In [[TheMusical modern musical theatre]], just as in {{Opera}} before it, certain types of roles are commonly associated with certain vocal ranges. While these vocal range cliches differ depending on the style of the show (more rock- or pop-oriented musicals lean toward tenors and alto/mezzo belters across the board), these generally seem to hold up pretty strong. Most of these associations do indeed stem from similar associations in opera, and especially in operetta, which is where American musicals developed from in the first place.

NOTE: Under notable roles, try to limit entries to roles that are generally agreed to be said voice parts. Roles with very contested ranges should be kept to a minimum.
!!Voice Types and Examples:


[[folder: Soprano]]
'''Sopranos''' are almost always TheIngenue and/or SatelliteLoveInterest and/or PurityPersonified (''[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant not]]'' characters from [[Series/TheSopranos the series of the same name]]). When they're not, they're still more often than not the romantic lead, and commonly also a DefrostingIceQueen like Sarah Brown in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' or Marion Paroo in ''Theatre/TheMusicMan''.

In opera, it is common that the main protagonist is a soprano, whereas supporting characters (friendly or antagonistic to the protagonist) are mezzo-sopranos or altos. A notable exception is ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'', by Bizet, where the main character, the sensual and volatile Carmen, is a mezzo-soprano, her best friends are a soprano and a mezzo, and her "antagonist", the sweet and pure Micaëla, is a soprano, playing with these voice characterizations. On the other hand, in Turandot, by Puccini, the ruthless princess Turandot is a soprano, and sweet, loyal Liu is a mezzo.

Sopranos are also much rarer in rock musicals, because most rock music is not written for soprano vocalists. That is not to say, however, that all soprano roles are written for non-belters; parts in more contemporary musicals that fall within the soprano range, such as Eliza in ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'', are often belted.

Other notable soprano roles:
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'':
** Christine Daae, in both musical adaptations of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''.
** Carlotta is a soprano too, though more of the Viking-helmet opera type.
* Johanna in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''
* Maria from ''Theatre/WestSideStory''
* Rapunzel and Cinderella in ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods''
* Cosette in ''Theatre/LesMiserables''
* Anne Egerman in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''
* Rosa Bud in ''Theatre/{{Drood}}''
* Julie Jordan and Carrie in ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}''
* Philia in ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum''
* Penelope Pennywise from ''Theatre/{{Urinetown}}'' is a rare character actress variant.
* Guido's mother in ''Theatre/NineMusical''
* Glinda in ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. Creator/KristinChenoweth (who originated the role) specializes in high-pitched singing with her "Cheno Notes".
* Laurey in ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}''. Ado Annie can be played by one as well, but she can also be a mezzo.
* Miss Dorothy in ''Film/ThoroughlyModernMillie''.
* As mentioned above, Sarah in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' and Marian in ''Theatre/TheMusicMan''.
* Beth in ''Merrily We Roll Along''.
* Sarah in ''Literature/{{Ragtime}}''.
* Cinderella in ''Film/{{Cinderella}}''. Although the role has been transposed lower for "belt" style voices, it was originated by and intended for a soprano, both in film and on-stage in its 2013 Broadway adaptation.
* Phoebe (coloratura soprano) in ''Theatre/AGentlemansGuideToLoveAndMurder''.
* Ariel in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''
* Amalia Balash in ''Theatre/SheLovesMe''.
* Rosabella in ''Theatre/TheMostHappyFella''.
* Sophie in ''Theatre/MammaMia''.
* Anna Leonowens and Tuptim in ''Theatre/TheKingAndI''.
* Eliza in ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}''.
* Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and Mary Barrie in Finding Neverland.
* Lili Daurier in Carnival!
* Lily in ''Theatre/TheSecretGarden''.
* Hope Harcourt in ''Theatre/AnythingGoes''.
* Young Allison Bechdel in ''Theatre/FunHome''
* Anastasia in ''Theatre/{{Anastasia}}''.
* Elisabeth/Sisi in ''Theatre/{{Elisabeth}}''.
* Sarah in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire''.

