The operatic voice. Vocal registers, tessiture, and Fächer. A selection of roles and performers.

 

EN ESPAÑOL

Vocal registers, tessiture and Fächer in the operatic tradition. A selection of roles and performers.

FEMALE VOICES

  • SOPRANO

o Light sopranosoprano leggero or coloratura: Roles:  Oscar, in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera; Norina, in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Performers: Kathleen Battle, Lucia Popp.
o Dramatic coloratura: Roles: The Queen of the night, in Mozart’s The magic flute Lucia, in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Performers: Edita Gruberova, Joan Sutherland.
o Light-lyric soprano (soubrette): Roles: Susanna, in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; Zerlina, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Performers: Barbara Bonney, Natalie Dessay, María José Moreno.
o Full-lyric soprano: Roles: Tatiana, in Tchaikovski’s Yevyeni Onegin; La Contessa, in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Performers: Mirella Freni, Kiri te Kanawa, René Flemming.
o Spinto: Roles: Madama Butterfly, in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Performers: Renata Tebaldi, Angela Gheorghiu.
o Sfogato or assoluta. Performers: María Malibran, Maria Callas, Cecilia Bartoli, Anna Netrebko.
o Dramatic or Wagnerian soprano: Roles: Santuzza, in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana. Ariadne in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Brünhilde, in Wagner’s Die Walkyre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Isolde, in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Performers: Waltraud Maier, Kirsten Flagstad, Jessye Norman.

  • MEZZO-SOPRANO

o Mezzosoprano leggero or coloratura: Roles: Tancredi in Rossini’s Tancredi; Rosina, in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Performers: Teresa Berganza, Vivica Genaux.
o Lyric mezzo-soprano: Roles: Dalila, in Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. Performers: Pauline Viardot, Janet Baker, Jennifer Larmore, Giulietta Simionato.

  • CONTRALTO

o Roles: Irene, in Vivaldi’s Bajazet. Irene, in Handel’s Theodora; Lucretia, in Britten’s The rape of Lucretia. Performers: Ewa Podles, Kathleen Ferrier, Lorraine Hunt-Liebersohn, Christa Ludwig, Jean Rigby.

MALE VOICES

  • COUNTERTENOR

Roles: Timante, in Gluck’s Demofoonte. Performers: Philippe Jaroussky, James Bowman, Carlos Mena.

  • TENOR

o Light tenor (Rossini tenor, or tenore di grazia, according to Manuel. P. García’s Traité complet de l’art du chant): Roles: Conde Almaviva, in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Tonio, in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment. Performers: Alfredo Kraus, Juan Diego Flórez, Celso Albelo.
o Light-lyric tenor (Mozart tenor): Roles: Don Ottavio, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. : Fritz Wunderlich, Luigi Alva, Hans Peter Blochwitz.
o Lyric: Roles: Calaf, in Puccini’s Turandot. Performers: Luciano Pavarotti.
o Dramatic tenor (Jugendliche Heldentenor, within the German repertoire; tenore di forza, within the Italian repertoire): Roles: Don José in Bizet’s Carmen. Performers: Jonnas Kauffman
o Heroic tenor (Heldentenor within the German repertoire): Roles: Otello, in Verdi’s Otello Performers: Plácido Domingo.

  • BARITONE

o High-baritone (Baryton Martin): Roles: Pelléas, in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande; Peter Grimes, in Britten’s Peter Grimes; Junius, in Britten’s The rape of Lucrezia. Performers: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Andrew Rupp, Leo Nucci, Ruggiero Raimondi.
o Lyric repertoire: Il Comte, in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Roles: Performers: Renato Brusson
o Heroic baritone (Heldenbariton or Wagnerian Hoher Bass): Roles: Jochanaan, in Strauss’ Salome. Performers: Bryn Terfel. Bernd Weikl.
o Bass-baritone (basso cantante): Roles: Don Giovanni, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  Performers: Samuel Ramey, Rodney Gilfry.

  • BASS

o Dramatic bass-baritone (Hoher Bass): Roles: Wotan in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.
o Jugendlicher bass: Roles: Leporello, Masetto, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
o Comic bass (basso buffo o Spielbass): Roles: Leporello, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Don Basilio. Rossini. Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mustafà in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri. Performers: Salvatore Salvaggio, Ferrucio Furlanetto.
o Lyric-dramatic basso profondo (seriöser Bass): Roles: Il Commendatore, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Sarastro, in Mozart’s The magic flute. Performers: Kurt Moll

 

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