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 ?
Elizabeth Futral is one of today's finest light coloratura sopranos, and she showed her brilliance in the music she was given to sing.
Wilfrid Laurier University, is now among the coloratura sopranos who can reliably do it.
And how many coloratura sopranos can shoot off vocal fireworks while performing cartwheels across the stage?