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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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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.


, colorature Music
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 ?
Here the coloratura soprano shouted and cried in fear of the final judgment.
31, 1990, called her "the greatest coloratura soprano of all time.
With an expressive and appealing stage personality Cecilia then delighted with a sparkling coloratura aria from Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, ending with a knock- out final flourish.
Rachel Orr is the company's jewel in the crown, her Adina sung with a well modulated soprano, negotiating some fiercely demanding coloratura with aplomb.
The pieces are invariably virtuo sic, requiring the kind of vocal gymnastics in which Farinelli loved to indulge, much to the delight of his audiences; on Riccardo Broschi's exhausting "Qual guernero in campo armato," for example, it is difficult to judge whether the brutally wide range, the seemingly endless coloratura passages, or the athletic intervallic leaps are the more impressive.
Joao's extraordinary expressive range reached from guttural croaks to coloratura trilling, with scatting and vocalizing in between.
Composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein's reputation is forever assured thanks to such Broadway masterpieces as West Side Story--his collaboration with Stephen Sondheim--and Candide, which features the coloratura lavender anthem "Glitter and Be Gay.
Kasarova has a luxuriously warm voice, sensitive musicianship and the technical agility to execute the florid bel canto coloratura mezzo roles.
In Domine Deus she blended well with mezzo Christine Rice who was assured and agile in the demanding coloratura passages of Laudamus te, accompanied by crisp and energetic playing from the CBSO, astutely conducted by Andris Nelsons.
I've got a fairly easy high extension, but then I can sing in the middle, too, and do all that fun coloratura stuff: I used to like this opera--now I love it.
However, Mr Brierley directed the coloratura choruses beyond their comfortable speed, which is certainly a challenge in Handel's music.
In a soprano it's known as coloratura - "florid passage in vocal music" (OED).