Tuesday, February 28, 2017


 My wife and I have been attending the Saturday Live from the Met series at the State Theater in Traverse City, Michigan. One of the intermission features is an interview with the cast.

During the course of his interview last weekend, Eric Owens, who played the Water Gnome in Dvorak’s Rusalka, said something like this: “I once auditioned for a role even though it was barely in my fa.” Neither of us had heard the term before.

It turns out that it’s spelled fach, and it’s a German word meaning classification, specialty, or category. In the 19th century, to make auditions and casting more efficient, German opera houses created a system of distinct voice categories, called the Fach System.

Each singer was assigned to a category (traditionally, there are 25 of them), and each role in every opera was tagged with a category. It prevented the frustration of auditioning for a role not in your voice range, and it gave the casting director access to precisely the voice ranges that he or she needed.

For the uninitiated, here is an understandable explanation of the Fach System:     https://www.ipasource.com/the-fach-system

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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