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Thread: The REAL fach of various singers

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    This doesn't sound like a soprano to me. She sounds really strained. Recording made in 1959.

    https://youtu.be/ZkYjZL8mhX8
    Goodness! That's not someone singing with their natural voice (you can tell because there are no vowels!)

    N.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    I have to think that coloratura, like just about any other skill, is acquired through training but also dependent on the person's natural gifts (or lack thereof).

    Netrebko may have had the particular voice type for coloratura roles, but if the natural capability was never there, training would have taken her only so far.
    Coloratura soprano is a type of voice with a very high tessitura and very easy notes above high C, ideally to F6 and beyond. Not to be confused with the ability to sing fioriture which even a contralto can acquire if she has natural talent and a great training.

    Netrebko may have been a coloratura when she was very young (she claims to have sung queen of the night.) When it comes to agility, she had more when she was younger but she has close to none now and attempting any sort of florid singing results in smeary and clumsy "coloratura".
    Last edited by Tuoksu; Jun-12-2019 at 15:57.

  4. #48
    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    People love criticizing her using the evidence of her voice at 47, and comparing her to their favorite singers when in their primes. The online criticism of her is pretty odd and disproportionate. I own just a few of her recordings but whenever I've chanced on a performance, I've always found them musical and well performed.

    I saw a youtube video about how she's artificially and consciously darkening her voice--I suppose that's what balalaika boy is responding to. I wonder whether that youtuber is aware that many singers' voices darken and deepen as people age. That youtuber seems to be holding themselves out as an expert but it's hard to believe when they're not aware that age and menopause can have those results.
    You don't really need to compare her to anyone to understand her faults. Even in her prime, as early as the late 90s and early 2000s, her breathing was louder than her voice (she's naturally the breathiest, but the mic she's wearing contributes to it, I guess.) She's always sounded like she has something stuffed in her mouth and that's the result of artificial darkening. The voice of course deepened with age, so she took the woofiness to the next level trying to fit into dramatic roles but the result was just plain awful singing. She's not a dramatic voice, not even a big lyric (Claudia Muzio is a big lyric.) If you listen to her in Ruslan and Lyudmila in 1995, the voice was still more natural and not too artificial. it was a sweet young girly voice of a soprano leggiero/soubrette. That's the real voice. She's not going to transform into Renata Tebaldi just because she aged a little and gained some weight. That wouldn't substitute her vocal chords with drastically thicker ones nor enlarge her resonators. Voices are born Dramatic. Hers is only a throaty voice with a microphone.

    This is her real voice. Definitely lighter, brighter and more decent and pleasant:



    This is what a voice naturally darkened and deepened with age and menopause sounds like:



    This is not:



    Even her facial expressions reflect the vulgarity of the singing.

  5. #49
    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I suspect that had Her Nebs been less glamorous, there would be less exaggeration of both her virtues and her faults.
    Indeed. If she was a more obscure singer or a student nobody would really bother to criticize her. But when she's the number 1 singer in the entire world, doing all the work in major and minor houses (now alongside her husband who is just as bad) somebody has to speak up about it. Some moments in her singing are embarrassing by any standard even for a student and don't live up to the standards of professional, let alone first-class singing.

  6. #50
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    I've changed my mind. I don't think Verrett was a mezzo, but I would place her as a contralto. That doesn't make much difference in terms of what she sang well, but makes even more sense when considering how fine an Ulrica she made and why her soprano forays weren't always successful.

    N.

  7. #51
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I've changed my mind. I don't think Verrett was a mezzo, but I would place her as a contralto. That doesn't make much difference in terms of what she sang well, but makes even more sense when considering how fine an Ulrica she made and why her soprano forays weren't always successful.

    N.
    Maybe a falcon?
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Maybe a falcon?
    No, that's a bird, not a voice category!

    The difference between a contralto and a mezzo in my opinion is how they cope with the low Cs and Gs in Ulrica's aria (compare Ludwig and Verrett in that aria). Since there is a dearth of real contralto roles contraltos have to undertake mezzo rep and in reality there is little difference between those two voice types, the weight of the voice makes more of a difference there.

    N.

  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    - nasal, excessive mask singing
    - the top notes had no spin
    - the voice had no squillo because she didn't sing with an open throat
    - the coloratura was aspirated, unlike the coloratura of Sills, Anderson or, especially, Sutherland.

    the overall effect was somewhat crushed and dried out, especially in comparison to her early years as a soprano when the voice was opulent and, at times, downright glorious.
    There's a video here on the excessive mask singing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBhCLRATwqw

    I can hear some of the defects you describe, however that doesn't necessarily mean that she wasn't a mezzo/contralto and was a soprano. Maybe she was a mezzo with less than perfect technique. Her recording of Donde lieta usci is better sung from a technical point of view than some of her later mezzo recordings, she still doesn't sound like a soprano.

