Modern Bass Roles

mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:40pm
Can you think of any roles in any show that was written post-2000 that would be categorized as a bass? It seems to me that the low male voice, which I always thought sounded nicest, is going out of style.
You taste the silver Sara, you taste the crown, you thirst for blood from the roses in hand, oh you spoil for sash and scepter doing a dance, as they crown you queen of High School Land.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:47pm
I think it's hard to think of roles that are genuine bass roles prior to 1970--if not earlier. As a bass myself, I always found it frustrating (especially as I come from a dance background, and there are even fewer dance heavy roles that are bass.)
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:48pm
It's a real problem for us. Pop music has greatly influenced musical theatre, and pop is generally of a high tessa tura with a dependence on money notes in the A and B range. Forget good bass roles - there is a shortage of good BARITONE roles.
Jdsnyder88
Swing
joined:7/4/11
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:53pm
Nick Massi in Jersey Boys.
Swing
joined:12/31/69
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/16/13 at 06:36pm
They're few and far between. It's too bad too, as I also find it the most pleasant voice type.

I honestly cannot think of any at the moment.
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 09:13am
Funny thing about Nick Massi in Jersey Boys is that although he's the bass of The Four Seasons, their music is very high and I think it's more of a high baritone role.

Javert is very much a baritone role, although the tessa tura is a little high, and many tenors have played the part.

Leon Czolgosz in Assassins...oh wait, that's from the nineties...and Javert is from the eighties...well there's Newt Lee in Parade, I guess, who has like one half a song.

Updated On: 12/17/13 at 09:13 AM
latitudex1
Featured Actor
joined:7/9/08
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 10:24am
Shoot, at the places where you can find new material from young composers, like Repertwa.com and NewMusicalTheatre.com, there's not even "Bass" categories. The lowest voice type at those sites is "Baritone."
cknick
Understudy
joined:5/9/13
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 10:42am
...and even "baritone" roles are more tenor than bari. Modern musical theatre requires men to look like Abercrombie models and whine like Justin Bieber. Very sad really.

Updated On: 12/17/13 at 10:42 AM
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 04:23pm
I think the issue is also a reflection of what modern audiences expect a "romantic leading man" to be. It used to be, say, Billy Bigelow, a very "manly" guy played by "manly" actors like John Raitt. But now women don't want men with masculine low notes, they want boys with girly high notes. I mean, I love tenors, but not every male song needs to be for high voices.

Updated On: 12/17/13 at 04:23 PM
mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 07:40pm
I feel that the 80's were a pretty good time for baritones, but the bass has been out of style for 50+ years. Really the only true bass role I can think of is Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet, but he isn't even singing original music, and he also has to go pretty high.
You taste the silver Sara, you taste the crown, you thirst for blood from the roses in hand, oh you spoil for sash and scepter doing a dance, as they crown you queen of High School Land.
gleek4114
Broadway Star
joined:5/24/13
Modern Bass Roles
Posted: 12/17/13 at 08:30pm
I fell like Ivan from Women on the Verge is a Bass voice type. But that's just my opinion. I am also a baritone so I really hope this won't become the norm for mor than about 10 years.

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