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Thread: Baritone High C

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Default Baritone High C

    I read that Leonard Warren, who had one of the biggest, darkest baritone voices around, could sing High C and would sing tenor arias walking home with friends after singing earlier in the evening. I am curious if a high C by a baritone would be bright and shiny like your typical tenor C5 or would it be a darker sound like the rest of the baritone voice?

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    It would presumably sound like the rest of the singer's voice. Baritones are occasionally asked for high A, and a number of baritones have been able to vocalize higher. I seem to recall Sherrill Milnes as having exceptional high notes early in his career. He never sounded tenorish to me. It's very individual; Domingo started and ended (has he ended yet? ) as a baritone but never sounded like one, while Battistini sang baritone but had a brilliant timbre and limited low notes.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Nov-10-2019 at 17:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    It would presumably sound like the rest of the singer's voice. Baritones are occasionally asked for high A, and a number of baritones have been able to vocalize higher. I seem to recall Sherrill Milnes as having exceptional high notes early in his career. He never sounded tenorish to me. It's very individual; Domingo started and ended (has he ended yet? ) as a baritone but never sounded like one, while Battistini sang baritone but had a brilliant timbre and limited low notes.
    I love Jonas Kaufmann but he has a very baritonal sound to me throughout his range. It must be that heldentenor quality. I am not aware that he ever has trouble with high notes.
    '

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    I never particularly liked Sherrill Milnes' later voice ... OK, I actively disliked it. I think he tended to go flat or wobble to try to reach those acuti. Nonetheless, he could sing some good high notes early in his career. On his CD of Rigoletto at the climax "Ah! Ah! La maledizione!" which is in C-sharp minor, he sings not only the 6th degree of the scale but the 7th, very tacky and not at all in keeping with the drama, just to show everybody he can sing a high B. It's enormous. So his version goes (per syllable) E-E-E-E-D#-C#-G#-B-A-G#>>>>>C# (Ah, ah, la ma le di zio o-o-o- ne). On his debut album he sings a Verdi aria, I think it's "É gettata la mia sorte" from Attila, with a wonderful high B-flat at the close.

    Let's all pray that Domingo (whose tenor voice with a baritone sound I loved--50 years ago) is finished. With everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barelytenor View Post
    I never particularly liked Sherrill Milnes' later voice ... OK, I actively disliked it. I think he tended to go flat or wobble to try to reach those acuti. Nonetheless, he could sing some good high notes early in his career. On his CD of Rigoletto at the climax "Ah! Ah! La maledizione!" which is in C-sharp minor, he sings not only the 6th degree of the scale but the 7th, very tacky and not at all in keeping with the drama, just to show everybody he can sing a high B. It's enormous. So his version goes (per syllable) E-E-E-E-D#-C#-G#-B-A-G#>>>>>C# (Ah, ah, la ma le di zio o-o-o- ne). On his debut album he sings a Verdi aria, I think it's "É gettata la mia sorte" from Attila, with a wonderful high B-flat at the close.

    Let's all pray that Domingo (whose tenor voice with a baritone sound I loved--50 years ago) is finished. With everything.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGk3UmtfAP4 Aria from Attila

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    Default Rigoletto Baritone Cage Match


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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    It's nice that Milnes had a high Bb, but Piero Cappuccilli had one too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfV9b6Ohj4A

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    I always thought that Tom Jones would have made a great "bari-tenor". There's a B-flat at the end of Thunderball:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_dN...youtu.be&t=143

    I believe he's taken it down to an A-flat these days, but he's still impressive for his age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    I always thought that Tom Jones would have made a great "bari-tenor". There's a B-flat at the end of Thunderball:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_dN...youtu.be&t=143

    I believe he's taken it down to an A-flat these days, but he's still impressive for his age.
    He would probably say that it's not unusual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    I always thought that Tom Jones would have made a great "bari-tenor". There's a B-flat at the end of Thunderball:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_dN...youtu.be&t=143

    I believe he's taken it down to an A-flat these days, but he's still impressive for his age.
    I think he and Elvis could have had careers in opera if they had undergone training. Both had beautiful voices and big ranges. The problem is you'd never be able to see their pelvis moves in opera, so it is for the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    I think he and Elvis could have had careers in opera if they had undergone training. Both had beautiful voices and big ranges. The problem is you'd never be able to see their pelvis moves in opera, so it is for the best.
    What about Freddie? He had a crazy range and a fantastic voice overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    I read that Leonard Warren, who had one of the biggest, darkest baritone voices around, could sing High C and would sing tenor arias walking home with friends after singing earlier in the evening. I am curious if a high C by a baritone would be bright and shiny like your typical tenor C5 or would it be a darker sound like the rest of the baritone voice?
    I'm guessing that John Charles Thomas might have had the range - an unusual voice.

    I'm wondering if Ruffo recorded anything that high?

    Conversely, I'm not sure that Ramon Vinay had a C5 and he had a go at tenor, baritone and bass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    I'm guessing that John Charles Thomas might have had the range - an unusual voice.

    I'm wondering if Ruffo recorded anything that high?

    Conversely, I'm not sure that Ramon Vinay had a C5 and he had a go at tenor, baritone and bass
    Vinay always sounded great when I used to have Met Opera Radio. I know he sang Wagner. I don't believe there is a C5 in Wagner for tenor. I am not the one to answer this but I'd be willing to bet that many tenor roles only go up to B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    Vinay always sounded great when I used to have Met Opera Radio. I know he sang Wagner. I don't believe there is a C5 in Wagner for tenor. I am not the one to answer this but I'd be willing to bet that many tenor roles only go up to B.
    Siegfried has two high Cs in Gotterdammerung. Both are very brief and can be more or less faked, but the second one - on Siegfried's cry of "Hoiho, hoihe! in Act 3, Scene 2, can make an effect if the tenor is up to it. Here's a competition among heldentenors:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeU8Pm9iyCs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Siegfried has two high Cs in Gotterdammerung. Both are very brief and can be more or less faked, but the second one - on Siegfried's cry of "Hoiho, hoihe! in Act 3, Scene 2, can make an effect if the tenor is up to it. Here's a competition among heldentenors:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeU8Pm9iyCs
    I figured you'd know;-)

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