I am confused as to what a well-supported/released upper range needs to feel like for a tenor. I am able to vocalize to extreme highs (D, E, F above high C) in a manner similar to what Gedda is doing on his high D in his recording of "Mes amis écoutez l'histoire" (Postillon) -- by similar, I mean that the intensity and volume are APPROACHING his greatness. Those notes feel good, strong, and resonant, but also feel VERY "heady" -- not disembodied and "falsetto-like," but something LIKE that. I COULD be convinced that this is the right way to sing these notes if enough people said that it was.
I am wondering if this is how Bb, B, and C (the notes above which tenors usually do not sing) should feel and sound as well. My current teacher seems to LOVE the sound I make when I sing Bb, B, and C as I do ABOVE C -- it is me who is not convinced that this is correct. Although even Corelli's Cs sometimes sound as though they are produced in this same way (his ending of 'Spirto gentil' comes to mind), I am not convinced that these pitches, particularly C, should not have the same DEPTH that the rest of my voice has.
I hope this is making sense, and that many of you will reply.
G and above should make you dizzy when they're right, at least when you are first learning them -- dizzy from the buzz, not from turning red!
B and above should feel "out of body".
Some people can place B in the same resonance as Bb -- I can't.
C# feels very similar to the B and C.
It took me a while to believe the people who told me that the high notes I felt as "full and forceful" were constricted, tight, strangled, muffled... and the ones that felt "thin and too easy" were the really good, round ones.
With a higher voice such as you have, your mileage will definitely vary.
I think for ME, what took the longest to get my brain around, was what how I, too, originally saw and "heard" as 'thin' and 'shrill' the tones I produced from B-natural up to at least D (if not E and F, fagawddssakes!) were actually focused (like a laser beam), huge, and explosive.
Because yeah, as has been said, what we hear inside our heads is pretty damm different from what someone sitting across a concert hall hears.
Does anyone feel a "switch" at D above high C, up to Eflat, E, and F? My notes about D don't have as much ring, and seem to be more... "twinkle twinkle little star", than "a punch in the face" as some of my other high notes seem with volume.
full-closure falsetto (also called voce finta) in that range. Because the folds close completely, you still feel that the tone is supported. It might sound like a lighter version of your full headvoice register. leggiero tenors are still in full head voice on D and even Eb. They change around Eb or E natural.
Re: What does/should the tenor high voice "feel" like?
October 24 2006, 4:07 PM
I think the sensation of the voice having a directionality that takes it over the soft palate into the head is right.
I think that below C5, the voice has more forward ring, meaning that the squillo tends to be more in forward spaces as well as having back space. I think this is the consequence of high energy partials produced when the cords are a little shorter and thicker than they would be above the C5. Once we climb over the C5 we can't be thinking about thick cords and chest... we have to rely on a head voice and get our approximation by tuning resonance appropriately.
The more the cords thin(releasing chest) and the more the voice will climb what Maestro O'Mara calls the "canna", the tube... the resonance tract... so I see no problem with your feeling those notes up in the head... as long as they also have a connection to the breath.
When I take notes above C correctly, the sensation is open in the throat, vibration high, but a connection between that high vibration and the motor of the voice in the diaphragm. If the voice is disconnected from the breath than it wont carry in the house, but will be more like a quacky sound, even though in a room it may sound gargantuan.
No one has addressed this...am I correct in believing that he felt the way I'm describing when singing this particular C? I'm sure you all know the recording I'm talking about, but I don't know the date or label - Turiddu sent it to me, LOL.
Corelli's high notes are very 2nd formant strong... the idea is to have just as much approximation as necessary to get the resonance.... the sensation is one of the sound moving up the back of the mouth and over the soft palate into the back of the head, with no sense of a lid. Its not a forward directionality like Gedda's may be. It doesn't focus on squillo. It focuses on release and a general resonance. The squillo he gets is not a "condensed" type like one would hear in someone like Bjoerling or Caruso. Its more of a sigh production with lots of resonance... it is also very "ah" as far as the vowel goes. The feeling is an opening of the back space for the voice.
I think Corelli had more depth to that position on the lower notes, but that particular C is just in the yawn position and completely released... just enough approximation as necessary to produce the resonance. Pavarotti sang his C the same way. Quite a few tenors sing high Cs this way today, but hardly any also have the open throat and low range larynx Corelli did.
The answer is not easy. I replied to a similar post. It might actually be here or a different forum.
The range near high C and above is sung differently depending on the tenor's vocal weight, flexibility and strength. Some tenors sing a full headvoice. This means that the vocalis muscle is involved and provides resistence to the stretchin of the folds. This action spreads the vocal fold tissue and results in stronger adduction and subglottic pressure. This is the sound I hear in all of Corelli's high notes including the Spirto Gentil track. The Spirto gentil was recorded on what must have been Corelli at his best, fully rested and vocally at his prime. The ease of the high C gives the impression that it is lighter.
The other way is to use "voce finta" (also called full-closure falsetto). Full-closure falsetto involves no vocalis activity, but unlike regular falsetto, the folds come together completely and sustain a bit of subglottic pressure, so the sensation is very akin to full headvoice.
This might have been the dispute between Duprez and Nourit during Rossini's lifetime. The legend is that Duprez changed the approach to singing by singing what was called a "full-throated" high C. Nourit the "tenore di grazia" would have used a more falsetto-like approach but with full glottal closure.
Full-closure falsetto is possible as low as A4 (a440). So Yes the Bb and B can be sung in this lighter registration, but it can also be sung full throated.