Soprano singing alto

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Soprano singing alto

Postby Estef » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:13 pm

Hi everyone, I have a question. There is a possibility that I might be chosen to sing in a professional choir, and I'm a soprano. The thing is that they auditioned me and they said that because of my dark sound color and ability to hit low notes they want to make me sing as an alto or as a mezzo, because there are too many sopranos already in that choir.
I asked my teacher at the conservatory what she thought about this and she said that I shouldn't do it because singing something outside of yourvocal range could seriously damage your voice. She's classically trained and I have found that classically trained singers are not so tolerant regarding what a singer can or can't do. According to what I've read in the book, your vocal classification doesn't have much to do with your register, but with your sound color, so I'm guessing that if I can hit those notes, and they are comfortable, which they are, then I would be fine with it. What do you guys think? Anyone else, classically trained, has had to sing something "outside of your range"? I guess I should go on and sing in this choir, but if you can give me a good explanation as to why I shouldn't or why it could damage my voice, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
Estef
 
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Postby _Kevin_ » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:33 am

The truth is that you are actually an Alto (if you have a dark soundcolour, dpednding on how dark). If we were checking on high notes then amost any profesional/schooled singer would be a soprano. But if you classical theacher says that your a soprano then ask her how she came to this clonclusion. The awnser is:
If you are comfortable singing it I see no problem in why not to do it.
And if singing out of your range would be dangerous I would be in big problems seeing as I sing Bass Baritone and ocassionaly Tenor.(Not that these are all my vocal types). I've found that vocal types are limiting and that you should do what you like, feels good and are able to do.
_Kevin_
 
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Postby Estef » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:26 am

Hi Kevin, thanks for your reply. Let me clarify things first, I should have said before that my sound color is dark, but not to the extent of a real alto. The thing is that, for some strange reason, there are no real altos in my country, and if there are, they are extremely rare, so anyone with a dark sound color is sought after to perform mezzo or alto roles, even when they are not real ones. I heard someone say that altos are only common in cold countries, and I live in Ecuador, which probably needless to say, is NOT a cold country at all, it never gets so cold that you need heating or big coats.
I have spoken to many, many vocal teachers, and everybody has said that I'm a soprano but with a dark sound color, only one person (out of probably 10 who have listened to me) said that I probably am a mezzo, so I really doubt I could be a mezzo or an alto.
This choir has many sopranos already, and many of them are very light sopranos (that's what's the most common here) so they said that they want me to sing mezzo or alto.
So that's why I'm asking about this, if it would be safe or not, because I've heard a couple of people saying that it's not good to sing in a register that is not yours, but honestly, I don't agree with this, now that I know about cvt, so I just wanted to make sure that it would be safe for my voice to sing alto or mezzo roles without feeling guilty.
Thanks!
Estef
 
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Location: Quito, Ecuador

Postby _Kevin_ » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:13 pm

Ok. I get it.Honestly I think that the cold land thing is a bit doubtful... But still. There is no reason not to sing alto or mezo if you feel comfortable singing it. If go still want to sing high ocassionly I would recommend Mezzo 'cause there are times when mezzo's will sing with the soprano's. Good luck and I'm sure you won't hurt your voice.
_Kevin_
 
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Postby Estef » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:08 pm

Thanks Kevin, thats all I needed to know... :D
Estef
 
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Location: Quito, Ecuador

Postby _Kevin_ » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:45 pm

By the way. Here in Holland (we're a big musical country) we have lot's of profesionals singing different roles:

- Celine Purcell has sung Belle in Beauty and the Beast (mezzo), Sophie in Mamma Mia! (Soprano, belt), Eliza in My Fair Lady (soprano).

But one of our best examples is probably Pia Douwes who has sung almost anything:
-Fantine in Les Miserables (mezzo)
-Sally Bowles in Cabaret (alto)
-Grizabella in Cats (alto/mezzo)
-Elisabeth in Elisabeth (dramatic soprano up to an E6!)

If profesional singers do it with no voice problems it shouldn't be a problem right?
_Kevin_
 
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Postby Estef » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:39 pm

Yeah, I never really believed that it could damage your voice (now that I know about cvt :D ) but I just wanted to make sure... My country is really small you see, so myths are more widespread I think... Thanks again!
Estef
 
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Location: Quito, Ecuador

Re: Soprano singing alto

Postby CVI Teaching Staff » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:49 am

Hi guys.
What it boils down to generally is this:
You can sing everything!!

The reason for the classical choir classification is often due to the individual singer´s natural choices of modes connected to their individual anatomy sure, but mainly due to language and culture.
But that doesnt mean that Barry White wouldnt be able to sing Guns´n´Roses songs if he had decided to work on it.

I think the main issue in regards to the lack of altos etc in your country is due to 1 thing:
The choices of modes used by altos (in comparison the sopranos) = Curbing, ( -sometimes Overdrive).
This lack of metal in your female singers, in your nation´s choirs, might be the cause of language (doesnt contain many Curbing vowels?)
- and of course because its much harder to master 2-3 modes through out the voice, than to merely sing in Neutral, which is often what the sopranos do, as Neutral works beautifully in the higher pitch.

BUT, just because YOUR Neutral is well developed, it doesnt mean that you have to be a soprano or that you cannot master the 3 other modes just as easily.
You can be and sound like you want to.

It´s complete rubbish to say that its dangerous for you to investigate other parts of your voice.
As long as you obey the 3 overall principles (trust yourself - if it feels good, its good!) then you are fine!
And youll have the possibility to explore other parts and corners of your voice as well as sing whatever you like in the future.

Consider this: if it was dangerous to do other things vocally outside of your comfort zone, how do we explain that a baby can do all sounds/all effects without becoming hoarse?
If it was given by the hand of Mother Nature what kind of voice we had, then we would hear the world´s babies make totally different sounds, otherwise they would become hoarse, right? - But they sound the same...
And hoarse babies from the hand of Mother Nature is not a good move for the evolution of man!
Remember that a baby screams when it wants something, like food etc, and without a lot of powerful volume and rough effects, mother might not hear it...

Sorry to diss your teacher, but maybe you, yourself should make the decision what you want, and not her.
My advice is: go, try and have fun!

Best regards
Kaare
CVI Teaching Staff
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