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THE TENOR VOICE
The high male voice, in addition to being classified by weight, allows for the consideration of comic ability. The Spieltenor or buffo tenor is a very busy man in the German opera house, singing both small and large roles in opera and operetta. He must have excellent command of the German language and be a flexible, singing-actor. Physically he may not have the leading-character looks or appropriate size, being either too small or too heavy. If the voice is a large instrument capable of dramatic singing, the comic tenor may later move into, the Charaktertenor Fach. The Lyrischertenor must have both the good looks, high notes and stamina to sing a wide variety of literature. The true leading tenor of the German theater is the Jugendlich-Dramatischertenor. This is he American spinto tenor but with a more metallic quality then we are used to hearing in the Italian repertoire lending itself perhaps better to the German literature at least in coloration. The Heldentenor is a rarity with a large voice and baritonal quality, heroic stage presents and excellent German.
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 smaller, expressive voice and and excellent actor.
The comic tenor in the German-speaking countries is a key figure in the opera and operetta. He has much more to do than the so-called comprimario in the American and Italian opera houses. Indeed, many people will include in the category much of what is generally considered the lighter repertoire of Lyrischertenor Fach in this catagory. Language and acting skills are often more important than singing ability. His popular roles include Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Jacquino in Fidelio, David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Wenzel in Die verkaufte Braut. In many houses he tenor who sings these roles may also be asked to sing Almaviva or Nemorino. It is quite possible for a young Spieltenor to eventually work into the lighter Lyrischertenor Fach, the deciding factor will be the beauty of the voice and is physical appearance.
Singers: Gerhard Unger, Peter Schreier.
Examples: Gerhard Unger,