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 ?
Finally, Hwang Sin Nyung's Queen of the Night showed off a voice larger than is normally associated with the role--a good lyric soprano with an upper extension singing a dramatic coloratura role.
Although dramatic coloratura June Anderson rises to most of the challenges, her voice has lost some of its former beauty and bloom.
The ease of her sustained, clarion, arcing high notes, the sumptuous depth of her middle register, the woody, fruity, seductive quality of her low tones, the cascade of her fioratura--this was clearly a dramatic coloratura soprano in the making.