Type of Singing Voice:
The baritone voice is the most common male vocal range. It is higher than the bass but lower than the tenor. In Western music, (at the end of the 15th century) composers started to add lower-pitched voices to their compositions. That was the first time the word baritonans was used in Western polyphonic music.
It typically has a range from A to F but may extend in either directions.
It comes from the Greek word barytonos which means deep-sounding. It is believed that the German composers were the ones who contributed mostly to the popularity of the baritone voice by utilizing characters in operas where the bartione voice is needed.
Some of the most famous baritones of the past are: Umberto Urbano, Carlo Drago Hrzic and Celestino Sarobe.
Roles of Baritones in Famous Operas:
In the musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the role of Hamlet is played using a baritone voice. In Richard Wagner's opera, Tannhäuser, the role of Wolfram von Eschenbach is played using the baritone voice as well as in Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco where the character of Nabucco is played using the baritone voice.
Samples from the album Lebendige Vergangenheit - Umberto Urbano CD