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Related to Dramatic soprano: coloratura soprano, Lyric Soprano


[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 power suitable for operatic roles. The voices of boys who have not reached puberty are generally in the soprano range and replace women's voices in some church choirs. In the castratocastrato
[Ital.,=castrated], a male singer with an artificially created soprano or alto voice, the result of castration in boyhood. The combination of the larynx of a youth and the chest and lungs of a man produced a powerful voice of great range and unique sound.
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 of the 18th cent. the quality of a boy's voice combined with the lung power of a man made for vocal powers of great brilliance (see eunucheunuch
[Gr.,=keeper of the couch], castrated human male, particularly a chamberlain of a harem in Asia. The custom of employing eunuchs as servants in wealthy or royal households is very ancient; it reached its epitome at the court of Constantinople under the Byzantine emperors,
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). The highest-pitched member of various families of instruments is termed soprano, e.g., soprano saxophone.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) The highest singing voice. The range is from middle C to C two octaves above middle C, although some voices may have a higher compass ranging to D through F. A well-developed head register is a necessary quality for a soprano. Sopranos are usually women or children. In a chorus, the treble voices of boys sound especially pleasing. In the 16th through the 18th century, singing by castrati was quite common.

Three primary classifications of women sopranos exist: dramatic, lyric, and coloratura. There are also lyric-dramatic and lyric-coloratura sopranos. The dramatic soprano is distinguished by powerful sound over the entire range and a strong low register. The lyric soprano has a softness of timbre, flexibility, and great expressiveness in sustained melodies. The coloratura soprano is distinguished by agility in the execution of ornamentation and passage-work, transparency of timbre, and lightness and freedom of tone in the high register.

(2) The highest vocal category in a chorus.

(3) The high-register variants of some musical instruments.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the highest adult female voice, having a range approximately from middle C to the A a thirteenth above it
2. the voice of a young boy before puberty
3. a singer with such a voice
4. the highest part of a piece of harmony
a. the highest or second highest instrument in a family of instruments
b. (as modifier): a soprano saxophone
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
THERE is little from Jane Eaglen's background to suggest she would become one of the world's great dramatic sopranos.
(12) The female categories listed by Boldrey are: soubrette, light lyric coloratura soprano, light lyric soprano, full lyric coloratura soprano, full lyric soprano, light dramatic coloratura soprano, light dramatic (spinto) soprano, full dramatic coloratura soprano, full dramatic soprano, high dramatic soprano, light lyric mezzo soprano, full lyric mezzo soprano, dramatic mezzo soprano, lyric contralto, and dramatic contralto.[13] One can see at first glance that there are many subdivisions that are not represented in the Kloiber guide; indeed, there are four types of lyric soprano and five types of dramatic soprano.
Opolais, who was born in the town of Rezekne in Latgale, the easternmost region of Latvia, in 1979, is the daughter of amateur musicians, her mother a dramatic soprano and her father a classical and jazz trumpeter.
All the same, today, when the competition in Urbanova's field of light dramatic soprano with some overlap into the dramatic is extremely strong and soloists are coming up on all sides with recordings that are innovative and imaginative in terms of repertoire in addition to showing off their vocal art, this Supraphon Best of Eva Urbanova Iooks more like a commercial stunt than a project with a considered artistic rationale.
Rita Hunter, who died in Sydney earlier this week at the age of 67, was probably the greatest dramatic soprano this country has ever produced.
Lise Davidsen, the rapid up-and-comer in the title role, boasts a gorgeously glowing dramatic soprano, but she stubbornly adhered to a dynamic range of mezzojorte and louder, and sang with little rhythmic or verbal acuity.
The following compilation highlights twenty-five works, dating from 1787 to 2004, that are specifically suited for dramatic soprano voice with orchestra.
There were many well-performed supporting roles, with excellent American tenor Sean Panikkar and superb South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza as Adam and Eve, Irish dramatic soprano Orla Boylan moving as Mrs.
As Anna, Betty Waynne Allison's dramatic soprano was impressive if rather loud in the small venue, while Miriam Khalil was a rich toned Elvira with an occasionally flat top range.
If anything, the American's budding dramatic soprano was a bit overpowering, lacking in an ethereal quality in the quieter moments, particularly in the last phrases of the transformation scene.
The cast is outstanding, from the group of servants who set the scene and introduce the title character to Elektra herself: German dramatic soprano Evelyn Herlitzius was nearing 50 when this was filmed, but still displays a rock-steady, electrifying voice (no shrieking here).
You could say that dramatic soprano Othalie Graham titanic voice knocks your socks of.