Tag Archives: Heldentenor

Music Notes ~~ by Meheaton….Their Voices

Here is the next installment in Music Notes!  Enjoy!


 I have had some requests for a little discussion about our boys’ voices.  (Just remember that there is always a lot of back and forth amongst music directors.  The old tale goes like this:  “ The only thing two choral directors agree upon is how terrible the third one is.” )  Well, given that here goes:

Ignazio:  In North America he would usually be referred to as a lyric tenor.  Sometimes in Europe that kind of voice would be called “Spinto tenor”  from the italian – “ lirico spinto”  – a voice that can float high above all the other sounds but can, when needed, become powerful to dominate.  From my personal standpoint as a voice teacher/coach, I admire his ability to give enough solid breath support to create gorgeous high notes that are not “forced” but fluid or “ lirico”   – lyric.   This guy will always be a great tenor.
 Piero:  in America he might be called tenor to tenor-baritone.  In Europe he would be called “Heldentenor”  in german – Heroic tenor .  This type of voice was made famous by the composer Richard Wagner in his operas.  A robust voice with a clarion texture or timbre with unusual endurance.  A voice that can stand out over the chorus if needed.   At his age it is possible that his voice will keep dropping in range and he ends up being a tenor-baritone going forward.  A lot depends on how he and his voice coach handle the sound which can, if not handled right, become tight and closed in.  Piero is a very fine musician and they all have a great voice coach (love to meet him one day).
Gianluca:     In America he would be called a “Romantic Baritone”  and used as a tenor-baritone in a lot of musical or opera roles.  In terms of pure vocal size, his voice is the largest with very rich chest resonance which you can hear even when he talks.  Of the three, he has the greatest vowel control with nearly perfect vowel shape and purity.  He has also been working on supporting his “head tone”, what some people call “falsetto”, which he has used in some songs in this season.  His range is huge and dropping even now in the last three weeks from what I have heard.  This is time for the voice coach to be with him every day just so he does not over work it.
I know this is repeated a bit but I will say it again:  The human voice is the last organ to mature.   Usually it takes up to between 32 years and 35 years of age.   In the meantime, these three wonderful natural instruments will expand in range and increase in size (not the same as volume) and build in richness.  God help us what they are going to sound like by 25 or 28  !!!