Contralto

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A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type.wikipedia
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Countertenor

counter-tenorcontratenorcounter tenor
The contralto's vocal range is fairly rare; similar to the mezzo-soprano, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the D below middle C (D 3 in scientific pitch notation) to the second D above middle C (D 5 ), although, at the extremes, some voices can reach the C# below middle C (C# 3 ) or the second B above middle C (B 5 ).
A countertenor (also contra tenor) is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types, generally extending from around G 3 to D 5 or E 5, although a sopranist (a specific kind of countertenor) may match the soprano's range of around C 4 to C 6.

Mezzo-soprano

mezzomezzo sopranomezzosoprano
The contralto's vocal range is fairly rare; similar to the mezzo-soprano, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the D below middle C (D 3 in scientific pitch notation) to the second D above middle C (D 5 ), although, at the extremes, some voices can reach the C# below middle C (C# 3 ) or the second B above middle C (B 5 ).
A mezzo-soprano or mezzo (, ; meaning "half soprano") is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types.

Hayedeh

HayadehHaydeh
Some of the rare contraltos that can sing the female equivalent of tenor and baritone include Zarah Leander, Hayedeh, Ruby Helder, and Bally Prell.
Hâyedeh, born as Ma’sumeh Dadehbâlâ (10 April 1942 – 20 January 1990), was a Persian classical and pop music vocalist with a contralto vocal range.

Voice classification in non-classical music

system of vocal categorization
"Contralto" is primarily meaningful only in reference to classical and operatic singing, as other traditions lack a comparable system of vocal categorization.
For women: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink

Madame Schumann-HeinkErnestineMadame Schumann Heink
These subtypes do not always apply with precision to individual singers; some exceptional dramatic contraltos, such as Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Sigrid Onégin, were technically equipped to perform not only heavy, dramatic music by the likes of Wagner but also florid compositions by Donizetti.
Ernestine Schumann-Heink (15 June 1861 – 17 November 1936) was a Czech-born German-American operatic contralto of German Bohemian descent.

Voice type

singing voicevoiceVoices
A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type.
Women are typically divided into three groups: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto.

Ruby Helder

Some of the rare contraltos that can sing the female equivalent of tenor and baritone include Zarah Leander, Hayedeh, Ruby Helder, and Bally Prell.
Ruby Helder (March 3, 1890 – November 21, 1938) was a British opera singer known for her powerful contralto voice.

Sigrid Onégin

Sigrid OneginEmilie Hoffmann
These subtypes do not always apply with precision to individual singers; some exceptional dramatic contraltos, such as Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Sigrid Onégin, were technically equipped to perform not only heavy, dramatic music by the likes of Wagner but also florid compositions by Donizetti.
Sigrid Onégin (June 1, 1889 – June 16, 1943) was a Franco-German operatic contralto who enjoyed a major international career prior to World War II.

Human voice

vocalVocalsvoice
A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type.
For example, among men, there are bass, baritone, tenor and countertenor (ranging from E2 to even F6 and higher), and among women, contralto, mezzo-soprano and soprano (ranging from F3 to C6 and higher).

Alto

contraltoAAA
The Italian terms "contralto" and "alto" are not synonymous, "alto" technically denoting a specific vocal range in choral singing without regard to factors like tessitura, vocal timbre, vocal facility, and vocal weight; However, there exists some French choral writing (including that of Ravel and Poulenc) with a part labeled "contralto", despite the tessitura and function being that of a classical alto part.
In vocal classification these are usually called contralto and male alto or countertenor.

Breeches role

trouser roletrousers roletrouser roles
Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Teodata in "Flavio", Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or trouser roles.
Most often the character is an adolescent or a very young man, sung by a mezzo-soprano or contralto.

Singing

vocalssingervocalist
A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type.
Women are typically divided into three groups: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto.

Castrato

castratisoprano castratoAlto Castrato
Contraltos may also be cast in roles originally written for castrati.
A castrato (Italian, plural: castrati) is a type of classical male singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto.

Tancrède

Tancréde
The Saracen princess Clorinde in André Campra's 1702 opera Tancréde was written for Julie d'Aubigny and is considered the earliest major role for bas-dessus or contralto voice.
The opera contains 23 dances in addition to the singing, but is famous for the alleged first contralto role in French opera (though in modern terms more of a mezzo-soprano range) written for Julie d'Aubigny, known as 'La Maupin', the most colorful singer of this era, or any other.

La Cenerentola

CinderellaCenerentolaCendrillon
Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Teodata in "Flavio", Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or trouser roles.
Throughout most of the 19th century, its popularity rivalled that of Barber, but as the coloratura contralto, for which the leading role was originally written, became rare, it fell slowly out of the repertoire.

L'italiana in Algeri

The Italian Girl in AlgiersLindoroIsabella
Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Teodata in "Flavio", Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or trouser roles.

The Barber of Seville

Il barbiere di SivigliaBarber of SevilleRosina
Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Teodata in "Flavio", Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or trouser roles.
The role of Rosina was originally written for a contralto.

Samuel Barber

BarberBarber, Samuel Barber
His maternal aunt, Louise Homer, was a leading contralto at the Metropolitan Opera; his uncle, Sidney Homer, was a composer of American art songs.

Julie d'Aubigny

La MaupinJulie d'Aubigny (Mlle. Maupin)Mademoiselle de Maupin
The Saracen princess Clorinde in André Campra's 1702 opera Tancréde was written for Julie d'Aubigny and is considered the earliest major role for bas-dessus or contralto voice.
She performed regularly with the Opéra, first singing as a soprano, and later in her more natural contralto range.

Vocal range

rangevoice rangepitch
A contralto is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type. The Italian terms "contralto" and "alto" are not synonymous, "alto" technically denoting a specific vocal range in choral singing without regard to factors like tessitura, vocal timbre, vocal facility, and vocal weight; However, there exists some French choral writing (including that of Ravel and Poulenc) with a part labeled "contralto", despite the tessitura and function being that of a classical alto part.
Women are typically divided into three main groups: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto.

Eugene Onegin (opera)

Eugene OneginEugen OneginOnegin
Contraltos sometimes are assigned feminine roles like Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Teodata in "Flavio", Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Olga in Eugene Onegin, but more frequently they play female villains or trouser roles.

Giulio Cesare

Giulio Cesare in EgittoJulius CaesarJulius Caesar in Egypt
In modern productions, the title role, written for a castrato, is sung by a contralto, mezzo-soprano, or, more frequently in recent years, a countertenor.