Seminar Class 10/1/12

On Monday’s class, Professor Kahan explained to us the different types of singing in an opera. The three types of male voices, from lowest to highest, that we discussed in class were bass, baritone, and tenor. For a male to be able to sing in tenor is extremely difficult because it is very high pitched. One example of a male singing in tenor was when Luciano Pavarotti sang “Nessun Dorma.” Luciano Pavarotti had become extremely famous for singing this song from the opera Turandot because he hits the line “vincerò” at a perfect tenor pitch. Since Luciano Pavarotti is one of the most respected opera singers in the twenty first century, we watched his performances of “Nessun Dorma” three times each during different time frames. Even though Pavarotti was a different age each time he sang this song, it sounded amazing all three times. He also sounded the same all three times. However, he had a more matured voice in his later years. It truly amazes me how he could sing so beautifully and powerfully at the age of seventy and at an unhealthy state.

Another video that we watched to give an example of a type of male opera voice was the song “Largo al Factotum” from the opera The Barber of Seville. This song was shown to give an example of a baritone male voice. I have seen the this opera before and this was my absolute favorite song. It is probably one of the most famous baritone songs in an opera. It is a difficult song to sing because it is very upbeat and the performer singing it must be moving around the stage the whole time, since the role of Figaro is very exuberant.     “Largo al Factotum” is also a great example of a patter song. A patter song  is a song in which the words are sung extremely fast. Both of these songs, “Nessun Dorma” and “Largo al Factotum” are two songs that i fully enjoy and I am so happy that Professor Kahan chose them to exemplify some of the types of male opera voices.