Getting High E into Shape

A few years ago, Mozart’s (concert) aria “Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio!” was one of my recital pieces.  The tessitura is quite high, meandering around E5, and there are three high E’s (E6) toward the end of the A section.  Other parts of my voice are stronger now than in my UCSD days, but I don’t think I have the E6 lined up well enough to sing “Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio” tomorrow if needed.  Here is the excellent Diana Damrau convincing us that this piece is easy to sing (with text following at the end of the post).

My recent repertoire has mainly extended to D6 (“Obeissons quand leur voix appelle” and “Willow Song”), which is quite comfortable and no longer nerve-wracking.  There’s an optional Eb6 in the final cadenza of “Oh! quante volte,” but I only include it in my practicing and have not used it in an audition or competition yet.  There are practice sessions when the Eb is easily accessed, but it’s not quite consistent yet.  Since my repertoire hasn’t required an E6, I do not routinely sing up there or warm up to E6 or F6.  That’s changing though, because I want “Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio!” back in my active repertoire.  Plus, I want to do “Glitter and be Gay”, and I also plan on reviving “Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln” – both of which are E6-happy.

I started vocalizing up to F6 during BASOTI and will continue to do so.  E6 and F6 don’t always sound great, and they haven’t gotten all the overtones ringing yet – but it is easier now than it was a month ago.  Although my recent technique is vastly different compared to the technique I used when I sang “Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio!,” those high notes must still be inside me.  Let’s say they’ve been taking it easy and having a few too many relaxing drinks by the pool; it’s time to whip them into shape so they look good, feel good, and know to show up on-time, every time.

I’m going to give myself until the end of Fall semester to get the E where I want it and at least one of these E6 pieces ready.

text for Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio!

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!
Qual è l’affanno mio;
Ma mi condanna il fato
A piangere e tacer.
Arder non pù il mio core
Per chi vorrebbe amore
E fa che cruda io sembri,
Un barbaro dover.
 
Ah conte, partite,
Correte, fuggite
Lontano da me;
La vostra diletta
Emilia v’aspetta,
Languir non la fate,
È degna d’amor.
 
Ah stelle spietate!
Nemiche mi siete.
Mi perdo s’ei resta.
Partite, correte,
D’amor non parlate,
È vostro il suo cor.
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