choking! I sounded like a wannabe. Back then, teachers mostly taught classically. Very few were teaching how to sing contemporary music. All of my teachers (3) were those who sang with the Met and the Los Angeles Opera and couldn't teach me how to change styles. They told me it was best to stick with the classical training especially since my voice was a right fit, said I shouldn't mess around with the beauty of my sound or I might lose it. They scared me. Still hoping my voice would magically transform through lessons, I continued with the classical. Since technical perfection is a must when singing opera, there were times when if I didn't sing it right, I'd walk away from lessons feeling not good enough, stupid, or that something was wrong with me. It certainly wasn't helping me with the songs I so desired to be able to sing. It wasn't fun anymore. My voice became a liability, a limitation, rather than a gift. So humiliating to sing anything but opera, I stopped singing songs for anyone. I didn't want you to hear me attempt any other style while I still sounded like an opera singer for fear of what you'd think and say. When I finally made the decision to become a teacher, I also made the decision to become the very best teacher I could possibly become. This meant I was going to have to learn how to change my sound and style. I wanted to be able to teach anyone, no matter the style. Early on as a teacher I found out I had an extraordinarily gifted ear. It has become my greatest tool as an instructor and coach. They call it clairaudience. With my ears I am able to visualize exactly what's happening inside the singer that keeps them from having their voice the way they desire to sing and be heard. I went for lessons with two or three teachers as contemporary techniques became more popular. But after a couple of lessons and listening back to my tapes, I could hear things that the teachers weren't. Because of this, I lost faith in their ears. I trusted mine more. Additionally, I still wasn't getting what they were physically asking me to do to change my sound. This is when I came to a decision that wasn't easy to make; a very scary and what felt like unsafe proposition: to train myself. If I was so good at training you, why not train me? Out came the tapes and tape recorder. The recorder my student, and me, the teacher/guide. I treated those tapes as if I were listening to one of my students and began making the proper corrections. I probably read about 75 books and hordes of articles, internet and print, on vocal technique. I tried everything suggested and was obsessed with finding out what worked for me, what didn't, and why. I soon realized that singing in different styles wasn't so much about changing the sound of my voice as it was about changing the way I shaped the vowels, which also changes the placement. The process of changing sense-memorized habits was nothing short of grueling, but I was determined to never give up - no matter what. I wanted to be able to cover a spectrum of different styles. Habits are usually subconscious. They are so ingrained that it's not easy to ask someone to, for example, quit biting their nails or cracking their knuckles in an instant. Nope, not going to happen. To break a habit takes concentrated effort. Through this work I learned the true meaning of that word. Letting go of my own second-nature habits made me feel like my voice was at zero, as if I never had a gifted voice. I felt like many of my students do about their own voices when they come to me. The first thing I had to do was learn to stop listening to myself. Okay, yeah, that's like asking someone to leave his or her ego at the door - nearly impossible. But I transfered my awareness to listening from the outside, as if I were another person, and if it was wrong, I re-recorded until it was right. The tape never lies. I used vocalises to change vowel shaping, placement, and ways of support to create new sense-memorized habits. All of these were different from those used for classical singing. Vocalises became my weapon, my voice the competition, and I was going to win. Yes, I had my bed flailing days, days when I wanted to throw the tape and the recorder out the window. But nothing could ever stop me from continuing to try, continuing to practice, and continuing until I got it. After one of these breakdowns, I would be up in the morning practicing and right back at it again. I was relentless and determined. I don't really think I knew how competitive I was until I went on this expansive journey. Vocalises have now become my warm-ups. On any given day, just one vocalise can reveal where my voice is weak and needs work. Since the voice lives inside the body, you can never predict from day to day until you start exercising. Quickly discerning which area might need the most work, I can take an exercise and work that area until my voice opens up. Then I re-check by choosing a vocalise to sing through my entire range. What I've discovered is that by working in only one area, it often helps open all my registers. This is because I am practicing my new habits, and not my "sound" per se. A habit successfully changed in one area automatically changes it in another. Amazingly it is with this change of habits that a voice develops on its own. It's an automatic end result. Today, I don't have to think about my voice when I sing. I do, however, still have to vocalize with exercises. Old habits have a way of sneaking back in when you least expect them. So I, for one, have to keep after them. As long as I am reminding myself with this form of repetition, I can sing the songs I love