Last weekend I went of to Bristol to sing Mozart's Requiem with only a few hours rehearsal time. Now, normally I'm a soprano but, since I had a cold and knowing how high this piece went, I decided to take the alto part. Having sung this piece before as a soprano, it was really interesting to see the differences between the two parts.
People often make the mistake of thinking that its easier to sing soprano than alto because you have the tune. Whilst this may be true with some music, its not the case with Mozart's Requiem! For a start the 'tune' moves around the parts, and then you have notes which 2nd sopranos will find hard to reach. This is why when you pick parts it is important to consider your range as the main factor in your choice. When I was younger I was an alto for sure and yet, as an older child, I was told that I had to sing soprano in a production of Joseph which I'd joined. The result was that I ended up being told to sing higher all the time as I had problems with the tops notes- not a pleasant experience at all! So, what do you do when you're clearly a second soprano and you're faced with something like Mozart's Requiem where you havea choice of medium-high soprano or medium to low alto? Well, the answer is that its not easy and I'm afraid I don't actually have the solution. Anyone else got any tips?