THE BARITONE VOICE
Since America produces some of the best baritones in the world, the baritone voice is essentially easy for us to relate to and categorize. The repertoire of the Lyrischerbariton is perhaps less taxing as the other baritone Fächer but he must be a good actor and able to portray a variety of roles ranging from servants to noblemen, from comic to romantic. The Kavalierbariton is the handsome cavalier of the opera, the Don Giovanni. This Fach is sung with an Italian warmth and a ringing top. The Charakterbariton has a more metallic sound and the heavier dramatic repertoire. The Heldenbariton is not a common voice type but while it does not always require beauty in singing there is an overwhelming need for expressive declamation and a powerful stage presents.
Those arias most often heard in German Theater auditions are marked with *. Those arias heard in audition but not normally sung by the singer of this Fach in the opera house are given in parenthesis.
A supple, flexible voice with a mellow line an extended top.
The Spielbariton Fach is extremely important in the German opera houses, since he has many supporting roles of a varied character. This baritone must be a good actor and able to sing equally well in all registers of his voice. He also must be willing sometimes, to play second to the dramatic baritone, as in the role of Silvio in I Pagliacci. It is not necessary to have a high a flat in order to sing this Fach, but it is necessary to have a good high g. Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Figaro in Der Barbier von Sevilla, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos and Dandini in La Cenerentola are typical Lyrisherbariton/Spielbariton roles.
A metallic voice, that can sing both lyric and dramatic phrases, a manly noble baritonal color, with good physical appearance.
The Kavalierbariton has a somewhat heavier voice than the Spielbariton and plays a more important role on the stage. He must be attractive enough to play Mandryka in Arabella, the title role in Eugen Onegin, and the the Don in Don Giovanni. Unlike the Lyrischerbariton he must have the vocal quality to sing the Posa in Don Carlos and Germont in La Traviata. Furthermore, he is generally entrusted with the role of the Count in both Le nozze di Figaro and Der Wildschütz.
A powerful voice capable of much nuance and fine characterization ability.
This Fach includes the roles generally associated with the Verdi and Puccini repertoire. This baritone must be a heavy on stage. He must be powerful in sound and in appearance, and have a ringing high voice. The main roles for Charakterbariton include the standard Verdi roles such as Rigoletto and Iago in Otello, and the heavier Puccini roles of Scarpia in Tosca, Marcel in Il Tabarro, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi. His German repertoire includes the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos, the four villains in Hoffmanns Erzählungen, Alberich in Der Ring, and Klingsor in Parsifal.
A heavy, projecting instrument, that not only has a soaring top, but also a smooth, carrying middle and low register.
This Fach is a child of the German opera and is primarily reserved for the exceptionally heavy Verdi roles, such as Amonasro in Aïda and the Wagner roles including Kurvenal in Tristan, Telramund in Lohengrin, and Wotan. The voice must be big, and have the ability to sound cruel, and yet have tremendous expansive ability. It helps to be a large person in this Fach but it is not absolutely necessary.