quite well and it makes me very, very happy. I can't tell you how cool it is, when there were times I thought it would never happen. For additional style, I learned to listen for specific pronunciation rather than to the perceived sound of someone else's voice and trying to imitate it. I found pronunciation to be key to any given style. Imitating sound only kept me kept me pushing and forcing my voice. Again, very embarrassing. To get what I have today, the new way had to become the only way second nature to me, like opera. I am still a technical singer because I love to play with tones, and to be on pitch. I don't like the way I sound when I deviate into something that really isn't me. In my mind there are two types of singers: the technical and the stylistically artistic, and both are good. Technical singers make great session artists and are in demand because of it. Stardom, in my opinion, comes to those who seem to have the gift of MAGIC on stage or recording, artistically, stylistically, and as a performer. Some will still criticize me for sounding technical, not realizing that I prefer this for my own sound and style. It's how I love to sing because I can - and not everyone can. I don't need auto-tune. When I record a song, I can usually do it in an hour, and an a capella only takes 5 minutes. I'm proud that I can get it in one take. I did become the teacher I always wanted to become. I have a lot of fun singing today, and even more fun teaching my methods to clients, from the gifted to those who have to work for every iimprovement. Yes, it was a difficult journey and one I've noticed seems to be harder than going the other direction: from pop to opera. There were many ups and downs along the way. But everyone I teach is so happy to be on the road and keep forging onward. Those who have stuck it out have great voices and careers today. Dena Murray SME The Modern Vocalist, Voice Teacher/Coach, and Published Author www.denamurray.com www.facebook.com/dena murray
  13. I would like to share with the singing public my own struggle with changing styles and sound from opera to pop. I teach from my own experience. I may be an expert today, but I am never far from my client's struggles and frustrations. It doesn't matter who the singer is, everyone at some point in their career has struggled with their voice in some way. Early on, even someone as gifted as Celine Dion had her own fair share of struggle with a tongue that wouldn't quit pulling back when singing, trapping her higher tones. (The culprit: her native language). Then there are those famed artists who claim to never have taken a lesson. Yet they have been seen by the public taking lessons with the some of the best teachers around. For me the issue isn't about who I teach. The issue is whether I can teach you how to sing, sing well, and without injuring yourself. Can I educate you well enough to become your own teacher? Yes. I was one of those who came out of the womb with an extremely gifted classical voice. At 12, I was seen in a Beverly Hills Elementary school production of The Magic Flute. After that appearance, many teachers wanted to teach me but I was still very young, and not that interested. I knew I already had a gift. My thinking was, Why do I need lessons? Yet at 16, I noticed I couldn't sing the songs I wanted to sing. My voice was too operatic for Pop, Pop/Rock, or Country. Now it was time for lessons. It got very depressing. Whenever I tried singing other styles, I felt horribly embarrassed. I could never figure out how the Mariah Carey's, Whitney Houston's, or Celine Dion's could belt like they did without choking! I sounded like a wannabe. Back then, teachers mostly taught classically. Very few were teaching how to sing contemporary music. All of my teachers (3) were those who sang with the Met and the Los Angeles Opera and couldn't teach me how to change styles. They told me it was best to stick with the classical training especially since my voice was a right fit, said I shouldn't mess around with the beauty of my sound or I might lose it. They scared me. Still hoping my voice would magically transform through lessons, I continued with the classical. Since technical perfection is a must when singing opera, there were times when if I didn't sing it right, I'd walk away from lessons feeling not good enough, stupid, or that something was wrong with me. It certainly wasn't helping me with the songs I so desired to be able to sing. It wasn't fun anymore. My voice became a liability, a limitation, rather than a gift. So humiliating to sing anything but opera, I stopped singing songs for anyone. I didn't want you to hear me attempt any other style while I still sounded like an opera singer for fear of what you'd think and say. When I finally made the decision to become a teacher, I also made the decision to become the very best teacher I could possibly become. This meant I was going to have to learn how to change my sound and style. I wanted to be able to teach anyone, no matter the style. Early on as a teacher I found out I had an extraordinarily gifted ear. It has become my greatest tool as an instructor and coach. They call it clairaudience. With my ears I am able to visualize exactly what's happening inside the singer that keeps them from having their voice the way they desire to sing and be heard. I went for lessons with two or three teachers as contemporary techniques became more popular. But after a couple of lessons and listening back to my tapes, I could hear things that the teachers weren't. Because of this, I lost faith in their ears. I trusted mine more. Additionally, I still