contralto

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contralto

(kəntrăl`tō), female voice of lowest pitch. Originally, the term denoted a second voice set against (contra) a high voice (alto); thus, a second high voice. Since most second parts were for a high male voice or a low woman's voice, the term came to mean a low woman's voice, pitched about a fifth below the soprano. See also altoalto,
singing voice the range of which is lower than the soprano by the interval of a fifth. More generally, the term refers to the register in which this voice sings, i.e., the second highest part in a four-part musical texture, and to instruments utilizing this register.
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; countertenorcountertenor,
a male singing voice in the alto range. Singing in this range requires either a special vocal technique called falsetto, or a high extension of the tenor range.
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; voicevoice,
sound produced by living beings. The source of the sound in human speaking and singing is the vibration of the vocal cords, which are inside the larynx, and the production of the sounds is called phonation.
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Contralto

 

a female voice of low range. The chest voice (ending with A-flat or B-flat of the first octave) is its most characteristic and expressive register. It has a rich, deep timbre. Among the opera parts calling for a controlto are OI’ga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor. Composers have often written the parts of boys and youths for a contralto; some examples are Vania in Glinka’s Ivan Susanin and Siebel in Gounod’s Faust.

contralto

1. Music the lowest female voice, usually having a range of approximately from F a fifth below middle C to D a ninth above it
References in periodicals archive ?
AT JUST 39 YEARS OF AGE, IS ARGUABLY THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE CONTRALTO IN THE WORLD TODAY, IN HIGH DEMAND ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC.
Before an all-Rossini recital in 2005, her response to the composer was a resounding, "Meh!" ("I'd seen quite a few boring productions by that time," she adds.) However, a Glenn Gould Studio recital in Toronto programmed by former CBC Senior Music Producer Neil Crory, which chiefly showcased the dramatic Rossini, proved a turning point for the contralto. It was when she first looked closely at Semiramide, Tancredi and L'Italiana, and "it's when I first realized I could sing Rossini."
It is the perfect item for a music college full of aspiring sopranos and contraltos who, like their predecessors at the Pieta, are only too happy to engage in 'cooperative rivalry'.
The first, occupying the main choir-loft, holds five solo singers (Maria 'la bolognese', Apollonia, Ambrosina, Marina and Chiaretta - the last two figlie share a contralto part), a choir and a string orchestra with organ.
Her Act I "Empio, diro, tu sei," as Caesar acts with disgust toward Tolomeo on being presented with the severed head of Pompey, displays amazingly florid runs of the type we rarely hear from contraltos, and her phrasing is always sensitive and artful.
Contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux takes on the title role and soprano Karina Gauvin appears as Cleopatra, and both are in winning form.
Lemieux has proved herself to be one of the most gifted contraltos to emerge from Canada in any era.
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto, Daniel Blumenthal, piano
Impresarios and composers explored two voice types as substitutes for the castrato in male leading roles in serious operas: the contralto and the tenor.