Magic Choral Trick #146 He Shall Feed His Flock Dame Edna
This is an interesting sound idea to take to a choir, and is useful as a trick for getting a temporarily darker sound.
Since I need to describe this in words, I’d call it a very open throated – but swallowed sound. Although this is the sort of voice we tend to associate with men pretending to speak like women, women can get the same effect by using their low, big girl covered voices. In fact men can use this voice in their lower registers when they’re pretending to be Russian army chorus members – or at least our impression of the stereotypical Russian choir sound.
(Guys – this is for you. Doesn’t get much more butch than this clip of a 1984 Soviet Army parade with overdubbed choir))
The ‘He Shall Feed His Flock’ in the title refers of course to the Alto aria from Handel’s Messiah. When we think of this aria, we tend to hear it in our heads as sung by a big rich fruity voice – like Leontyne Price’s.
And Dame Edna sounds like this:
I’m in no way recommending this high soft palate, sound placed on the roof of the mouth production for extended periods of time – but when appropriate, it can add a lovely rich dark colour to the vocal spectrum of choral sound.