The Lilli Lehmann Project* – Light Coloratura

In a previous post, I demonstrated three voice characters: light coloratura quality, lyric quality and dramatic quality by referring to the lessons in Lucie Manen’s book ‘The Art of Singing’. Manen describes how to achieve the voice characters. She also wrote that Lilli Lehmann performed all three roles in The Tales of Hoffmann. In other words, Lehmann knew how to access the three voice characters.

Today, I focussed on applying the light coloratura quality to Donizetti’s ‘O luce di quest’anima’. Here are the opening phrases recorded on my iPhone. My guitar is tuned to 432HZ. Listening back, I can lighten up the quality a little more, add a touch more imposto on the middle range and address the occasional note that does not have the correct onset (the caress of the glottis I blogged about in an earlier post).

O luce di quest/anima sung in light coloratura quality – Deborah Wai Kapohe

Finally, here is a Spotify link to Donizetti’s ‘Ah, tardai troppo…o luce di quest’anima’ sung by Dame Joan Sutherland. Dame Joan, like Lilli Lehmann, was a Wagnerian Soprano. I love hearing Dame Joan’s voice light coloratura quality in this wonderful recording.

*These blogs are part of a three year project (2020-2023) to refresh my voice and prepare myself for teaching. I have called the three year project ‘The Lilli Lehmann Project’ because I am using Lilli Lehmann’s teachings, recordings and others’ writings about Lehmann as a point of reference.

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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