QUOTE(Dulcet @ Oct 11 2011, 08:32 PM)
Does anyone have views as to when it is more appropriate to have a countertenor than a female alto (e.g. what type of music would either voice be a no-no for?)
I recently sang the alto part in Purcell's "rejoice in the lord alway" and I was definitely on to a loser there in the audibility stakes. But is that the only consideration? (leaving aside the fact that I'm not that good, I really do mean in general not just me!)
Depends on whether you mean appropriate as in historically correct (whatever that means and does it matter?) or do you think there are some pieces where the female alto voice just doesn't do it justice?
I'm not going to pretend I have a detailed knowledge of when a countertenor is more historically correct (asie from the broad brush of it being more common in early music) but I have to say I really am not keen on countertenors, and I think the female alto voice is wonderful. THis might be influenced by the fact that I am an alto - and spent many years singing as a soprano, have now had a wonderful couple of years discovering whole new parts of my voice. Somehow the 'purity' of a countertenor leaves me cold - like boy trebles - too cerebral - I like my singing to have head, heart and loins!
But I do know what you mean about volume - somebody singing at the top of their pitch range sounds very different to somebody singing at the bottom. Certainly now when I sing in amateur duets/trios etc if I am the top part I find it hard to feel as though I am really cutting through. But other people have assured me that the voice does in fact carry, I'm just not experienced enough to feel it, and I do think when you're voie is lower it's harder to hear yourself - so has anybody else confirmed whether they could hear you in the Purcell?
Bit of a rambly reply, don't think I've helped, but essentially I heart altos!