The Tenor Voice

tenorThe tenor is a type of male singing voice and is typically the highest male voice within the modal register. It is the arguably the most recognisable of the operatic voices and has gained huge popularity in recent years. Although more often used in terms of classical singing, the ‘tenor range’ applies to all male voice types capable of singing in the higher registers.

There are a number of classifications of the tenor voice, but the most famous and popular singers today fall into one of three categories:

Lyric Tenor: A warm graceful voice with a bright, full timbre that is strong but not heavy and can be heard over an orchestra. John McCormack and Luciano Pavarotti are excellent examples of the lyric tenor.

Spinto Tenor:
This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a darker timbre and more ‘weight’. Placido Domingo and Franco Corelli are two outstanding exponents.

Dramatic Tenor:
A powerful and emotive voice; full of drama and heroic verve. The great Enrico Caruso springs most readily to mind.

I am fortunate enough to find myself in the lyric tenor camp. However, being in such illustrious company (metaphorically speaking) certainly keeps you on your toes and constant practice and continued training are essential to maintain the voice.

The description I like best was given by Mark Elder in the BBC documentary ‘What Makes a Great Tenor?’ He said the lyric tenor voice should be so smooth that it is like squeezing out a perfect line of toothpaste from a tube!

Brendan offers a variety of Tenor related services:

Wedding Music Samples


Religious songs:

Ava Maria:
Panis Angelicus  

Secular songs:

Have I Told You Lately:
Love Changes Everything:

To hear more examples of Brendan's singing, visit the Wedding Music Sample page.

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