In previous blogs, I have demonstrated starting the note from the larynx mechanism, the pharynx, the nasal and the imposto. Here is a chance to put these ideas together to create three different voice characters. To achieve this, I have followed Lucie Manen’s book ‘The Art of Singing’ and recalled the teachings of the late Beatrice Webster.
Lucie Manen writes that Lilli Lehmann was able to sing all three characters in The Tales of Hoffmann! Accordingly, I will explore this in my studies too. Today, I am beginning with the three qualities – the Light Coloratura, the Lyric and the Dramatic – sung on ‘a’.
Below is an example of ‘Una Voce Poco Fa’. What is remarkable in this example is that the Great Singer, Amelita Galli-Curci, could sing also lyric and dramatic soprano. Here she is demonstrating her incredible ability as a coloratura soprano.
The extreme attractiveness of Mme. Galli-Curci’s Una Voce…lies in its all-round merit. The rich, satisfying timbre, the essentially Italian quality of the voice, easily produced and managed with rare, unfailing skill, strikes the listener at once.Herman Klein, Herman Klein and the Gramophone, Page 68.
Another example of voice characters. This example of Dame Joan Sutherland singing ‘Ah, tardai troppo…O luce di quest’anima’ captures the youth of the character so beautifully.
Here is my first attempt at singing Donizetti’s aria. I call this a work in progress because my voice is still too heavy (not light coloratura quality). Accordingly, combined with a loss of support near the end leading to the dreaded press and loss of head voice, caused a crash onto the top D. Never mind. We know the cause. Now fix it!