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Topic: Alto or Soprano?



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AuthorTopic:   Alto or Soprano?
Anonymous
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posted: 3/21/2008 at 6:11:50 PM ET
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I was wondering if she was technically an alto or a soprano, and what her range is?

Thanks!

Scottie
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posted: 3/21/2008 at 6:33:16 PM ET
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Super question. Does anyone know? I can only guess. I've always thought of her as a spinto soprano because of the way she produces those dramatic highs amidst the more lyrical notes.

"There’s a lot in the world for us to turn our attention to — helping people, helping animals, and helping animals help people." ... Bernadette Peters, August, 2007


Jeny
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posted: 3/21/2008 at 7:44:34 PM ET
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I would probably consider her a mezzo-soprano. She's got that great belt.

Megan
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posted: 3/21/2008 at 7:54:05 PM ET
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I think she is a mezzo soprano. I'd love to know for sure though.

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Anonymous
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posted: 3/21/2008 at 11:58:06 PM ET
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I was just wondering because she's got such a great belt, and hits so high and so low...not many people (even on Broadway) can do that!

Scottie
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posted: 3/22/2008 at 7:19:22 AM ET
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Barbra Streisand is a natural mezzo, Bernadette's natural voice is higher than her's surely?

Edit: 'just thinking about Sondheim's description of her voice and it's range ... didn't he jokingly describe her as a "soprano baritone"?

"There’s a lot in the world for us to turn our attention to — helping people, helping animals, and helping animals help people." ... Bernadette Peters, August, 2007


leebee
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posted: 3/22/2008 at 7:03:50 PM ET
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I'm going with mezzo soprano. Regarding range, very good well trained singers will find that their range improves on both ends at the same time. Singing higher brings with it the ability to sing lower as well. "Liiiike aaaaaa Daaaaaaaaame!" for instance.
Mezzo sopranos will certainly sing alot of ornamental things in opera that are higher than we usually hear Bernadette sing, but Bernadette sings so comfortably in the higher registers, with such amazing control, that it kind of makes me think that she could pull off similar athletic vocal feats without too much effort. And also keep in mind that many of the great opera mezzo sopranos were considered washed up before they reached the age that Bernadette recorded "Loves Rogers and Hammerstein".
The girl's got it.

Scottie
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posted: 3/22/2008 at 7:50:37 PM ET
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Methinks you may be right on the button. Doesn't age very often turns a soprano voice into a mezzo - the difference is slight anyway and I suppose it's as well to remember we are talking about a 60 year old woman. You are right about many mezzo sopranos who've been "washed up" at that age, many of whom though were ill-advised to train and identify as mezzo when they were perhaps soprano. Look at the amazing Grace Bumbry who trained and performed for quite a few years as a mezzo and then was wise enough to change up and had a fantastic career as a soprano ... interestingly though, when she got older, she resumed some of the mezzo roles she had left behind. Her contemporary, Shirley Verret, also started as a mezzo then changed to Dramatic Soprano. My own favourite, Leonytne Price the great Spinto Soprano, often sounded like a mezzo -- she even recorded a great "Carmen".

To those who may be interested this is what a Spinto Soprano can sound like when she is 64 years old Price

"There’s a lot in the world for us to turn our attention to — helping people, helping animals, and helping animals help people." ... Bernadette Peters, August, 2007


leebee
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posted: 3/25/2008 at 9:55:32 AM ET
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Scottie that was amazing.

Scottie
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posted: 3/25/2008 at 7:16:27 PM ET
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Even more amazing, the same soprano singing at the age of 81 - it defies belief ...
Leontyne

"There’s a lot in the world for us to turn our attention to — helping people, helping animals, and helping animals help people." ... Bernadette Peters, August, 2007


Jeny
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posted: 4/8/2008 at 9:56:14 AM ET
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Going back to this discussion somewhat, my vocal coach and I were discussing Bernadette's voice yesterday. For those of you who know the difference between "chest voice" and "mixing", would you say that Bernadette mostly uses chest voice or is she mixing her head voice down low?

Alexa
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posted: 4/8/2008 at 2:06:12 PM ET
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Jeny said: "For those of you who know the difference between "chest voice" and "mixing", would you say that Bernadette mostly uses chest voice or is she mixing her head voice down low?"

I think one of the things that makes Bernadette so great is her exquisite control, she can mix when she wants/needs to, or she can sing in her chest, or whatever. She transitions beautifully (in contrast to someone like Idina Menzel, who has a powerful belt voice but seems to "lose it" when she transitions into head voice.) As for which she uses most, I personally would say she usually mixes, especially now since her overall voice seems lower. What she used to be able to do only in chest voice, now she has to mix it up a bit. But she has the ability to bring her "belt" way up high too, but I think she's really mixing, it's just that she has such great control you don't really notice it. I do have to say though I like her voice better now that it's "matured" than her old girlish voice, she seems to have acquired a sultry quality she didn't have as much before, while still maintaining the beautiful head voice she's always had.

And as for the original question of whether she's an alto or a soprano, I think she defies classification.

Scottie
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posted: 4/8/2008 at 2:58:20 PM ET
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I think this song brilliantly sums up her flawless transition from chest to head voice .... perhaps you might even hear some "mixing".youtube

"There’s a lot in the world for us to turn our attention to — helping people, helping animals, and helping animals help people." ... Bernadette Peters, August, 2007


Anonymous
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posted: 4/14/2008 at 1:39:25 AM ET
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    quote:
    Going back to this discussion somewhat, my vocal coach and I were discussing Bernadette's voice yesterday. For those of you who know the difference between "chest voice" and "mixing", would you say that Bernadette mostly uses chest voice or is she mixing her head voice down low?
could you explain what each is and the difference between the two? thanks

Danielle
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posted: 4/14/2008 at 12:38:47 PM ET
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    quote:

      quote:
      Going back to this discussion somewhat, my vocal coach and I were discussing Bernadette's voice yesterday. For those of you who know the difference between "chest voice" and "mixing", would you say that Bernadette mostly uses chest voice or is she mixing her head voice down low?
    could you explain what each is and the difference between the two? thanks
hmm...
well you would use
your "head voice" for the
higher notes. more falsetto.
using your "chest voice"
give a richer more full sound.
not sure if this answers your
question but hope it helps!

bernadette kisses regis.
regis flinches.
"regis you're atwitter"

Anonymous
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posted: 8/26/2016 at 4:00:25 AM ET
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Bernadette is a soprano. listen to 'follies'. She had a soprano role. Her voice teacher, adrienne, agrees too.

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