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J.B. Steane

The singing voice is generally recognized as comprising three ‘registers’, the high, middle and low; the ‘passaggio’ is the point at which two of them meet. It is often at the crucial point in the ‘passaggio’ that a singer may be most conscious of a dilemma concerning method of production. For the tenor, for instance, ...

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Milena Bozhikova

(b Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept 24, 1970). Bulgarian opera soprano . She has worked under the pseudonym Alex Penda since May 2012. She was born into a well-known family of musicians; her grandfather is Sasha Popov, one of the most prestigious figures in 20th century Bulgaria, a violinist, conductor, and the founder of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra; her mother, the soprano Valerie Popova, sang regularly at La Scala (...

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Zana Shuteriqi Prela

(b Elbasan, Albania, Sept 23, 1981). Albanian tenor . After earning the diploma in violin at 16 in Elbasan, he graduated in 2002 in singing from the Conservatory Claudio Monteverdi in Bolzano (Italy), where he studied with Vito Maria Brunetti. During his studies he met tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who helped him to perfect a number of roles in his repertory. He has been awarded a series of first prizes in lyric festivals, including the Caruso and Tito Schipa, both in ...

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Greer Garden

In Baroque vocal and instrumental music, an appoggiatura, particularly one that resolves upwards by a tone or semitone. Deriving from late 16th-century Italian improvisatory practice – Bovicelli's Regole, passaggi di musica, madrigali et motetti passeggiati (1594/R) contains written-out examples – it became one of the most important graces of French Baroque music. In France it was rarely printed before the late 17th century, but was left to the performer to add extempore. Bacilly explained in his ...

Article

John Rosselli

In the 17th century, Musico meant a professional singer or musician of either sex; it later came to mean a castrato. With the decline and then the disappearance of the operatic castrato after 1800, the practice of assigning a leading male part (primo uomo...

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John Caldwell

A voice or part pitched somewhat higher than the treble, occasionally designated quatriplex in polyphonic sources such as the Eton Choirbook ( GB-WRec 178). Here the usage is clearly related to the Latin quadruplum in its sense of a fourth voice, above the triplum, in a motet (Franco of Cologne: ‘Qui autem quadruplum vel quintuplum facere voluit’). In the ‘quatrebil syghte’ of improvised discant, as taught in Leonel Power’s ...

Article

John Caldwell

A voice or part apparently pitched even higher than Quatreble. But the 15th-century English treatises which refer to the quatreble do not mention the quinible; and although quintuplum can mean the fifth voice of a motet, or the five-part motet itself (Franco of Cologne: ‘Qui autem quadruplum vel quintuplum facere voluit’), the English word seems to be used only in the general sense of a high-pitched song or voice (Chaucer, ...

Article

Michael Meckna

(b Albion, NY, Oct 23, 1928; d Ashland, OR, Aug 12, 2000). American composer and tenor. Born into a musical family, he toured as a youth, appearing both as a pianist and a boy soprano. After attending the Eastman Preparatory School (1941–4...

Article

Kelley Rourke

(b Madison, WI, June 3, 1960). American soprano. She has done her most important work at the extremes of the opera timeline, winning acclaim for interpretations of both early and contemporary repertory. In 1988 she played the roles of Poppea, Fortune, and Minerva in Stephen Wadsworth’s Monteverdi cycle at Skylight Comic Opera. She went on to appear in works by Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Handel in venues around the world, including Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, NY), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), and the International Handel Festival (Göttingen, Germany). Saffer has collaborated frequently with the composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, beginning with performances of Hans Werner Henze’s ...

Article

Sofia Kontossi

(b Athens, Greece Sept 8, 1936). Greek baritone. He began his vocal studies at the Athens Conservatory with Kimon Triantafyllou (1954–8) and graduated from Marika Kalfopoulou’s class (1963). He pursued his studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1963–7) with Max Lorenz (voice) and Paul von Schilhawsky (Lied, oratorio), where he also took classes in composition and conducting.

His career was launched in the Staatstheater Braunschweig (1967) as a performer of leading operatic roles of the Italian repertory, and expanded thereafter into all of Europe, America, and Australia. Acclaimed for his Lieder and song performances, he distinguished himself also in contemporary opera. Equally oriented towards concert repertory and experimental music, he gave an impressive number of world premières of works including those by Cage, Crumb, Xenakis, Ligeti, Bialas, Christou, Antoniou, Apergis, Kounadis, Kouroupos, Hadjidakis, Theodorakis, and Tavener. Numerous compositions have been created especially for his voice, while his fruitful collaboration with Xenakis yielded ...

Article

John Rosselli

In 18th-century opera seria the seconda donna sang (as a rule) one of two female parts, less prominent than the Prima donna but still substantial; examples are Celia in Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Servilia in his La clemenza di Tito. With the late 18th-century inflation of titles denoting status she came to be known by the euphemism ...

Article

Sextus  

A sixth part in vocal or instrumental polyphony, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries, when such music was published in partbooks. See Partbooks and Quintus.

Article

The list that follows contains a variety of materials on singing technique, voice production, ornamentation, registers, national and historical styles, interpretation, diction and pronunciation. The great majority of the items listed are concerned with the kind of singing associated with opera, but a number of more general works have been included for their relevance to vocal art; among these are several texts from the first half of the 17th century and a few works on accompaniment and the interpretation of song. Excluded for the purposes of this bibliography are vocalise, solfeggio, sight-singing and ear-training manuals, as well as publications relating primarily to choral and sacred music and music in schools. Dates of first and last editions are given where known, and important title changes are noted. Facsimiles, reprints and modern editions are given for early works, and the translations cited are all to English unless otherwise stated. Journals relating specifically to opera are listed in Periodicals; some of these, such as the ...

Article

Lana Paćuka

(b Banja Luka, Bosnia, July 25, 1940). Bosnian soprano, opera soloist, and music pedagogue. She completed her elementary and secondary music education in her native town. She began her studies in opera singing at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana (Slovenia), with Julije Beteto. After the second year, she continued her music education in Sarajevo, with Bruna Špiler. The distinctiveness of her talent was recognized early on, and she graduated at the top of her class. She took the master’s degree from the Department of Voice in ...

Article

Sonovox  

Hugh Davies and Anne Beetem Acker

Sound-effects device developed by the fiction writer and radio operator Gilbert M. Wright in Los Angeles in 1939 and manufactured by Wright-Sonovox, which was affiliated with the radio station representatives Free & Peters in Chicago. A sound is transmitted to the larynx of a trained ‘articulator’ through two earphone-sized loudspeakers that are placed against the throat; the sound is modified by movements of the tongue and lips to produce speech-like articulations. The Sonovox was much used for radio drama and films, including Walt Disney’s ...

Article

A type of vocal enunciation devised by Schoenberg. See Sprechgesang.

Singing, §5: 20th century

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Angelina Petrova

(b Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Aug 16, 1962). Bulgarian soprano. She is a graduate of the High School of Music in Ruse in violin (1981). She went on to study at the Institute of Music in Plovdiv and obtained degrees in violin and voice (...

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A type of Tenor voice.

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A type of Tenor voice.

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Mikaela Minga

(b Shkodra, April 4, 1926; d Tirana, May 24, 2004). Albanian tenor . He started singing at an early age. In the year 1945 he entered the Ansambli i Ushtrisë (‘Army Ensemble’) as a soloist. From 1952 to 1957 he was in Moscow to study singing at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Once back, he started work as a soloist at the National Opera Theater and at the Ansambli Shtetëror i Këngëve dhe Valleve Popullore (‘State Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances’). He interpreted several main roles in the operas ...