|Voices for choir singers|
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The soprano (since the 18th century from Italian soprano , as 'upper voice' in the 16th century originated from Italian sopra '(dar) over'; plural the sopranos , in Switzerland also the sopranos ) is the highest human voice and is in the great majority of cases sung by women. But it can also be sung by boys who have broken their voices (boy soprano) or by men in falsetto . In addition, the soprano voice was also occupied by castrati in past centuries . There are only a few "natural castrati". In the Renaissance and Baroque periods , the soprano system was also known as the cantus or treble in the vocal and instrumental areas .
A singer or a singer of this pitch is soprano or soprano or simply soprano known.
The pitch range of the soprano voice usually ranges from c 'to a' ', but much higher notes are possible for professional singers.
Some specialized singing subjects for the soprano that have emerged since the 19th century are:
- lyric soprano
- dramatic soprano
- lyrical coloratura soprano , for roles of high virtuosity
- dramatic coloratura soprano , for roles of high virtuosity and drama
- Soubrette , for games from the comic area
A boy soprano is the pitch that corresponds to the soprano but is sung by a boy before the voice breaks . (A lower boy's voice is the boy's alto .) Boy's voices traditionally sing the high voices in boys' choirs .
Typical roles for boy soprano are for example:
- First and Second Boys in Mozart's Magic Flute
- Elamir in Axur, re d'Ormus by Salieri
- A young shepherd in Tannhäuser von Wagner
- Yniold in Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy
- Boy's voice in Elias von Mendelssohn
- Miles in The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten
- Oberto in Alcina by Handel
- Pepicek in Brundibár by Hans Krasa
- Pollicino in Hans Werner Henze 's opera of the same name
- Gustave in the musical Love Never Dies by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Important boy sopranos were:
- Ernest Lough was the first boy soprano to be commercially successful through recordings; his famous Deutsche Grammophon recording of the Mendelssohn aria Hear my Prayer from 1927 received the gold record in 1962 .
- Roy Goodman achieved international fame in 1963 with the recording of Gregorio Allegris Miserere under David Willcock's .
- David Hemmings , later a film actor, began his career as Benjamin Britten's preferred interpreter of the roles for boy sopranos in his operas.
- Aled Jones was in his childhood the best known boy soprano in Great Britain , among other things through the BBC documentary The Treble and his interpretation of the title song Walking in the Air for the British animated film The Snowman , and sang for Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II.
- Allan Bergius , longtime soloist of the Tölzer Knabenchor , sang the soprano part in Mahler's Fourth Symphony under Leonard Bernstein in Vienna, Milan and on a concert tour through the United States.
For several centuries attempts were made to preserve the boy's voices of good singers by castration . The castrati thus created could train their voices even further and had a larger lung volume than boys. However, this method is no longer practiced today.
Today there are a few "natural castrati". This can have hormonal causes, such as with the soprano Radu Marian . With Jimmy Scott , the hormonal cause is based on a genetic defect. Circumstances like those of Michael Maniaci are even rarer . His voice never broke either , but for unknown reasons only the larynx and the vocal cords did not develop as usual. Compared to other singers, they are limited in the lower pitches. Thanks to the normal chest voice used, you can also sing soft parts against counter tenors.
Men who are able to sing sopranos after their voices break are usually referred to as countertenors , sometimes also as sopranos or male sopranos. They mostly work by using the head voice or the falsetto technique, which, however, creates a different sound than a boy's voice. Singers like Angelo Manzotti have developed their own technique without falsetto, which leads to a clearer voice. These types of singers have quite a large vocal range. With Arno Raunig it is over three and a half octaves, with Edson Cordeiro even four octaves. The latter reaches a tone that is one step higher than Mozart's Queen of the Night in the opera The Magic Flute .
- Carl Dahlhaus , Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (Ed.): Soprano. In: Brockhaus Riemann. Music lexicon in four volumes and a supplementary volume. 4. Volume R-Z. Page 174. Schott Mainz. Piper Munich. ISBN 3-7957-8304-6 (Schott). ISBN 3-492-18304-2 (Piper).
- Horst Seeger : Soprano in: Opern Lexikon K – Z. Page 819/820. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag. Reinbek near Hamburg 1982. ISBN 3-499-16287-3 .
- Klaus Kalchschmid: Flying high . in: Opernwelt , June 2007, page 34ff. (Inventory on the subject of countertenors)
- Kai Wessel , Arnold Jacobshagen / Corinna Heer (eds.): The countertenor: The male falsetto voice from the Middle Ages to the present . Schott Campus. Schott Music GmbH & Co KG, Mainz 2013. ISBN 978-3-7957-0793-4 .
- Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th ed., Ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 717.
- An Interview With Michael Maniaci , operatoday.com, April 12, 2005 (English)
- Michael Maniaci talks about his voice - excerpt from a broadcast by BBC four ( YouTube video, available since February 29, 2008)