'''Mezzo-sopranos''', being in the most common vocal register for women, come in a wide variety of types. They can be a wide range of ages, although female characters over fifty tend to be altos more often than mezzos. The majority of mezzo singing, especially nowadays, is belting, and as such mezzos are especially common in pop- or rock-oriented musicals. Just as the leads in most operas are sopranos, the secondary female characters (commonly referred to as "witches, bitches and britches (cross-dressing roles)") are generally mezzos; this is not uncommon in modern musicals, where frequently the soprano will be the main love interest, and the mezzo her best friend or rival, a la Cosette and Eponine in ''Theatre/LesMiserables''. Also referred to in many productions as a "Belt" voice, for someone who can strongly sing passages in the middle and high register in her chest voice (rather than the soprano's lighter head voice.) Elphaba from ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' is prime example of this.

Other famous mezzo-soprano roles:
* The eponymous role in ''Music/{{Evita}}''
* Fantine, Madame Thenardier, and as previously mentioned, Eponine in ''Theatre/LesMiserables''
* The Baker's Wife, The Witch, Little Red (and the rest of the female cast, except for Cinderella and Rapunzel) in ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods''
* Florence Vassey and Svetlana Sergievsky in ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''
* Elphaba in ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''
* Hope Cladwell and Little Sally in ''Theatre/{{Urinetown}}''
* Dot/Marie in ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge''
* Kim and Ellen in ''Theatre/MissSaigon''
* Carla Albanese and Lilliane la Fleur in ''Theatre/NineMusical''
* Mary and Gussie in ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong''
* The [[GenderBender eponymous role]] in ''Theatre/{{Drood}}''
* Petra and Charlotte in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''
* Lucille Frank in ''Theatre/{{Parade}}''
* Diana and Natalie in ''Theatre/NextToNormal''
* Aldonza in ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha''
* Madame Giry and Meg Giry in ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''
* Both Sarah and Magda in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire'', though both have been played by sopranos.
* Rosemary, Hedy, Smitty and all of the girls in ''Theatre/HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying''.
* The girls in ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'': Mimi, Maureen, and Joanne.
* Adelaide in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls''
* Millie in ''Theatre/ThoroughlyModernMillie''.
* Fanny Brice in ''Theatre/FunnyGirl''
* Belle in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''
* Mrs. Lovett in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''
* Oolie/Donna, Alaura/Carla, and Mallory/Avril in ''Theatre/CityOfAngels''.
* Mother, Emma Goldman in ''Literature/{{Ragtime}}''.
* Nettie in ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}''.
* Sibella in ''Theatre/AGentlemansGuideToLoveAndMurder''.
* Mary Poppins in ''Film/MaryPoppins'' but the role can and has been played by a Soprano, as it goes up to a high C.
* Louise in ''Theatre/{{Gypsy}}''.
* Lady Thiang in ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'' but the role can be played by an Alto.
* Angelica in ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}''.
* Esmeralda in the ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''.
* Martha in ''Theatre/TheSecretGarden''.
* Nabalungi in ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon''.
* Reno Sweeney in ''Theatre/AnythingGoes''.
* Peggy Sawyer in ''42nd Street'' but the Role can be played by a high soprano as well.
* All of the females in ''Theatre/{{Heathers}}'' are generally mezzo-sopranos, though Heather McNamara and Martha are sometimes classified as sopranos, and Veronica is sometimes classified as an alto.

'''Altos''' or '''Contraltos''' are the lowest female singers commonly heard. Unlike their male counterparts the basses, however, roles for altos are a bit more common, especially in rock musicals. In more traditional pieces, altos are frequently middle-aged leading women, though some of those are mezzos as well. The only role demographic altos have a firm hold over is for women over sixty - which in most shows means grandmothers like Mme. Armfeldt in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic'' or Gran in ''Film/BillyElliot''. In the rare case that there is a female villain in a show, [[EvilSoundsDeep she will probably be]] [[AltoVillainess an alto.]]

