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Thread: Which professional contralto would you consider to be the best you have ever heard?

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    Default Which professional contralto would you consider to be the best you have ever heard?

    While contraltos are rare, which do you consider to be the best singer in the theater? I am curious which one you think sounds the best and even the most interesting in their vocal technique.

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    Senior Member BaronScarpia's Avatar
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    I have something of a soft spot for English contraltos. Kathleen Ferrier's voice makes me weak at the knees Helen Watts is another of my favourite contraltos; she had such a powerful and expressive instrument, and she is the contralto I would most like to have heard live. Sigrid Onegin is my other favourite contralto of yesteryear.



    "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Senior Member BaronScarpia's Avatar
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    A few modern contraltos stand out to me as being particularly good. I like Ewa Podleś, but her voice doesn't really speak to me. Sonia Prina, on the other hand... just WOW! Not a fan of her coloratura technique though, I have to say. Nathalie Stutzmann is one of the most musically intelligent singers of today, whilst Marie-Nicole Lemieux's voice is just so 'bold' and truthful - so human! Sara Mingardo's pretty good too.



    "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Jessye Norman hands down.

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    I had previously said Jessye Norman, but I meant Marian Anderson, who had a great influence on Jessye Norman.

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    Ferrier , one of the few true contraltos

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    I also love contraltos (used to be one ) Sara Mingardo has a true, dark tone. . To me, each has something special & personal. . .
    Last edited by kirolak; May-09-2017 at 11:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirolak View Post
    I also love contraltos (used to be one ) Has Sara Mingardo been listed yet? To me, each has something special & personal. . .
    Why did you stopped?
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    My nerves were too bad, I even came out in hives around the throat. . .& would weep pathetically in the Kindertotenlieder. . .just not a vocal Performer. I would get ill with Angst & let myself & others down. I could hardly listen to music for several years after stopping, it hurt too badly. I think this incarnation has been in vain . . .
    Last edited by kirolak; May-10-2017 at 17:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirolak View Post
    My nerves were too bad, I even came out in hives around the throat. . .& would weep pathetically in the Kindertotenlieder. . .just not a vocal Performer. I would get ill with Angst & let myself & others down. I could hardly listen to music for several years after stopping, it hurt too badly. I think this incarnation has been in vain . . .
    Sorry to hear, but indeed singers must have nerves of steel.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirolak View Post
    I also love contraltos (used to be one ) Sara Mingardo has a true, dark tone. . To me, each has something special & personal. . .
    Mingardo was the best I heard live.

    I've always loved the beautiful contralto voice of Aafje Heynis.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Mingardo was the best I heard live.

    I've always loved the beautiful contralto voice of Aafje Heynis.
    Limited singing programme though.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Limited singing programme though.
    She made recordings of a.o. folk songs, carols, Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Gluck, Haydn, Dvořák, Franck, Brahms, Schubert, R. Strauss, Wolf, Mahler and Caplet. That's not too bad. She didn't do opera though. You can't have it all.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    She made recordings of a.o. folk songs, carols, Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Gluck, Haydn, Dvořák, Franck, Brahms, Schubert, R. Strauss, Wolf, Mahler and Caplet. That's not too bad. She didn't do opera though. You can't have it all.

    [
    From the documentary's I've seen she's not the really operas singer type by nature.
    Beautiful voice though.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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