Ethel Merman Performance Evaluation

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Ethel Merman Ethel Merman was an actress and singer known for her many theatrical performances, especially her role as Rose in Gypsy. I reviewed a performance in which she sang Some People from Gypsy and had several duets with Fred Astaire. This was a quick and comedic performance, that was quite enjoyable to review. I believe that Ethel Merman was a true star shown in her volume, use of air, unique tone quality, posture, diction, and range that all strive towards the typical broadway bold and strong performance. Ethel Merman’s voice could be described as big, broad, and bright. This is due to her use of volume and tone quality. Her high volume is never questioned, in fact, they even joke about it later in their performance. Fred says, “Is that all coming from you?” But I consider her voice to be powerful; she can hit a large range of notes while keep full control of her voice and maintaining beautiful tone quality. The timbre of her voice is bright and sharp. This is due to her use of air. Ethel uses all the air she is given in a positive way, meaning that no extra air escapes and she doesn’t sound breathy. The way that she helps reinforce her timbre is with specific intent. She makes sure that every word she says has an intended meaning and a proper place. This adds to her performance greatly. There isn’t much difference in her singing voice…show more content…
She perfectly balanced the speed of the song with the powerfulness of the meaning of the words. She holds her mouth longwise and drops her jaw. This makes her vowles taller and rounder, versus wider and flatter. The shape of her vowels add to her broadway like style and allows her the speed necessary for the song. Her diphthongs are handled amazingly. In the word “try” she holds out the [a] and the diphthong occurs very fast at the very end of the word

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