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Opera/Enquiry to Voice Fach


Dear Mdm,

  I'm 24 years old this year and have just begun formal voice training.The teacher has yet to designate my vocal fach ( we have met for 5 lessons to date) . However, out of curiosity, I would like to know my fach.  

Attached are the recordings of my vocalizations:



I have recently come across an online article by a famous New York voice educator, David Jones, in which he discusses how sirening could be used to diagnose voice fach ( see 2nd last paragraph):

These are my attempts to perform the sirening on the umlaut "u" sound:


Mr Jones has also mentioned about the use larygneal tilt to determine voice fach.  Here is my attempt to achieve that by singing on an ascending major third:


Lastly, my teacher said I'm most likely a tenor however I'm not too sure about that because when I vocalize on the vowel "Oo", I start to experience sudden strain at Db4/E4, which suggest my secondo passaggio is that of a baritone. Furthermore, I am able to go down to F2 and G2, though they sound weak and inconsistent.  

Thanks for bearing with my unpleasant voice. Hope you could advise on my voice fach.


Hi Alfredo,

Thank you for your question.  I have listened to your recordings and I think I agree with your teacher that you most probably will be a tenor.  You are still young yet and have lots to learn so that's not a definite answer.  But you do seem to be able to sing the high notes - even if they aren't yet perfected.

I would like you to continue working with your teacher so learn how to "cover" or protect the voice as you move through the passaggio and into the high range.  You can't sing those notes with a completely open, spread sound… that's not healthy.  Your teacher can help you with that.

Also - work with the falsetto (on "oo") - the stronger the falsetto is, the more it helps the full voice.

Keep working on the laryngeal tilt - using the ascending thirds… feel as if your larynx slightly tilts forward (slightly!).  You can't make this happen.  Sometimes I slightly tilt my hand forward as I ascend the third - somehow this seems to help me imagine the larynx tilting.

For now, just sing repertoire that is comfortable for you - if it's in the baritone range - fine.  But continue to work on the quality of the sound and don't worry about where you will end up.

All the best,



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Pamela Thomas


Questions on Opera performance, repertoire, vocal technique, acting for opera. I have some 20 years experience in opera in both leading roles and chorus. I have sung with New York City Opera since 1981. I have studied voice in NYC for over 20 years and have also taught technique and coached singers in acting.

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