Kashu-do (歌手道) and Once More With Feeling: Paradoxical Dramatic Voices

A reminder to keep our sister, celebrated pedagogue, Susan Eichorn Young (SEY) and her husband, the celebrated tenor, Thomas Young in our prayers. They are both progressing toward what we all want to be a speedy and complete recovery, but there will be some challenges ahead I suspect.  I welcome you to express your positive energy on their prayer wall on Facebook. These posts will carry Susan’s blog title, Once More With Feeling as long as she is recovering. Keep reading her blog.  There is so much wisdom there!

The legendary Chilean tenor, Ramon Vinay, was celebrated for roles like Otello, Tristan, Radames and others.  After a successful career as a tenor, he took on baritone parts like Jago, Rigoletto and even sang a Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlo, a bass role.  Hearing Vinay in his great tenor roles, there is no doubt that he was indeed a tenor.

Vinay is Otello in the first clip and there is no mystery as to why Vinay is in the line of the greatest tenors to have sung the role.  In the second clip (orchestra is very loud–position of the recording device) he is a magnificent Jago opposite no less than another of the greatest Otellos, Mario del Monaco.

Is Jessye Norman a mezzo or soprano?  

One of the most celebrated sopranos of the Wagnerian and French Grand Opera repertoires, she has a better middle and lower range than most mezzos and is equally credible as Dalilah…

…as she is in one of Verdi’s most delicate bel canto arias, from Il Corsaro, often sung by dramatic coloraturas.

George London had what was often referred to as a “Black” voice because the natural color rivaled that of most basses.  My first experience with his voice was the Verdi Requiem…

In Ford’s aria from Verdi’s Falstaff, London sounds like the quintessential Verdian baritone, exhibiting more completely satisfying top notes than any baritone I have heard sing the part, life or on recording…

Were these people freaks as many people like to call them.  My opinion, no!  They worked very hard to develop what they believed were their singular quality.  Now that I am healing from my gluten infestation, my voice is becoming clearer, more flexible and more consistent.  The quality of my voice is still very baritonal when I sing as a tenor.  But I feel so natural in this tessitura. It requires work to gain the stamina to sing in the high tessitura, but it is not only doable it is correct for me.  Timbre is only one part of vocal typing. Range is another and tessitura is probably the most important.  I have the luxury of teaching three working dramatic sopranos who warm up quite comfortably to high F.  I teach several big voiced tenors who were baritones at one time.  There is no shortage of dramatic voices.  There was a time when they were recognized and developed.  Today dramatic voices are categorized to lower tessituras because it is more expedient.  Yet we hear so often the complaint that dramatic voices are rarer today. Well not true at all!  They just need to be given a chance to develop their more difficult top ranges!

A recent practice of E lucevan le stelle.  I will be preparing a concert for October and so will have rehearsal recordings in the next month or so.

JRL20110620 E lucevan le stelle.mp3

© 06/28/2011

One thought on “Kashu-do (歌手道) and Once More With Feeling: Paradoxical Dramatic Voices

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: