Most clients just ask if I’m a soprano, but I have had a few specifically ask for a coloratura soprano. I want to talk about what one is and how to hire one, or become one if you want!
What is a Coloratura Soprano?
A Coloratura Soprano is a singer who sings with a lot of runs and riffs, who is also obviously a soprano. It’s more of an opera term, but Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande would probably fall into this category.
Kathleen Battle is a phenomenal opera singer and you should definitely check her out! Even if you’re not an opera person, you’ll appreciate her instrument and her craft. My mother has been a huge fan of her for years so I grew up listening to her at home. If you aren’t sure where to start, this is one of my faves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veiU3CBwAps
So, what makes someone a Coloratura Soprano?
Nothing, really. There’s no distinct way to tell, and it’s mostly opinion. It’s not like “if you hit x many notes in y amount of time, you’re a Coloratura.” That’s the thing with a lot of musical terms: they’re somewhat debatable. That is the most important thing to remember, honestly. Wikipedia defines a Coloratura range as “middle C (C4) to high F (F6).” However, if you can only get to an E5, I think you can still use this term and get away with it.
So let’s say you’re looking for a Coloratura Soprano, and you contact me to ask if I am one or can do this for you. I would probably say no (I’m not an opera singer) but you might be looking for someone more like Mariah than Kathleen. This is when it’s important to be specific! What style is the song? What are the note ranges? Are you looking for a lot of runs and adlibs or insanely high notes?
How do I become a Coloratura Soprano?
Through looooots of dedication and hard work. Even if you have a natural ability, you’ll need to build up your core, breathing, strength, and pitch. Find a voice teacher or coach in your area. Bring them your goals and work diligently. After that, you’ll start to build a reel (basically just previous samples of your work) and you can put them online. People will notice and want to work with you, and you can let them know your services and terms.
I know this seems vague, but there really isn’t a set or specific “way” to become a professional singer. There are many ways to do it and many directions to take. You can contact me if you have specific questions about it and I’d be happy to point you in a direction toward your specific goal!