coloratura

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coloratura:

see sopranosoprano
[Ital.,=above], female voice of highest pitch. The three basic types of solo soprano are coloratura, lyric, and dramatic. The coloratura has a great range and impressive vocal agility; the lyric soprano has a light, pretty voice; and the dramatic soprano has a sustained
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Coloratura

 

in music, ornamentation in the vocal part; usually used to describe the vocal execution of several sounds, including technically difficult virtuoso-like passages, to a single syllable of text.

Coloratura was employed in vocal music as early as the Middle Ages but became particularly widespread in the arias of 18thand 19th-century Italian opera, which made a distinction between “bravura” (broad leaps and loud roulades) and “delicate” (graceful melismas and passages sung softly) coloratura. Coloratura was sometimes notated by the composer himself and sometimes improvised by the singers. Often it became an end in itself, a sheer display of virtuosity; yet many composers successfully used it as a means of artistic characterization, including Mozart, Rossini, Delibes, Verdi, R. Strauss, Glinka, and Rimsky-Korsakov. A high female voice with the flexibility and agility required for the execution of coloratura is called a coloratura soprano.

coloratura

, colorature Music
1. 
a. (in 18th- and 19th-century arias) a florid virtuoso passage
b. (as modifier): a coloratura aria
2. a lyric soprano who specializes in such music
References in periodicals archive ?
The cast also included dramatic coloratura soprano Margo Harding as the Countess and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Rotoff as a bespectacled Grand Duchess.
Though Corwin considers herself a lyric coloratura, her gleaming, silvery soprano takes on a major dramatic coloratura role early in 2011, when she portrays Constanze in Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail for Edmonton Opera (Feb.
It quickly became her most celebrated role and the one the legendary dramatic coloratura performed most frequently throughout her distinguished career (one source lists 221 performances of Lucia, with Norma a distant second at 111).