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What’s Up, Fach? (Part 2 – the Men)

By March 2, 2018No Comments

Fach, Part Two

I bet that you think that I was ignoring the men. I’m more interested in the music than in categorizations, which is what Fächer (plural of Fach – my German teacher is probably reading this) really are. Often, operatic roles are meant to be sung by certain Fächer, and the composer will either indicate this directly or by the way in which he/she has written the part.
The Fach system is a convenience for singers and opera houses. It prevents singers from being asked to sing roles for which for which their voices don’t fit. However, in this day and age, this has not stopped singers from singing parts or pieces that they should stay away from.

Tenor Category

Lyric Comic Tenor

Character Tenor

  • Must have good acting abilities.

Lyric Tenor

  • This is the standard tenor designation; it implies a substantial-sized voice

Lyric Dramatic Tenor

  • Remember, if you see the word “dramatic”, it should be a big voice.
  • In the Italian categorization of voices, this would be a Spinto tenor. “Spinto” literally means “pushed”

Heroic or Dramatic Tenor or Heldentenor in German

  • These are the enormous male tenor voices, sometimes described as baritones with an extension. These are the types of voices that sing heavy, Wagnerian tenor roles. Today, many Heldentenors burn out. This did not used to be the case.

Baritone Category

Light Baritone

Lyric Baritone

Cavalier Baritone

  • This type of baritone is close to the dramatic (big-voiced) baritone

Verdi Baritone

  • There should be a lot resonance in this sound. The voice should have a lot of “lo squillo”, or the sound of a bell chiming.

Dramatic Baritone

  • If it’s called dramatic, it’s going to be big.

Lyric Bass-Baritone

Dramatic Bass Baritone

Bass Category

Lyric Bass-Baritone

Dramatic Bass-Baritone

Young Bass

Comic Bass

Dramatic Comic Bass

Low Bass

Dramatic Low Bass