Sunday, March 27, 2011


An 18th Century Doll - A perfect Olympia!

Wikipedia defines the LYRIC COLORATURA as "a very agile light voice with a high upper extension, capable of fast vocal coloratura. Lyric coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6)."

YouTube Sample Title: Soprano Laura Claycomb singing the Doll Song

Coloratura Soprano Laura Claycomb sings Les oiseaux dans la charmille otherwise known as the "Doll Song"" from Act 1 Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman. The hero Hoffman's first love is an automation, or robot named Olympia. In this amusing video, we see the doll perform for an audience. Olympia must also be wound up in order to sing. She is the creation of Spalanzani, a crazed scientist.

Olympia's "Doll Song" from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman

(French Text)

Les oiseaux dans la charmille
Dans les cieux l'astre du jour,
Tout parle à la jeune fille d'amour!
Ah! Voilà la chanson gentille
La chanson d'Olympia! Ah!
Tout ce qui chante et résonne
Et soupire, tour à tour,
Emeut son coeur qui frissonne d'amour!
Ah! Voilà la chanson mignonne
La chanson d'Olympia! Ah!

(English Translation)

The birds in the arbor,
The sky's daytime star,
Everything speaks to a young girl of love!
Ah! This is the gentile song,
The song of Olympia! Ah!
Everything that sings and resonates
And sighs, in turn,
Moves his heart, which shudders of love!
Ah! This is the lovely song,
The song of Olympia! Ah!

OUTLINE for LYRIC COLORATURAS: Roles subcategorized by music period
1. Lyric Coloraturas Roles from the BAROQUE period:
  • AGRIPPINA -  Handel, Agrippina
  • ALMIRENA - Handel. Rinaldo 
  • ALZIRA - Handel, Alzira 
  • ANGELICA - Handel, Orlando
  • DALINDA - Handel. Ariodante
  • DORINDA - Handel, Orlando
  • SESTO- Handel, Giulio Cesare
2. Lyric Coloraturas Roles from the CLASSICAL period:
  • AMENAIDE - Rossini, Tancredi 
  • ASPASIA - Mozart, Mitridate, re di Ponto
  • BLONDE - Mozart, The Abduction from the Seraglio
  • CAROLINA - Domenico Cimarosa, Il Matrimonio Segreto
  • CELIA - Mozart, Lucio Silla
  • ELISA - Mozart, Il re pastore
  • ELVIRA - Rossini, L'italiana in Algeri
  • ILIA - Mozart, Idomeneo "Padre, germani, addio."
  • ISMENE- Mozart, Mitridate, re di Ponto
  • MADAME SILBERKLANG- Mozart, Der Schauspieldirektor
  • SYLVIA- Mozart, Ascanio in Alba
  • TAMYRIS- Mozart, Il re pastore
  • VENUS- Mozart, Ascanio in Alba
3. Lyric Coloraturas Roles from the ROMANTIC period:
  • ADELE -  Johann Strauss, Die Fledermaus
  • ADINA - Donizetti, L'elisir d'amore
  • ELVIRA - Bellini, I Puritani
  • GILDA - Verdi, Rigoletto. "Caro Nome."
  • GIULIETTA - Bellini, I Capuleti e i Montecci
  • JULIETTE- Gounod, Roméo et Juliette. "Je veux vivre dans ce rêve."
  • LAKMÉ- Delibes, Lakmé. "Bell Song"
  • LEILA- Bizet, Les pêcheurs de perles
  • LINDA DI CHAMONIX- Donizetti, Linda di Chamonix
  • LISA- Bellini, La Sonnambula
  • MARGUERITE- Gounod, Faust. "Ah, je ris de me voir si belle dans ce miroir."
  • MARIE- Donizetti, La fille du régiment - "Salut la France!"
  • NORINA- Donizetti, Don Pasquale
  • OLYMPIA- Offenbach, Tales of Hoffman - THIS PAGE! Another interpretation: CLICK_HERE
  • OPHÉLIE- Ambroise Thomas, Hamlet. "Ophelia's Mad Scene"
  • OSCAR- Verdi, Un ballo in maschera (trouser role)"Saper vorreste".
  • PHILINE- Ambroise Thomas, Mignon
  • THE QUEEN OF CHEMAKHA- Rimsky-Korsakov, Le Coq d'Or
4. Lyric Coloraturas Roles from the MODERN period:
  • CUNEGONDE - Bernstein, Candide. "Glitter and Be Gay."
  • ELIZABETH DOE - Douglas Moore, The Ballad of Baby Doe
  • LUCY- Menotti, The Telephone
  • THE NIGHTINGALE- Stravinsky, The Nightengale (Le Rossignol)
  • TYTANIA- Britten, A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • ZERBINETTA- Richard Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos
  • Arleen AUGER (1939-1993) American lyric coloratura soprano specializing in Bach, Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi, Gluck, and Mozart.
    --Baroque selection: Bach. Aria from Matthaeus Passion
    --Classical selection:  Haydn: Cavatina de Angelica: "Palpita ad Ogni Instante" Orlando Paladino (1782)
    --Romantic selection: Doll Song by Offenbach, Tales of Hoffmann (1851)
    --Modern selection: "Morgen" by Richard Strauss (1894)

