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Rant 'n Rave > Addio del passagio

Interesting discussion about tenors and the Duke in RIGOLETTO in Oliver's Corner. A couple of questions - do all tenors experience the passagio in the same notes in the voice? Could some of the differences in where the vocal shift you referred to occurs be a reflection of some tenors having higher voices than others? Could the differences between 20th/21st century tuning ptich and 19th century tuning pitch result in some differences between what would have been done at the time Verdi wrote RIGOLETTO and the decisions you referred to that modern tenors have to make when singing (particularly in the Duke's 2nd act music that was played)? Also I seem to recall that one of the tenors you played singing the beginning of the quartet was not identified - did I miss that? Thanks. I enjoy the program, in spite of (because of?) your irreverence. Thanks. Ed
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd in Palo Alto
Hi Ed. I agree the Oliver's Corners have been great, and RIGOLETTO especially. To give a stab at answering your question (though I am no tenor) I think the passaggio is generally the same for all tenors, regardless of their light/heaviness HOWEVER I am sure heldentenors might have a slightly lower passaggio.
October 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta
Hey Ed. I'm a young tenor at the undergrad level so I'm still wroking things out, but my teacher and I have come to the decision that my passaggio is about a half-step lower than most tenors. I'm a lyric tenor (aren't we all) but I have been told that i sing slightly baritonally (and I have been cast in a baritone role for the opera at my school this year haha). So yeah, I think there is a difference. If you ask me tenors can have varying passaggios.
November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Ramirez
Ed, traditionally the passaggio note is assumed to be F# at the top of the tenor staff. I suspect that a singer like Leopold Simoneau has his at G or maybe even G#.
Tuning has been getting higher and higher over the decades. New technology in string instruments allows for brighter, more penetrating sound. We singers are in a losing battle with the modern orchestra and the over zealous conductor who has never coached a singer, or learned an opera under an experienced mentor.

Carreras was the tenor who began the Good Version of the quartet. I also played Pavarotti and Giuseppe Sabbatini in that excerpt.
November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe OC