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Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)

MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Aug 12 - 06:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Aug 12 - 07:41 PM
michaelr 09 Aug 12 - 08:02 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Aug 12 - 11:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Aug 12 - 11:58 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 02:01 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 08:53 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 09:01 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,999 10 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 07:12 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 07:27 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 08:58 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 10:45 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Aug 12 - 11:01 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Aug 12 - 02:13 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Aug 12 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Aug 12 - 11:15 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Aug 12 - 07:15 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Aug 12 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Aug 12 - 09:39 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Aug 12 - 10:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM
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Subject: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 06:55 PM

What was the voice type of Marie Wells, who played Clementina in the 1929 movie of The Desert Song? Her voice seems very light, like mine. In fact I sound a lot like her when I sing Clementina, which is a mezzo role. Is it possible to be classified as a mezzo and have a light voice?


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 07:41 PM

This is what I'm talking about:


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:02 PM

You sound like that? I'm so sorry.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM

By that I mean that my voice is light, like that. Unfortunately I have a permanent cold right now (telling the truth. it's winter in Australia).


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 11:00 PM

And I know michaelr dislikes anything resembling classical music...
anyone have any serious answers? How does lightness or darkness in voice factor into classification?


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 11:58 PM

Forget about the comment about "disliking anything resembling classical music".


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 02:01 AM

Anyone like to listen to the clip? Also, can someone knowledgeable tell me if it's possible to be a mezzo-soprano and have a light voice? Because my voice is fairly light- yes, like Marie Wells. Unfortunately it's also a bit screechy right now.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM

Refresh. I'm really curious about this... especially since I've also listened to Julie Dawn (from the Original London Cast) do The Song Of The Brass Key.. and the differences in their voices are obvious. JD's voice is much darker and reminds me of my old singing teacher while Wells' voice reminds me of myself. So what was she likely to have been?
I know mezzo-sopranos can have light voices.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 08:53 AM

This racial stereotyping is not a little out of place in these modern times, Morweb - though you obviously have a passion for the music. I can sort of get this - one of my favourite films is the first 4 Marx Brothers movie - a similarly ghastly musical called 'The Cocoanuts' from 1929 which combines surreal antics with the BYT culture of the times, resulting in the truly cringeworthy Mary Eaton contributing set pieces like The Monkey Doodle Doo. You can watch the whole thing on You Tube.

For something more positively Spanish, and a much more wholesome thing to aim for as a singer, can be found in the 'Early' music of Hesperion XXI and their late lamented & sorely missed soprano Monsterrat Figueras. You can find a lot of that on YouTube too, but as an example of something genuinely insprational(as oppose to the very depressing racism of The Desert Song) have a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFf-AAHCuXA


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:01 AM

Blandiver, as Grishka mentioned, I starteda thread on the operetta here. I brought up the racism issue there several times.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:02 AM

There should be a space...


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:14 AM

It's a big issue, Morwen - one of the biggest issues of our time, as I'm sure you're all too aware as a Chinese girl living in Australia. This sort of racial stereotyping is anathema to common sense on all sorts of levels. It also sits awkwardly on a forum dedicated to Folk Music, the proponents of which are, on the whole, especially sensitive to racism in various guises.

As singers, we have a responsibility to address our craft to a more enlightened cultural perspective than was current when The Desert Song was written (and filmed). For sure, it reflects its time, but pretty grimly I would say.

Tell you what, give us some Australian / Chinese folk songs and you'll get all the help, encouragement & advice you'll need - and also find ways of developing your vocal talents to a more (dare I say) constructive end?   

Just a thought anyway.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM

To get back to the original question, Morwen, I think Marie Wells is a mezzo-soprano. Voice type (soprano, also, etc) is based on how high and low one can go.

Lightness and darkness have nothing to do with what kind of voice one has. The same singer can sing light or dark, depending on how she shapes her throat. (I learned how to do this from one demonstration by a choral conductor.)

In opera it used to be a tradition that altos sang dark. This is no longer fashionable.

We speakers of English are great ones for nouns. We say that a person has a "voice." But we don't actually have VOICES. What we do is SING (verb)in a certain way. I bet that around the house, Marie Wells could sing soft & bluesy, sing hard & angry or sing a delicate lullaby. She would still sound like herself, but each kind of song would have a different timbre.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM

A mezzo-soprano (/ˈmɛtsoʊ/; [ˈmɛddzo]; meaning "medium" or "middle" "soprano" in Italian) is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3-A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the G below middle C (G3) and as high as "high C" (C6).[1]

from Mr Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 07:12 PM

@leeneia: So I guess I'm a mezzo-soprano too.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 07:27 PM

Note: When I sing Jamaican folk songs my voice gets dark. And incidentally, my first singing teacher thought I was a mezzo-soprano. My other teachers thought I was a soprano.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 08:58 PM

And my lowest note happens to be G3.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:45 PM

Leeneia: What makes you think she was a mezzo-soprano? Interesting thing is, I can find very little info on her. Only that she was born in 1894 and her birth name seems to have been Mary Edith Wells. She played Lotta in a lost 1930 movie called Song of The West. If her role as Clementina was an indication of her vocal range, then I could probably sing Lotta as well. (I can certainly sing Clementina.)


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:01 PM

And ohhh.. A two octaves above middle C? I can't sing a High C.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 02:13 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 04:59 AM

Apparently she committed suicide in 1949.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:15 AM

I thought she was a mezzo because her voice is high, yet has a certain warmth. I listened to a mezzo at a concert recently, and her voice sounded the same.   Also, Marie's not the star, and the supporting female roles tend to sing lower.

Those thoughts are not definitive, I agree.

I've been imagining how beautiful, glamorous and exotic she must have seemed to the typical American of 1929 - somebody who worked for a small wage in a noisy, dirty factory, or who labored on a farm. Movies like this might seem dated and prejudiced to us, but in 1929 they provided a welcome escape from a hard life.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 07:15 PM

Leeneia: Just curious- would you say that my voice is warm too? (quite a lot of people think I'm a mezzo.)


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 07:17 PM

And oh, thanks for the explanation, btw.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 09:39 PM

Yes, I believe it is a rather warm voice. Keep in mind that I haven't heard it a lot, and one can change that by singing in different ways. (I think that's one trait of a person who really loves singing.)

Do you know the singer Judy Collins? Most of her songs are graceful and feminine, but at a concert I heard her sing a song that started "I was a guard at ======= Prison."   It ended with a bellow of "I never would have done to the governor what the governor did to me!" She had explored the things her voice could do.

No. I mean, the different ways she could sing.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 10:09 PM

Thanks, leeneia.


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Subject: RE: Voice type of Marie Wells (Clementina)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM

IA lot of my friends think I sound like MW. Yes, I've heard of Judy Collins.


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