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Le contralto (12)

The Contralto is the lowest female voice category, and one which, in Western classical music, is rarely featured. In opera, it is usually the sopranos and mezzo-sopranos who are treated to the best arias, whilst their Contralto counterparts are relegated to the roles "witches, bitches and britches.” Similarly in sacred music, many of the arias performed by the Contralto, such as those written by Bach and Handel, were actually written for another voice type: the Haute-Contre (High Tenor) or even Castrati. In the world of popular music, by way of contrast, much is made of the Contralto spectrum. Singers such as Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Alicia Keys all exploit the lowest area of the Contralto voice to great effect! We’ve assembled some of our favorites from this rare and rarely-celebrated voice.