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Vocal Ranges 
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Fresh Face
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Post Vocal Ranges
What are the vocal ranges on all of the characters?


Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:41 pm
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Quote:
What are the vocal ranges on all of the characters?


Well, that depends on whether you're doing the Broadway or London score. Here are the ranges as listed in the Broadway script (in most cases it has their highest note only... I'd have to check the score for the other extreme):

Florence: Up to E
Freddie: Up to C (technically a C#, but it's just for an eighth note)
Anatoly: Up to G#
Molokov: Down to F#
Svetlana: (Not listed in the script, but it's similar to Florence's)
Walter: Down to G#
Arbiter: Up to A

Hope that helps! I also know that Anatoly goes a bit higher in the London score... specifically in the Interview - anybody know where he ends up? I want to say it's a B natural, but I could be wrong. It's pretty high, for a mostly baritone role.

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:27 pm
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Freddie's high note in London is a D, but that's only for an eighth note.

Anatoly sings the B natural in The Interview.

And let's not forget Florence's caterwaul in Nobody's side, which takes her to a head-exploding A#.

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Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:22 am
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Tony Winner
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Monsieur D'Arque wrote:
Freddie's high note in London is a D, but that's only for an eighth note.

Anatoly sings the B natural in The Interview.

And let's not forget Florence's caterwaul in Nobody's side, which takes her to a head-exploding A#.


*has vision of Florence blowing up a bird like Fiona in Shrek.*

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Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:48 am
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that stuff in nobodys side isnt written like it sounds in the recent concerts. its as it is in the OBC recording.

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Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:22 am
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I didn't check the London score- the recent concerts and the Danish Complete recording both have the octave jump, so I figured it might have been written in THAT score, since all London-based recordings have included it save the Concept Album.

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"I LOVE incarceration,
I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
Than have her daddy ossify
In my sordid saloon..."


Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:16 am
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Tony Winner
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Monsieur D'Arque wrote:
I didn't check the London score- the recent concerts and the Danish Complete recording both have the octave jump, so I figured it might have been written in THAT score, since all London-based recordings have included it save the Concept Album.


It's not in the printed score. The first I heard it was Emma Kershaw, and everyone's emulated it since. I never liked it.


Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:31 am
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Tony Winner
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^ I like it in theory for what it does musically. But then, it kinda strays from plausibility in terms of the sung-through all "spoken words" as music. In other words, that wail makes the song become a little more of a pop performance than being a character-driven "monologue" IMO.


Just an addition to kaelidancer's detailed post. I asked a similar question on this board and the Chess alumns filled me in. I've also been listening to a few recordings to see how each performer did his/her part. I hope I don't come across as trying to correct her - I just find that the high or low notes don't necessarily give a full description of a tessitura for some of these characters.

Freddie is a rock, high tenor (though I think that's redundant to say. Tenors are supposed to be able to sing easily above an A). His High Cs are not falsetto, and he sings above the staff A LOT. The indication of a High C reflects his tessitura. Similar to Judas in JCS (Murray Head played both roles, as did Zubin Varla.)

Anatoly is a baritone, and most of his singing is in the standard baritone range. But, he does a fair bit of singing above the staff. I'd say more than you'd expect from a baritone. And as kaelidancer said, he's got a Bb (or Monsieur D'Arque says a B. I'd find out if there weren't other people here in the office...) in "The Interview" if that number is done. Anatoly is a baritone with a well-defined baritonal sound but a very strong and flexible upper range.

The Arbiter I'd say is somewhere in between these two characters. In other words, that High A's not a climax note. It indicates his tessitura.


Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:30 am
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Some Freddies, mainly Murray Head (on the cast recording) and Adam Pascal, have hugely dramatic rock tenors.

Others, Zubin Varla comes to mind, follow the Jerome Pradon sound of "I'm so emotionally distraught right now that I've pushed myself out of my vocal range, and these high notes will kill me, but it's GREAT drama."

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"I LOVE incarceration,
I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
Than have her daddy ossify
In my sordid saloon..."


Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:10 pm
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Tony Winner
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Amen on Zubin Varla. For all that I gripe about the London version, I would still love to hear a well-crafted, well-cast studio album of the score as it was played at the Prince Edward Theatre. Neither the Danish Tour nor the London Concert fits that bill for me, partly because of miscast leads, partly because of neutered orchestrations, and partly because of dreary over-production at the hands of Nigel Wright. But that's another topic...


Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:07 pm
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Vichysois wrote:
Freddie is a rock, high tenor (though I think that's redundant to say. Tenors are supposed to be able to sing easily above an A). His High Cs are not falsetto, and he sings above the staff A LOT. The indication of a High C reflects his tessitura. Similar to Judas in JCS (Murray Head played both roles, as did Zubin Varla.)

Anthony Stewart Head (aka Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), who was the second replacement Freddie in London, definitely went into falsetto on his high C, and did some vocal improv with it. Frankly I'm not in love with the move, but it is possible to cast Freddie below a high rock tenor. For an actor who can knock it out of the park otherwise, I'd be quite happy to hear "Pity" taken down as it was in the Swedish version of the show.

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Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:07 pm
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True, and let's not forget how Chess eats voices for breakfast even more than Wicked.

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"I LOVE incarceration,
I could lock up a platoon,
I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
Than have her daddy ossify
In my sordid saloon..."


Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:22 pm
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