the extent of the voice of contralto (generally of F to F) corresponds to little thing close, with that of the male-intonated voice of Contreténor.
the abbreviation viola is not completely synonymous with contralto. Indeed, the viola more precisely indicates a type of employment in the choruses, while the contralto refers to a voice of Soliste. The two terms nevertheless are sometimes confused.
There exist primarily two subcategories of contraltos who differ by the character from the characters that they interpret, power of the voice and richness of the stamp: the dramatic contralto and the viola puffs out .
Dramatic contraltoThe dramatic contralto is a full and dark voice, with the hot and round stamp. This type of voice being extremely rare, the roles which raise some tend to be distributed to the Mezzo-soprano.
For example, the role of Erda, in the Gold of the Rhine of Wagner, is a role of contralto.
- Marietta Alboni, Marian Anderson, Janet Baker, Kathleen Ferrier, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Carolyn Watkinson, Nathalie Stutzmann, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Ewa Podles are examples of contraltos.
Viola puffs outThe viola puffs out (and not: the “contralto puffs out”) strictly speaking does not indicate a specific vocal category, but a contralto specialized in comic employment, or more largely, a contralto broken with the requirements of the scenic play. The Tessiture required is generally less wide - but it is not always the case, and certain uses of viola puffs out require vocal means comparable with those of the dramatic contraltos.
- See the list of the violas.
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