How Do Opera Singers Hold Their Notes So Long?

Have you ever wondered how opera singers hold their notes for such a long time? If you ask a voice teacher, you are liable to receive answers such as “lung capacity,” “breath support,” or “resonance.” If you perform an internet search, you might get a response like “they squeeze a quarter between their buttocks,” and “fromats.”1 But this is only smoke and mirrors, deliberate misdirection meant to conceal the dastardly hoax being perpetrated on the opera-going public. I mean, if the notes lasted only two or three minutes, these answers, even the quarter squeezing one, might be credible. But if you consider the fact that Lucianello Carreretti routinely holds notes for fifteen minutes at a time, the utter implausibility of these answers should be completely obvious.

In fact, by dint of dangerous and difficult investigation, Ryan Rocifero has revealed the real reason opera singers are capable of such seemingly superhuman achievements: AIR COMPRESSORS.

You read that right: opera singers now have implanted air lines supplying their vocal chords with a continuous stream of air. [Typically, the air is introduced through a valve in one of the heels.] High volume air compressors under the stage provide a supply of air that allows the singers to hold those ear-shattering high notes as long as they like.2 If you don’t believe us, the next time you go to the opera, make sure to sit in the front row. This will give you a chance to watch the air lines as the singers do their stuff.


“Don Giovanni Opera,” by StÃ¥lbogabo. CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

  1. Seriously. These are from real, seemingly serious, websites.
  2. The current record is 27 hours, 15.6 minutes, after which time the singer, Fiorentinella Calvinelli , fell asleep.

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