Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Linda Lister

Second Committee Member

Kimberly James

Third Committee Member

Tod Fitzpatrick

Fourth Committee Member

Ambroise Aubrun

Fifth Committee Member

Philip Hubbard

Number of Pages



This document explores light lyric coloratura soprano roles in the French opéra comique genre through an analysis of seven arias and their impact on the development of vocal agility. The opéra comique genre was popular at the beginning of the eighteenth century, but declined to disappear from the stage at the end of the nineteenth century. Despite the opéra comique’s influence on many other vocal genres, the genre is today neglected. Opportunities for singers to improve and practice challenging coloratura in this repertoire are limited. The two most famous arias from the genre which are the Doll Aria and Juliette’s Waltz make the selection of arias in the voice studio repetitive. The disappearance of the genre from the stage took singers away from its large repertoire and limited them on their choice of French operatic arias. This document study poses the following question: How would a revival of neglected French opéra comique arias affect vocal agility practice? The question is answered by presenting a brief history of the opéra comique genre from its creation to its decline. Then, to confer about vocal agility, the author presents a series of exercises from old and modern vocal methods. The purpose is to reconnect singers with the practice of vocal agility and encourage the use of these methods in the repertoire. Finally, seven neglected coloratura arias of the opéra comique genre are analyzed to discuss the synopsis of the opera, character analysis, musical form, and the performance of demanding vocal agility parts. To answer the question at hand, the methodology involved a historical analysis of eighteenth and nineteenth century operatic manuscripts, as well as study of contemporary vocal pedagogy books. Furthermore, vocal pedagogues and musicologists were interviewed throughout the project to offer their insights on the opéra comique genre, the repertoire, and the pedagogy of vocal agility.


Coloratura; French opera; Opera comique; Teaching; Vocal agility; Vocal pedagogy


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Music

File Format


File Size

3500 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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