Eric Owens, asked his opinion about different classifications -
/Q. I'm curious about the distinction between bass and bass-baritone.
People often use the terms interchangeably. Half of your reviews call
you a bass and half of them say bass-baritone. There's a baritone
singing Wotan [in the San Francisco Opera production of /Das Rheingold/]
right now. And on your recording of Verdi's /Requiem/ your low B sounds
like a bass note to me!/
A. I know. Take a person like James Morris. He still calls himself a
bass and he's sung many a baritone role. Sam Ramey still calls himself a
bass when he could really call himself a bass-baritone. It varies from
person to person. I think there are different colors [between the voice
types]. When I hear James Morris, I hear a bass-baritone because he has
a color that can go both ways.
/Q. Did you hear the Fasolt singing in /Das Rheingold/ right now?/
A. Yes. Andrea Silvestrelli. I mean, that's a bass! Or Like Kurt Moll,
those guys. I don't consider myself one of those kind of basses even
though there's some crossover with the repertoire. Or people like Matti
Salminen or, years ago, Matti Talvela.
/He's the Finnish bass who died fairly young?/
Yes. What a voice that was. Amazingly sweet but really bass-y at the
/But you still do Sarastro and the lower roles. So what you're saying
about your voice settling higher ... /
It doesn't mean that I've lost the bottom.
/So, King Phillip in /Don Carlo/?/
Oh, absolutely, that's a dream role to do, but I would also love to do
Amfortas in /Parsifal/, which is higher. I just have to make sure, when
I do certain roles back to back, that they aren't so incredibly
different from each other. And it suits my personality because I love a
variety of repertoire.
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