Trans Beauty: Vocal Edition, Part One
November 10, 2011 § 4 Comments
With a huge hats off to Practical Androgyny for their post on androgynous sounds in speech and singing, I thought it was time to roll up my sleeves and tackle the most beautiful of all beautiful things – voices. Maybe the DSM would class it as some kind of musical autogynephilia but, for me, there’s nothing on earth as sexy as the human voice.
Before we proceed – I’m not going start with the voices of trans people (that means you have to come back for part two). I thought, rather, to begin with an introduction to the fact that, contrary to what a very foolish society claims, there is no gender binary in the voice. We sing over it all the time. All the time. Do trust me on this – I know whereof I speak. On average the voice of someone who has been through a testosterone-laden puberty will be capable of lower notes than someone who hasn’t – and vice versa. On average. And the size of the chords is only one factor in what gives each each voice its unique flavour.
I think nothing illustrates this fact quite so spectacularly as my classical speciality – the high male/androgynous role. Doesn’t matter what sex or gender you are, so long as you can make a convincing poet/god/hero/prince/musician/knight/page (or look soulful for the religious music) whilst keeping your sound spinning over a broad and shining range.
So, please enjoy the delights of Marijana Mijanovic…
And Yuri Minenko.
And have a lovely long look at the work being done by Vivaldi’s Women – where the talents of female tenors, baritones and basses are celebrated rather than ignored.
Oh, and a bit of an exciting P.S. – I’m the only openly trans classical singer I know of working professionally at the moment, but I know a handful in training at the moment. Excitement!