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The Bass

By

Type of Singing Voice:

Bass

Definition:

In singing, it is the lowest male voice.

Range:

It ranges from the second E below middle C to F# above

Word Origin:

The word bass is Italian for basso meaning "low."

Types of Bass Singing Voice:

The bass voice has four main types:
  • basso profondo - is a rich and low voice.
  • basso cantante - also known as the "singing bass," is lighter and more lyrical.
  • basso buffo - also known as "comic bass" is used primarily in opera buffa, meaning a humorous or comical opera.
  • bass-baritone - a voice that ranges between the baritone and bass voice.

Famous Basses:

Some of the most famous bass singers are: Samuel Ramey (basso cantante), Michael Langdon {basso profondo) and James Morris (bass baritone)

Roles of Basses in Famous Operas:

In Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, the role of Amfortas is played using the bass-baritone voice. The role of Philip II in Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos is played using the basso-cantante voice and in the opera Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, the role of Sarastro is played using the basso profondo voice.

Samples:

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