The medium male singing voice in opera and non-classical music (although in choir, baritones must either choose the tenor or bass part). Baritones in opera have a range from G2 (the second G below middle C) to G4 (above middle C). This is the most common male voice type.
Sitting between the tenor and bass, the baritone typically plays supporting roles (fathers, older men, servants, friends of the hero) as well as the villain: corrupt legal authorities, evil prison wardens, and other nasty characters. Often teamed with the mezzo-soprano.
Many pop singers and Broadway singers are baritones, although the vocal categories used in opera are not applied to them. Examples include Robert Goulet, Elvis Presley, Mark Salling, Michael Buble, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Morrison, Ringo Starr, Eddie Vedder, John Cougar Mellencamp, David Lee Roth, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Tim Curry, Philip Quast, and Leonard Cohen
According to vocal weight/voice type, baritones are divided into at least four subcategories:
Lyric baritone: a light, mellow voice without the harshness of the dramatic baritones, he usually plays the comic relief. Examples include Thomas Allen, Thomas Hampson, Robert Merrill, Simon Keenlyside, and Nathan Gunn.
Cavalier baritone: a lyric baritone with a strong dramatic edge, albeit not a true dramatic voice. Plays powerful, virile characters. This is not a common voice.
Verdi baritone: Subset of the dramatic baritone, specializing in roles by Giuseppe Verdi; should have strong high notes and lots of squillo ("ping"). Examples include Tito Gobbi, Leonard Warren, Carlos Alvarez, and Dmitry Hvorostovsky.
Dramatic baritone: A powerful, rich, full, sometimes harsh voice reserved for many villains in opera. Examples include Juan Pons, Norman Bailey, and Tom Krause.
Bass-baritone: coming in both lyric and dramatic timbres, this voice combines the depth of the bass with the tessitura of the baritone. Examples include Bryn Terfel, George London, and Hans Hotter.
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