wasn't getting what they were physically asking me to do to change my sound. This is when I came to a decision that wasn't easy to make; a very scary and what felt like unsafe proposition: to train myself. If I was so good at training you, why not train me? Out came the tapes and tape recorder. The recorder my student, and me, the teacher/guide. I treated those tapes as if I were listening to one of my students and began making the proper corrections. I probably read about 75 books and hordes of articles, internet and print, on vocal technique. I tried everything suggested and was obsessed with finding out what worked for me, what didn't, and why. I soon realized that singing in different styles wasn't so much about changing the sound of my voice as it was about changing the way I shaped the vowels, which also changes the placement. The process of changing sense-memorized habits was nothing short of grueling, but I was determined to never give up - no matter what. I wanted to be able to cover a spectrum of different styles. Habits are usually subconscious. They are so ingrained that it's not easy to ask someone to, for example, quit biting their nails or cracking their knuckles in an instant. Nope, not going to happen. To break a habit takes concentrated effort. Through this work I learned the true meaning of that word. Letting go of my own second-nature habits made me feel like my voice was at zero, as if I never had a gifted voice. I felt like many of my students do about their own voices when they come to me. The first thing I had to do was learn to stop listening to myself. Okay, yeah, that's like asking someone to leave his or her ego at the door - nearly impossible. But I transfered my awareness to listening from the outside, as if I were another person, and if it was wrong, I re-recorded until it was right. The tape never lies. I used vocalises to change vowel shaping, placement, and ways of support to create new sense-memorized habits. All of these were different from those used for classical singing. Vocalises became my weapon, my voice the competition, and I was going to win. Yes, I had my bed flailing days, days when I wanted to throw the tape and the recorder out the window. But nothing could ever stop me from continuing to try, continuing to practice, and continuing until I got it. After one of these breakdowns, I would be up in the morning practicing and right back at it again. I was relentless and determined. I don't really think I knew how competitive I was until I went on this expansive journey. Vocalises have now become my warm-ups. On any given day, just one vocalise can reveal where my voice is weak and needs work. Since the voice lives inside the body, you can never predict from day to day until you start exercising. Quickly discerning which area might need the most work, I can take an exercise and work that area until my voice opens up. Then I re-check by choosing a vocalise to sing through my entire range. What I've discovered is that by working in only one area, it often helps open all my registers. This is because I am practicing my new habits, and not my "sound" per se. A habit successfully changed in one area automatically changes it in another. Amazingly it is with this change of habits that a voice develops on its own. It's an automatic end result. Today, I don't have to think about my voice when I sing. I do, however, still have to vocalize with exercises. Old habits have a way of sneaking back in when you least expect them. So I, for one, have to keep after them. As long as I am reminding myself with this form of repetition, I can sing the songs I love quite well and it makes me very, very happy. I can't tell you how cool it is, when there were times I thought it would never happen. For additional style, I learned to listen for specific pronunciation rather than to the perceived sound of someone else's voice and trying to imitate it. I found pronunciation to be key to any given style. Imitating sound only kept me kept me pushing and forcing my voice. Again, very embarrassing. To get what I have today, the new way had to become the only way second nature to me, like opera. I am still a technical singer because I love to play with tones, and to be on pitch. I don't like the way I sound when I deviate into something that really isn't me. In my mind there are two types of singers: the technical and the stylistically artistic, and both are good. Technical singers make great session artists and are in demand because of it. Stardom, in my opinion, comes to those who seem to have the gift of MAGIC on stage or recording, artistically, stylistically, and as a performer. Some will still criticize me for sounding technical, not realizing that I prefer this for my own sound and style. It's how I love to sing because I can - and not everyone can. I don't need auto-tune. When I record a song, I can usually do it in an hour, and an a capella only takes 5 minutes. I'm proud that I can get it in one take. I did become the teacher I always wanted to become. I have a lot of fun singing today, and even more fun teaching my methods to clients, from the gifted to those who have to work for every iimprovement. Yes, it was a difficult journey and one I've noticed seems to be harder than going the other direction: from pop to opera. There were many ups and downs along the way. But everyone I teach is so happy to be on the road and keep forging onward. Those who have stuck it out have great voices and careers today. Dena Murray SME The Modern Vocalist, Voice Teacher/Coach, and Published Author www.denamurray.com www.facebook.com/dena murray View full articles