A report on Bass-baritone

High-lying bass or low-lying "classical" baritone voice type which shares certain qualities with the true baritone voice.

- Bass-baritone

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Early 19th-century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in act 3

The Marriage of Figaro

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Commedia per musica (opera buffa) in four acts composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte.

Commedia per musica (opera buffa) in four acts composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte.

Early 19th-century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in act 3
Act 1: Cherubino hides behind Susanna's chair as the Count arrives.
Libretto 1786

In modern performance practice, Cherubino and Marcellina are usually assigned to mezzo-sopranos, and Figaro to a bass-baritone.

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Fach

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Method of classifying singers, primarily opera singers, according to the range, weight, and color of their voices.

Method of classifying singers, primarily opera singers, according to the range, weight, and color of their voices.

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English equivalent: lyric bass-baritone

1881 Programme for Patience

Patience (opera)

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Comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

1881 Programme for Patience
Many Punch cartoons satirised æsthetes. Both Patience and The Colonel are mentioned here. A tiny, pennant-waving Gilbert peeks out of Sullivan's backpack at lower right.
George Grossmith as Bunthorne
Sydney Granville as Grosvenor
Aesthetic dress (left and right) contrasted with 'fashionable attire' (centre), 1881
"Rapturous maidens" await Bunthorne
Passmore as Bunthorne "curses" Lytton as Grosvenor
Alice Barnett as Lady Jane
"...and here we are!" (left to right: Dow, Workman and René, 1907)
"...sing 'boo' to you" (Lytton and Lewis, 1919)
Lillian Russell as Patience at the Bijou Opera House in New York, 1882
Illustration from an 1885 programme
Jessie Bond as Lady Angela

Colonel Calverley (Officer of Dragoon Guards) (bass-baritone)

Handbill advertising the first performance

Roméo et Juliette (Berlioz)

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Symphonie dramatique, a large-scale choral symphony by French composer Hector Berlioz, which was first performed on 24 November 1839.

Symphonie dramatique, a large-scale choral symphony by French composer Hector Berlioz, which was first performed on 24 November 1839.

Handbill advertising the first performance

The bass-baritone, Adolphe-Louis Alizard (Friar Lawrence), and the Prologue chorus, all of whom came from the Paris Opéra, were prepared during the intermissions of performances there.

Scenes from the Paris premiere

The Tales of Hoffmann

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Opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach.

Opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach.

Scenes from the Paris premiere
The death of Antonia (act 2) in the original 1881 production. In front: Adèle Isaac; in back (left to right): Hippolyte Belhomme, Marguerite Ugalde, Pierre Grivot, Émile-Alexandre Taskin, Jean-Alexandre Talazac.
Costume design for Hoffmann in act 1, 1903
Prologue (or epilogue), in the 1881 première
The Olympia act, as staged at the 1881 première
Antonia and Dr. Miracle, 1881
Giuletta act, 1881
The original E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822)

Offenbach intended the four soprano roles be played by the same singer, for Olympia, Giulietta, and Antonia are three facets of Stella, Hoffmann's unreachable love. Similarly, the four villains (Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, and Dapertutto) would be performed by the same bass-baritone, because they are all manifestations of evil. While the doubling of the four villains is quite common, most performances of the work use different singers for the loves of Hoffmann because different skills are needed for each role: Olympia requires a skilled-coloratura singer with stratospheric-high notes, Antonia is written for a lyrical voice, and Giulietta is usually performed by a dramatic soprano or a mezzo-soprano. Any performance with all three roles (four if the role of Stella is counted) performed by a single soprano in a performance is considered one of the largest challenges in the lyric coloratura repertoire. Notable sopranos performing all three roles include Karan Armstrong, Vina Bovy, Patrizia Ciofi, Edita Gruberová, Fanny Heldy, Catherine Malfitano, Anja Silja, Beverly Sills, Sonya Yoncheva, Luciana Serra, Ruth Ann Swenson, Carol Vaness, Faith Esham, Ninon Vallin and Virginia Zeani. All four roles were performed by Josephine Barstow, Sumi Jo, Mireille Delunsch, Diana Damrau, Julia Migenes, Elizabeth Futral, Marlis Petersen, Anna Moffo, Georgia Jarman, Elena Moșuc, Joan Sutherland, Melitta Muszely, Olga Peretyatko, Patricia Petibon, Pretty Yende, Jessica Pratt and Nicole Chevalier.

A performance at the Graz Opera in 2013, conducted by Dirk Kaftan

Gurre-Lieder

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Large cantata for five vocal soloists, narrator, chorus and large orchestra, composed by Arnold Schoenberg, on poems by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen .

Large cantata for five vocal soloists, narrator, chorus and large orchestra, composed by Arnold Schoenberg, on poems by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen .

A performance at the Graz Opera in 2013, conducted by Dirk Kaftan
Ruins of Gurre Castle, in Denmark, 2007

Bass-baritone (Peasant)

Cantabile (symphonic suite)

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Work composed from 2004 to 2009 by Frederik Magle.

Work composed from 2004 to 2009 by Frederik Magle.

Bass-baritone (Soloist)

Photograph from Gerhardt Lynge: Danske Komponister (1917)

Rued Langgaard

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Late-Romantic Danish composer and organist.

Late-Romantic Danish composer and organist.

Photograph from Gerhardt Lynge: Danske Komponister (1917)
Langgaard in later life

Symphony No. 15 "Søstormen" (Storm at Sea) (with bass-baritone solo and male chorus, 1937/1949), BVN. 375