Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 452. Saturday, 24 July 1993.
From: Steve Urkowitz <
Date: Friday, 23 Jul 93 19:19:02 EDT
Subject: 4.0443 Re: Boys Playing Women
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0443 Re: Boys Playing Women
Some further thoughts about boys or men playing women, and vocal qualities.
Male singers who sing counter-tenor parts, not monstrously but with real
strength, work in the range of female "traditional" alto and sometimes soprano
ranges. Though I had worked with such singers for many years, I didn't ever
think about them speaking. Then a few years ago I saw the Cheek By Jowl
all-male company playing As You Like It. The actor playing Rosalind
cultivated the higher ranges of his voice, and he sounded -- but more
important, I guess, also acted -- convincingly female. Hmmm . . . . is but
thinking makes it so. "Twas a wonderful production, thrilling vocally, and
many occasional songs were performed a cappella by the company together wi'
lots of singers working in their falsetto ranges. Those sounds were deeply
contrasted with the "natural" alto ranges of the actor playing Rosalind. So
there are lots of different ways to achieve those effects, some comic, others
as ever, Steve Urkowitz "who can sing both high and low . . ."