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.
Lyric Comic Tenor
- Must have good acting abilities.
- 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.
- This type of baritone is close to the dramatic (big-voiced) 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.
- If it’s called dramatic, it’s going to be big.