Voice Types in Opera
So what are the various voice types?
Let’s start with the highest female voice, the soprano, derived from the Italian sopra, meaning “above”. The lower mezzo-soprano voice sits between the top soprano notes and the nether regions of the contralto; that is, the lowest female voice characterised by a deep chest resonance. Countertenors are the male pitch equivalent to mezzos and sing entirely in their upper falsetto range, but the highest natural male voice is that of a tenor. The baritone is the most common male voice type, lying between bass and tenor ranges and covering around two octaves. Then there’s the bass-baritone, whose voice is lower and darker in timbre. Finally, the bass has the lowest range of the men, with his extreme bottom pitch set around two octaves below middle C.