The Vocal Techniques Used to Sing Mozart's Compositions

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Young classical singers who are in school for operatic training, are required most of the time to work on Mozart. Mozart wrote melodic lines that require a certain amount of precision and technique. A lot of opera companies and summer training programs require singers to sing Mozart repertoire because it leaves their voice “naked” and allows the panel to hear the vulnerability and technical ability of the voice. Many voice teachers heavily insist that singers “master” certain Mozart arias because it allows them to gain proper technique needed to help them arias by other composers as well. His melodic phrases are so well written and require a singer to be able to sustain the melodic lines with a certain technical consistency throughout the entire aria. Through his repertoire, Mozart enables and basically “forces” a singer to become a well-rounded technical singer. For example, many of Mozart’s soubrette arias require notes that are generally lower than an average lyric soprano goes and this, in turn, requires sopranos to develop a solid foundation of chest voice. For a soprano to have a good chest voice, this makes them more appealing to hiring opera professionals. Otherwise, a soprano’s low register would sound very hollow and have no rich, depth to it. For example, Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute demands a wide vocal range from the coloratura soprano who is singing it. 

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The high F’s of this aria, require a singer to develop a wide and sustainable vocal range and precision of the night notes of the upper, coloratura register. If a Mozart aria is sung poorly and without the proper technique necessary, this will not lead to a favorable audition outcome for the singer. Mozart created his various characters with specific, real people in mind, so it is not hard for a singer to relate to one of these roles. Showing an understanding of the character development of a Mozart role is essential in showing professionals of the opera world that we are well prepared and have a good understanding of the plot. Another example of a Mozart opera that is appropriate and essential to the development of a young soprano is the mezzo-soprano aria “Voi che sapete” from Le Nozze di Figaro. This aria is a showpiece for the younger female voice. It requires a lot of technical ability because the melodic line sits in the passagio of the voice. The orchestration of the piece is light which allows for a younger, lighter female voice to be heard well. The character itself, Cherubino, is a dynamic role which offers the singer to delve into different acting opportunities and leaves the singing-actor with plenty of room for interpretation and creativity.

To sum up my argument, I would like to say that there a myriad of reasons in which I and arguably, many people think that Mozart is one of the most if not the most skilled vocal composer of his generation and perhaps in all of music history. In my research, there is no other composer that comes nearly as close to Mozart at being the best and most accommodating composer for the voice. His vast training throughout his childhood with his father and his prodigy of a sister and through his early vocal training as a boy soprano with the famous castrato Giovanni Manzuoli with whom he studied for many years, made Mozart one of the most prolific composers of opera and vocal music alike. His influence from his composer and librettist colleagues made Mozart not only a more skilled, but a well-rounded composer

His understanding of the proper vocal technique needed to sing arias well and healthily, is among one of the many reasons why he is such a go to composer for singers of today and yesterday. To sing Mozart well, is to sing almost any other vocal genre well. Once a singer has master this Mozartian style and technique, they are able to audition confidently and sing other repertoire confidently. Mozart’s substantial knowledge of vast array of human emotions, lets singers play with different characteristics of a particular role/plot. Mozart’s readiness adjust any part of a melodic phrase in an aria for a singer, is why he was able to write so many different roles for so many different voice types. Singers today now have their choice of the vast array of roles which fit their fach “perfectly”. Many composers of his day had little experience working firsthand with singers or had little to no vocal training, so they were not as gifted when writing pieces of vocal music. These composer’s works can strain a young singers voice instead of helping it grow and develop with the proper technique and support it needs for a singer to be successful. All of these different experiences of which Mozart had, shaped to be the profound vocal writer he is known to be, to this very day.

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