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From Couch to Chorus: Which voice type?

We’re thrilled to have announced the fourth edition of From Couch to Chorus, our series of online singing workshops.

Open to all levels of singers from complete beginners to experienced choir-goers, this is a fun, four week, ‘pay as you feel’ course.

If you’d like to join us but need help figuring out which voice type you are, this guide is for you. Listen to recordings of ‘Habenera’ from Bizet’s Carmen, performed by the Chorus of Opera North, and sing along to see which one feels most comfortable!

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Soprano

The highest vocal range of all the voice types, sopranos often sing the melody line. Listen to the soprano element of the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen:

Camilla Titinger (SOPRANO) as Michaela in Carmen 2021© Tristram Kenton

Alto

Altos have a slightly lower singing voice than sopranos, adding harmony lines to a chorus. The alto part is usually sung by a medium to low female voice or a ‘countertenor’ – a countertenor is a male voice type which uses the very high part of their voice called falsetto.

Listen to the alto element of the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen

Chrystal E Williams (MEZZO) as Carmen in Carmen 2021© Tristram Kenton

Tenor

tenor will also often sing harmony lines, and is the second-lowest voice type in a chorus. The tenor part is usually sung by a high male voice or sometimes a very low female voice. If you can hit the notes then that’s the only thing that matters! Listen to the tenor element of the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen

Erin Caves (TENOR) as Don Jose in Carmen 2021© Tristram Kenton

Bass

Basses are the lowest voice type in our chorus, providing the all-important bassline! Listen to the bass element of the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen

Phillip Rhodes (BARITONE) as Escamillo in Carmen 2021© Tristram Kenton

Whilst we hope these clips provide a guide, every person’s voice is different. If you’re still unsure, just get in touch at lifelonglearning@operanorth.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help. New sessions of From Couch to Chorus begin on 2 March 2022.

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As a charity, Opera North relies on donations to ensure that we can continue producing new and diverse work. You can help us use music to bring people together, now and in the future.

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