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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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

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


, 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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Coloratura took the guests on a journey to the four corners of the globe, symbolic of Cartier's long-standing relationship with India, Africa and the Orient.
Here the coloratura soprano shouted and cried in fear of the final judgment.
and a sparkling Er ist's while Donizetti's much neglected Linda di Chamounix provided Fflur with the 22-year-old's final chance to display a young, sprightly coloratura voice.
And dees girl, is a coloratura, even a bones is coloratura....
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." Equally memorable are Bernstein's documented declarations in private of his publicly flaunted bisexuality (prompting one New York Times reviewer to call his Mahler conducting "effeminate") and his larger-than-life, kiss-everyone-in-sight personality, which caused one of his friends to cable him, on the morning of his 1973 concert for the pope, "Remember--the ring, not the lips."
Miss Argenta is heard to better effect in Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (no.199), where she is partnered with the oboe of Paul Goodwin, and in the exultant, florid outer movements of Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (no.51), where her beautifully articulated coloratura contests with the virtuoso trumpeting of Crispian Steele-Perkins.
More a practical musician than a theorist, he at first completely accepted Italian operatic tradition, with its emphasis on vocal coloratura and beautiful melodies supported by conventional orchestral complements and its reliance on the set forms of recitative and aria.
'Hallelujah' Performed by Lebanese soprano coloratura singer Hiba Tawaji, this one is a peaceful melody about the birth of Jesus with lyrics written by father Youssef Mouannes.
Her coloratura was full of indignant fire and verve, with terrific articulation and attack.
The 17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival opens next Friday at The Shoe Factory in Nicosia with a voice and piano recital by the renowned Danish coloratura soprano Susanne Elmark and international repetiteur Christian Westergaard.
Here she disclosed the lyrical quality of her voice in the opening lines, with the flutist essaying the coloratura passages, and the pianist providing solid rapport.