The lowest female voice type is known as the contralto. Contralto singers have the lowest vocal range among female voices and typically possess a rich and deep timbre. Contraltos are relatively rare compared to other female voice types, such as soprano, mezzo-soprano, and alto. They are often sought after for their unique and distinct sound, which adds depth and richness to vocal ensembles and opera productions.
There have been several notable contralto singers throughout history. Here are a few examples:
Marian Anderson: An American contralto and one of the most celebrated classical singers of the 20th century. She was known for her powerful and expressive voice, and her career played a significant role in breaking racial barriers in the opera world.
Kathleen Ferrier: A British contralto who achieved international acclaim in the mid-20th century. She had a warm and resonant voice, and her interpretations of German lieder and English art songs were particularly renowned.
Ewa Podleś: A Polish contralto known for her dramatic and powerful voice. She has performed in leading opera houses around the world, specializing in roles such as Amneris in Verdi’s “Aida” and the title role in Handel’s “Giulio Cesare.”
Nathalie Stutzmann: A French contralto who has transitioned from a successful career as a mezzo-soprano to performing primarily as a conductor. Her voice is characterized by its depth and richness, and she has recorded a wide range of repertoire.
Sonia Prina: An Italian contralto who has gained recognition for her performances in Baroque and early classical music. She is known for her agile and virtuosic singing, as well as her interpretation of male roles in Baroque operas.