  • Kathleen BATTLE (See page on soprano leggiero)

  • Erna BERGER (See page on soprano leggiero)
  • Harolyn BLACKWELL (23 Nov, 1955-) African-American Lyric Coloratura soprano. Mostly Romantic, Modern and Contemporary repertoires.
    --Romantic selections: Doll Song by Offenbach, Tales of Hoffman
    (1851) and  "Saper vorreste" from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera (1859) a trouser role.
    --Modern selection: Gershwin "Summertime" Porgy and Bess by Gershwin (1935)
    --Contemporary selection: "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" by Sondheim, Sweeney Todd.(1979)

  • Patricia CIOFI, (7 Jun 1967-) Italian Lyric Coloratura soprano.
    --Baroque selection: Air from Bajazet by Vivaldi
    --Classical selection: As SUZANNA in the Garden Duet with the Count (Simon Kinglyside) in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro (1786).
    --Romantic selection: "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini (1918) Avec des sous-titres en français! Super!
    --Modern selection: "Someone to watch over me" from Oh, Kay by Gershwin (1926)

  • Laura CLAYCOMB (23 Aug 1968) American Lyric Coloratura soprano.
    --Baroque selection:
    Cleopatra's aria from Handel's Giulio Cesare, Recitativo and "Non Disperar",
    --Classical selection: as ILIA in Idomeneo by Mozart (1781) singing "Padre, mio, germani"
    --Romantic selection: as OPHÉLIE in Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1868) doing the Mad Scene.
    --Modern selection:
      as Anne Trulove singing "No word from Tom" in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (1951) Les sous-titres sont en français.

  • Toti DAL MONTE (See page on soprano leggiero)

  • Diana DAMRAU (31 May 1971) German Lyric Coloratura.
    --Baroque selection: "Rejoice" from Handel's Messiah.
    --Classical selection: "Ruhe sanft mein holdes leben" from Mozart's Zaide.
    --Romantic selection: "Je veux vivre dans le rêve" from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette
    --Modern selection:  "Glitter and be Gay" by Leonard Bernstein, Candide.

  • Natalie DESSAY (16 Apr 1965-) French Lyric Coloratura
    --Baroque selections:
    "Tornami a vagheggiar" as MORGANA in Handel's Alcina (1735);  CLEOPATRA's aria "V'adoro Pupille" from Handel's Giulio Cesare (1724)
    --Classical selection: as EUROPA singing in "Popoli di Tessaglia...Io non chiedo" in Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta (1778) and, a short documentary with a delightful medley of Mozart heroine arias: redirect here!
    --Romantic selections: As Offenbach's OLYMPIA in the Doll Song and as Delibes's LAKME in the Bell Song.
    --Modern selection: In Adriadne Auf Naxos Part One and Part Two by Richard Strauss (1912-16) with English subtitles! Next, as the NIGHTINGALE in Stravinky's Le Rossignol (1914)

  • Amelita GALLI-CURCI (18 Nov 1882 – 26 Nov 1963) Italian lyric coloratura soprano. Her repertoire mostly rests with the Romantics, including popular songs of her era - James Joyce was a big fan and the songs are referred to in Ulysees.
    --Classical selection: "Non so più" as a lyrical soprano version of CHERUBINO in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro!
    --Romantic opera selection: "Qui la voce" as ELVIRA in Bellini's I Puritani (1935) and "O luce di quest'anima" as Donizetti's Linda de Chamonix.
    --Romantic song selection: La Paloma by Iradier, same composer who inspired Bizet to write the Habanera for Carmen and in 1927, "The Last Rose of Summer" poem by Irish Thomas Moore set to music by Flotow. Another Irish favorite: Love's old Sweet Song by Molloy. "Solveig's Song" from Grieg's Peer Gynt;
    --Modern selection: xx
  • Rosario GARCIA-ORELLANA (2 Oct 1905-3 Nov 1997) Cuban lyric coloratura soprano known as "Cuba's nightingale". Unfortunately, I haven't found any recordings of her performances in the regular operatic repertoire.
    --Two Modern selections: Escucha el ruiseñor and Canto Indio by Ernesto Lecuona, the former was especially written for Rosario in the 1930s and the latter a Habanera!
  • Kathryn GRAYSON ( 9 Feb 1922 – 17 Feb 2010) was an American actress and operatic soprano singer. She started out as a classically trained opera singer and eventually made her way into American musical theater.
  • Sumi JO
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
  • Nellie MELBA
  • Mady MESPIE
  • Anna MOFFO
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
  • Adelina PATTI
  • Lily PONS
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
  • Lucia POPP
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
  • Mado ROBIN
  • Erna SACK
  • Renata SCOTTO (See page on soprano leggiero)
  • Luciana SERRA
  • Beverly SILLS
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
  • Erna SPOORENBERG (See page on soprano leggiero)
  • Ruth Ann SWENSON
    --Baroque selection:
    --Classical selection:
    --Romantic selection:
    --Modern selection:
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