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Chapter Eight The Voice and Opera. The Vocal Mechanism Three Elements: 1) Energy Source- Lungs 2) Vibrating Element- Vocal cords 3) Resonating Chamber-

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Eight The Voice and Opera. The Vocal Mechanism Three Elements: 1) Energy Source- Lungs 2) Vibrating Element- Vocal cords 3) Resonating Chamber-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Eight The Voice and Opera

2 The Vocal Mechanism Three Elements: 1) Energy Source- Lungs 2) Vibrating Element- Vocal cords 3) Resonating Chamber- Head A) Laryngeal prominence (Adam's Apple) B) Larynx (voice box; vocal cords inside) C) Trachea (wind pipe) D) Esophagus (swallowing tube)

3 Vocal Mechanism--Larynx

4

5 Vocal Mechanism Types The Head Voice (Head Register) (Light Mechanism) (Falsetto) The Chest Voice (Chest Register) (Heavy Mechanism)

6 “Vernacular” Voice Characteristics Uses microphone as part of technique Uses slap back echo and other enhancements Exploits timbral differences between registers Generally has less than two octave range

7 Trained Voice in Western Art Music Middle Ages (all male) Modern (male and female) SuperiusSoprano AltisimusAlto TenoreTenor BassusBass

8 Trained Voice Characteristics Trained voices are considered acoustic instruments Project in large concert halls Project over large instrumental groups Suppress timbral differences between registers

9 Further modern divisions of voices Soprano Colorature Lyric Dramatic Mezzo-sopranos Lyric Dramatic Contralto Tenor Countertenor Lyric Dramatic (Heldentenor) Baritones Lyric Bass Baritone Bass Basso Cantante Basso Profundo

10 Other Vocal Types Contra-Bass (Russian Bass) Lowest and Rarest of Voices Growl Register Throat Singers from Tuva Multiphonics Whistle Register Chinese (Beijing) Opera Soprano

11 o Early forms were religious festivals with dancing and singing. o “Incantation,” “charm,” “chant” and “enchant” all came from words having to do with singing. Music and Drama

12 Bali-Java (Indonesia) Gamelan Orchestra Puppet Theater Japan Noh Drama Kabuki Theater China Chinese (Beijing) Opera Non- Western Examples

13 Noh Theatre The Noh theatre has a place in Japanese society similar to the place Shakespearean drama has in the West. 600 years old Highly stylized Ritualistic--influenced by Zen Buddhism Performers wear masks All male actors and chorus Accompanied by flute and three drums

14 Kabuki The word Kabuki literally means song, dance, and technique. 400 years old Folk production--very popular Combines dancing with lots of melodrama Very elaborate costumes and scenery Dance theatre--very stylized Accompanied by flute, drums, shamison

15 600 years old Started by the Florentine Camerata in late 1500’s Attempted to rival Greek tragedy Text of opera is called libretto Singers train their voices to extend range and agility Melodic style resembles instrumental melodies Western European Opera

16 Quick History of Opera ’s- Produced at court for small aristocratic audiences 1700’s Became highly popular form of entertainment Tended to be comedies, spectacles, and dramas Singers began to be “stars’ Some operas were written to show off a particular star First public opera houses started

17 Continued as popular form of entertainment Productions became bigger with more elaborate sets and costumes Plots were like “soap” operas (get it?) Two most famous opera composers ever Giacomo Puccini Guiseppe Verdi Wagner began experimenting with Gesamtkunstwerk Cities all over US welcomed travelling opera companies 1800’s--Grand Opera

18 As orchestras got bigger, singers needed to train more in order to project their voices over the orchestra--this led to more agility which then led to fancier melodies. –Giaccomo Rossini--Barber of Seville The Age of Bel Canto

19 Plots and characters became more “everyday,” that is, more realistic. Giacomo Puccini ( ) vTosca vMadama Butterfly vTurandot vIl Trittico vLa Bohème [1896] nGeorges Bizet ( ) vCarmen Verismo (Realism)

20 Character Voice Types vMimi––lyric soprano vMusetta––coloratura soprano vRodolfo––lyric tenor vMarcello––lyric baritione vSchaunard––baritone vColline––bass vAlcindoro––bass La Boheme

21 Early 1900’s WW I slowed opera production Radio and movies gave people cheap way of escaping the Great Depression Grand Opera was temporarily replaced by Broadway and movie musicals Late 1900’s Musicals became more like operas (Cats, Evita, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Phantom, Rent) Opera experienced a big revival Most US cities now have opera houses

22 Operettas and musicals are operas with spoken dialogue. All dialogue is sung in an opera. William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan The Mikado The Pirates of Penzance Franz Lehar Johannes Strauss Scott Joplin Operettas and Musicals


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