    N.

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  11. #54
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    No, that's a bird, not a voice category!

    The difference between a contralto and a mezzo in my opinion is how they cope with the low Cs and Gs in Ulrica's aria (compare Ludwig and Verrett in that aria). Since there is a dearth of real contralto roles contraltos have to undertake mezzo rep and in reality there is little difference between those two voice types, the weight of the voice makes more of a difference there.

    N.
    Sorry Falcon.

    On the other hand, Fedora Barbieri, who also sounds totally at home in the role of Ulrica, has to duck the top notes in Eboli's O don fatale in the live Giulini Don Carlo from the ROH, which is something Verrett never had to do.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Jun-12-2019 at 17:43.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  13. #55
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuoksu View Post
    You don't really need to compare her to anyone to understand her faults. Even in her prime, as early as the late 90s and early 2000s, her breathing was louder than her voice (she's naturally the breathiest, but the mic she's wearing contributes to it, I guess.) She's always sounded like she has something stuffed in her mouth and that's the result of artificial darkening. The voice of course deepened with age, so she took the woofiness to the next level trying to fit into dramatic roles but the result was just plain awful singing. She's not a dramatic voice, not even a big lyric (Claudia Muzio is a big lyric.) If you listen to her in Ruslan and Lyudmila in 1995, the voice was still more natural and not too artificial. it was a sweet young girly voice of a soprano leggiero/soubrette. That's the real voice. She's not going to transform into Renata Tebaldi just because she aged a little and gained some weight. That wouldn't substitute her vocal chords with drastically thicker ones nor enlarge her resonators. Voices are born Dramatic. Hers is only a throaty voice with a microphone.

    This is her real voice. Definitely lighter, brighter and more decent and pleasant:



    This is what a voice naturally darkened and deepened with age and menopause sounds like:



    This is not:



    Even her facial expressions reflect the vulgarity of the singing.
    I mean, this seems like a very long post with lots of evidence to show that a light lyric who sings a light lyric role when she's in her 20s sounds very different from a light lyric who tries to sing a full dramatic in her 40s.

  14. #56
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    I mean, this seems like a very long post with lots of evidence to show that a light lyric who sings a light lyric role when she's in her 20s sounds very different from a light lyric who tries to sing a full dramatic in her 40s.
    Whoddathunk ......

  15. #57
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuoksu View Post
    Indeed. If she was a more obscure singer or a student nobody would really bother to criticize her. But when she's the number 1 singer in the entire world, doing all the work in major and minor houses (now alongside her husband who is just as bad) somebody has to speak up about it. Some moments in her singing are embarrassing by any standard even for a student and don't live up to the standards of professional, let alone first-class singing.
    I hear a great deal of singing by major performers on major stages that fits that description.

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  17. #58
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I hear a great deal of singing by major performers on major stages that fits that description.
    That's exactly where my confusion about all the Netrebko hate comes from. Sure she's no Tebaldi, but who that is singing today is?

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  19. #59
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    There's a video here on the excessive mask singing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBhCLRATwqw

    I can hear some of the defects you describe, however that doesn't necessarily mean that she wasn't a mezzo/contralto and was a soprano. Maybe she was a mezzo with less than perfect technique. Her recording of Donde lieta usci is better sung from a technical point of view than some of her later mezzo recordings, she still doesn't sound like a soprano.

    N.
    My sister had a great reputation as a vocal coach in Germany and people came from all over to study with her. According to the method she teaches you SHOULD sing in the mask and that if done correctly your voice should ache from all the vibrations at the end of an aria.
    She thought Marilyn Horne was one of the greatest mezzos in the 20th century. Of course that is just one teacher's opinion, but I feel some comfort that a voice teacher I knew had high regard for Horne. As far as the voice change, she said that often after a woman gives birth the hormone changes will cause a notable change in the voice of a female singer, a factor which might have effected Horne.

    As far as Verrett, I can't answer this but a good barometer of whether the shift to soprano was good for her was in what shape was her voice in after singing numerous soprano roles. I primarily know early Verrett so I can't answer that query.

  20. #60
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    As far as the voice change, she said that often after a woman gives birth the hormone changes will cause a notable change in the voice of a female singer, a factor which might have effected Horne.
    Flagstad said that her voice grew in size after she gave birth to her daughter. She had considered retiring after her early career in Norway, but as we know her big "new voice" got her a big new career as one of the greatest of Wagnerian sopranos.

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