How (High) Can You Go?

Episode Air Date: March 24, 2014
Artist: Mado Robin
Recording Title: Manon Lescaut

Put away the crystal stemware… Mado Robin is on the loose.

You’re on the Sound Beat.

Mado Robin was a coloratura soprano. A coloratura’s voice is typically light, agile and, as you can hear quite high. She once hit a D above a double high C, which is not too far off from a dog whistle. 

Here she is as the title character in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, recorded in 1949. You might wonder who hit the highest note in recorded history. That distinction, and Guinness World Record, currently belongs to Adam Lopez, who hit a half step above C in the 8th octave in 2005. Not up on your octaves? That note’s just higher than the highest on a standard piano.

Want to see, and hear, the clip? Check it out here.

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