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Thread: Enquiry to the lower register of tenor voice

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    Default Enquiry to the lower register of tenor voice

    Hi All, we have heard many discussions on tenor high notes but I'm curious how low could an average tenor sing? There are many sopranos, including the coloraturas, who can sing as low as F3 or even Eb3. Hence, I guess that tenors being able to sing down to E2/F2 is not a rare occurence? They most probably could not carry the notes over the orchestra or the notes would sound forced/weak? Heldentenors most probably have powerful low notes that extend beyond the standard C3 but what about the leggero/lyric/spinto tenors etc?

    Does anyone has an audio example of a tenor singing in his lower register? I'm sure it would be an interesting auditory experience.

    p.s. I'm just an opera fan with minimal formal music background. Apologies if my question sound amateurish.


    Thank you.
    Last edited by Alfredoz; Jun-21-2014 at 18:30.

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    Senior Member BaronScarpia's Avatar
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    This is something about which I've often wondered. I am a baritone, and haven't a hope of reaching an E2 - F2s are generally difficult for me, too - so I doubt that many tenors can get down there! I would guess that most tenors can't sing more than a semitone or two below C3. As you say, heldentenors (and to a lesser extent dramatic tenors) would find it easier. I think the lowest note in the tenor repertoire is A♭2 (in Siegfried, which makes sense). Spinto tenors generally sing in a lower tessitura than lyric tenors, so perhaps they can sing low notes too (Plácido Domingo is living proof!). Lyric tenors are usually C3-C5, nothing lower and occasionally a semitone (or very rarely two) higher. The average leggero tenor has the same range, but sings in a higher tessitura. The 'best' ones can sing E♭s, Es and even Fs. Juan Diego Flórez has a range of more or less two octaves, but from E♭3 to E♭5!

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    Hi Sir, thanks for the detailed reply. I think C3 to C5 is the range in which most well trained tenor sounds best. They might be able to sing several notes outside the range but it most probably won't sound pleasant? I think spinto tenors are essentially lyric tenors with a naturally stronger voice so they should share the same tessitura. Leggero tenors are interesting and I once thought they couldn't sing low too but there is an online article by famous New York voice instructor David L.Jones in which he discusses the leggero tenor voice and at one point he mentions that these tenors are often misclassified as baritones because they tend to have baritonal chest register with low extension and their high notes can sound falsettish, especially if untrained. This is indeed mind-boggling!

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    Senior Member BaronScarpia's Avatar
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    That's very interesting! I read your post^^ after I replied to your message. Having read that, I would be inclined to think that I could even be a leggero tenor, as my high notes are very bright and resonant, whereas my lower notes are baritonal in timbre. Having said that, I find it difficult to sing high for any period of time... I must speak with my teacher!!!

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    Most tenors I have heard have a loose range of A2 to C5. Hope that helps.
    "I won't ever throw rose petals out my car window."
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