Does Vocal Fatigue Negatively Affect Low Vocal Range in Professional, Female Opera Singers? A Survey Study and Single-Subject Pilot Study

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Abstract

Objective: 1. To survey how vocal fatigue manifests itself in the vocal range of a sample of professional, female opera singers. 2. To assess laryngeal videostroboscopic changes of one professional, female opera singer before and after extended operatic singing. Methods: Survey study: 296 professional, female opera singers were recruited to participate in an anonymous research survey querying the temporary impact of vocal fatigue in professional, female opera singers. 46.3% of participants described themselves as singing mainstage roles at large, A-level opera houses. Singers were asked to report where in their vocal range they experienced the effects of vocal fatigue and could choose more than one response. Single-subject study: One professional, female opera singer (the author) underwent two laryngeal videostroboscopic exams pre and post vocal loading. The exams were evaluated and compared independently by two blinded laryngologists. Results: The results of the survey found that 42.9% of the total responses from professional, female opera singers indicated a temporary impact on the lower middle range (≈C4-F4) as a result of vocal fatigue. 36.5% of participants experienced a temporary impact on their lowest range (≈below C4) and 19.6% reported a temporary impact on their higher range due to vocal fatigue. The results of the single-subject study showed reduced glottal closure pattern in the postloading, lower middle range, head voice condition. Conclusions: A large proportion (64.9%) of the professional, female opera singers surveyed reported increased difficulty navigating their lower middle range and/or lowest range after extended operatic singing. These results support the single-subject study, which found that after vocal loading, there was a decrease in glottal competence while singing in head voice in the lower middle range.

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APA

Treinkman, M., & Johns, M. M. (2024). Does Vocal Fatigue Negatively Affect Low Vocal Range in Professional, Female Opera Singers? A Survey Study and Single-Subject Pilot Study. Journal of Voice, 38(3), 688–696. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.12.005

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