Contralto  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type. The contralto's vocal range is fairly rare; similar to, but different from the alto, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the F below middle C (F3 in scientific pitch notation) to the second F above middle C (F5), although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C (E3) or the second BTemplate:Music above middle C (BTemplate:Music5). The contralto voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic contralto.

Dramatic

The dramatic contralto is the deepest, darkest, and heaviest contralto voice, usually having a heavier tone and more power than the others. Singers in this class are rare.

True operatic contraltos are rare, and the operatic literature contains few roles written specifically for them. Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or assume trouser roles originally written for castrati. A common saying among contraltos is that they may play only "witches, bitches, or britches."

Examples of contralto roles in the standard operatic repertoire include the following:.

* indicates a role that may also be sung by a mezzo-soprano.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Contralto" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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