I’m a baritone. I’m a tenor. I’m a baritone. I’m a tenor.
Today, I am a tenor. With all this lift stuff, I walked into my lesson and found that I could sing high C sharps with no problem whatsoever. My teacher, who had up until today had serious doubts about me being a tenor, saw the light so to speak. I then sang through “Recondita armonia”, “Ecco ridente” (with an interpolated high C) and some Brahms and Schubert songs in tenor keys with no problems whatsoever.
The idea that I could sing some of those great tenor arias and play some great roles is very exciting, but it’s also frustrating. If I wake up tomorrow, and today was not just some fluke, then I have some serious issues to deal with.
First, I was considering doing auditions sooner rather than later, and that will have to be put on hold while I relearn how to sing and gain stamina in a new fach. Also, I have to decide how to sing some upcoming performances. I am scheduled to sing in NMSU’s opera scenes next week as the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro. So I will still have to do that. I am considering singing a recital at the end of May and perhaps before, so I will have some serious choices there as well.
Part of my consideration must be this, however, and interestingly, I rarely ever read about this in vocal pedagogy books or in discussions of fach: I am not as big as most operatic baritones. Neither physically nor vocally. A couple years ago, I sang in the opera chorus of Arizona Opera’s Macbeth. The guys playing Macbeth were huge. Huge. So were their voices. I can’t fake that. Of course, Macbeth might not be a role for me, but then what is if I have to push and push to get my dark sound heard?
Discussions of vocal fach seem to be rarely cut and dry issues. Several students here at NMSU are in similar situations in trying to decide which path to choose, and it may take years to sort out. Domingo trained as a baritone only to train upwards to a tenor.
Plus, it seems that I have a choice. I could go either way. I just have to choose. But it seems like go with tenor and see what happens.
[Let me reiterate: I am more excited than pessimistic. Something lifts in my heart when I think of singing tenor.]