jane's blog

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Voice Classificstion During the 1800's

Refinements occurred to voice classification during the 1800’s as the INTERNATIONAL OPERATIC REPERTOIRE slowly split into nationalist schools, and whole NEW CATEGORIES of singers evolved, such as:
1. A widened version of Mozart’s “pants roles” for Mezzos (expanding the Mezzo roles to include character Mezzo roles and leading Mezzo roles)
2. Then the Bass-Baritone and Bass arose towards the end of the 1800s, as did such new sub-categories as,
3. Lyric Coloratura Soprano (the name of which came from the concept of many blackened fast notes on a page, creating the most COLOR on the page…this voice could sing these notes the fastest)
Then, there was the,
4. Dramatic Soprano and,
5. Spinto Soprano,
6. And various gradations of the Tenor voice-stretching from the lightest Tenor, through Lyric, Spinto, and Heroic.
These VOCAL CATEGORY changes have had a lasting effect in the way teachers designate voices and opera managements cast their productions (even today)

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