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Owen Jander

Singers who were able to perform in the range between the tenor and the top voice (superius, cantus, soprano) were of five types, and the particular choice varied not only from period to period, but from region to region – even from choir to choir, or, later, from one production of an opera to a later revival. The first type of alto-range singer was the man with an extremely high natural voice. Unusually high tenors of this sort have always been rare, and highly prized. Burney, for example, described one William Turner ( 1651–1740 ) as ‘a counter-tenor singer, his voice


Christoph Wolff and Stephen Roe

mind and displays the strong influence of Handel. 6. Operas. Bach was no innovator in the world of opera seria . All ten works written for Italy, London or Mannheim use the Metastasian format of recitative punctuated by long arias. In the Italian works and those written for Mannheim, the da capo aria is frequently used; in the London operas there is more variety in aria forms and the da capo is used less and less ( La clemenza di Scipione has none at all). The chorus is more prominent in the London operas, in accordance with British taste, notably in Orione