Lyric soprano

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A lyric soprano is a type of operatic soprano that has a warm quality with a bright, full timbre that can be heard over an orchestra. The lyric soprano voice generally has a higher tessitura than a soubrette and usually plays ingenues and other sympathetic characters in opera. Lyric sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6).[1] There is a tendency to divide lyric sopranos into two groups, light and full.[2]

Light lyric soprano[edit]

A light-lyric soprano has a bigger voice than a soubrette but still possesses a youthful quality.[3] There are a wide variety of roles written for this voice, and they may sing soubrette, baroque and other light roles as well.[4][5]

Light lyric sopranos[edit]

Light lyric soprano roles[edit]

Source:[2]

Full lyric soprano[edit]

A full-lyric soprano has a more mature sound than a light-lyric soprano and can be heard over a bigger orchestra.[3] This more mature sound may make a full-lyric less suitable for some of the lighter roles. Occasionally a full lyric will have a big enough voice that she can take on much heavier roles, using volume in place of vocal weight. This is done when a more lyric timbre is desired in an otherwise heavier role. Otherwise full lyric sopranos need be judicious with spinto and other heavy roles to prevent vocal deterioration.[1][6]

Full lyric sopranos[edit]

Full lyric soprano roles[edit]

Source:[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Coffin (1960)
  2. ^ a b c Boldrey (1994), Guide to Operatic Roles and Arias
  3. ^ a b Nashville Opera
  4. ^ Boldrey (1992), Singer's Edition (Light Lyric Soprano)
  5. ^ To hear an example of a Light lyric soprano (Barbara Bonney as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier) click on this link: Watch here (Bonney is the woman on the left who sings first).
  6. ^ To hear an example of a Full lyric soprano (Renée Fleming as La Contessa Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro) click on this link: Watch here.

References[edit]

  • Boldrey, Richard (1994). Guide to Operatic Roles and Arias. Caldwell Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-877761-64-5. 
  • Boldrey, Richard; Robert Caldwell, Werner Singer, Joan Wall and Roger Pines (1992). Singer's Edition (Light Lyric Soprano): Operatic Arias - Light Lyric Soprano. Caldwell Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-877761-02-7. 
  • Coffin, Berton (1960). Coloratura, Lyric and Dramatic Soprano, Vol. 1. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8108-0188-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Boldrey, Richard; Robert Caldwell, Werner Singer, Joan Wall and Roger Pines (1992). Singer's Edition (Soubrette): Operatic Arias - Soubrette. Caldwell Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-877761-03-4.