Other famous alto roles:
* Sally Bowles ''and'' Fraulein Schneider in ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''
* Mama Rose in ''Theatre/{{Gypsy}}''
* Dolly Gallagher Levi in ''Theatre/HelloDolly'' Dolly sings so low that it is often joked that the role was written for a basso profundo.
* The female cast of ''Theatre/PassingStrange''
* Luisa Contini and Sarraghina in ''Theatre/NineMusical''
* Ilse in ''Theatre/SpringAwakening''
* Mrs. Johnstone in ''Theatre/BloodBrothers''
* Princess Puffer in ''Theatre/{{Drood}}''
* Rebecca in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire''.
* In addition to Mme Armfeldt, Desiree in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''.
* Joanne in ''Theatre/{{Company}}''
* Mrs. Meers and Muzzy in ''Theatre/ThoroughlyModernMillie''.
* Aunt Eller in ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'' verges on female tenor, which is strikingly rare in any choral type but especially so in musical theater.
* Vera Charles in ''Mame''.
* ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'': If a woman plays Pirelli, she falls in the contralto/female tenor range. Also, as stated above, Mrs. Lovett is usually a Mezzo (such as when played by original actress Angela Lansbury), but she can also be an Alto (the most noticeable example being when she was played by Creator/HelenaBonhamCarter).
* Madame Morrible from ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' is a contralto, and in "Thank Goodness" gets a ''very'' low note.
* Mary Magdalene in ''Music/JesusChristSuperstar.''
* Bobbi/Gabby in ''Theatre/CityOfAngels''. One of the few love-interest contralto roles (she has a low d-flat on the cast recording!)
* [[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Agent Clarice Starling]] from [[SilenceTheMusical Silence! The Musical]]
* Mrs Du Maurier in Finding Neverland
* Morticia Addams from ''Theatre/TheAddamsFamily'' Musical.
* Middle Allison and Allison from Theatre/FunHome, but Middle Allison has some rather high notes.
* Ilona Ritter in ''Theatre/SheLovesMe''.
* The Dowager Empress in ''Anastasia''.

'''Counter-Tenors''', also known as falsettists, are men who sing in their falsetto register, allowing them to enter the rarefied pitch-sphere normally reserved for women singers. Counter-tenor roles are rare outside of gospel and classical European opera-- most operatic counter-tenor roles were originally sung by '''castrati''' but are now performed by counter-tenors, women, or the very rare male sopranos, also known as sopranists (such as Michael Maniaci). Castrati were in fact not counter-tenors because they sang in the modal voice rather than the falsetto. For the same reason, prepubescent boys who sing in a high range are not called countertenors, but rather boy sopranos or trebles.

* Mary Sunshine from ''Theatre/{{Chicago}}'' is the only true counter-tenor role in the common musical theatre canon. Played by a man in drag singing soprano, it's often played by a woman in amateur productions due to the difficulty of finding men who can sing that high.

'''Tenors''' are mostly good guys, and mostly leading men or ingenues--hence the TenorBoy trope. There are a couple of villainous tenors, such as Pirelli in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', the Duke of Mantua in ''Theatre/{{Rigoletto}}'', and John Jasper in ''Theatre/{{Drood}}''. There are also a few character tenors, such as Sancho in ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha'' and Nicely-Nicely Johnson in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls''. Because most people's voices deepen as they age, there are few tenor roles for men over forty, although Jean Valjean from ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', one of the rangiest tenor roles in popular musical canon, is usually played by a middle-aged man.

Other famous tenor roles:
* The eponymous role in 'Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' The [[Creator/AndrewLloydWebber Webber]] version and Raoul
* Frederick Trumper in ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''
* Tony in ''Theatre/WestSideStory''
* Quasimodo in the ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', ''even more'' so in the stage version
** Phoebus is a tenor too, though he does not go as high.
* Frankie Epps, Jim Conley, Britt Craig, and generally half the cast of ''Theatre/{{Parade}}''
* Bobby Strong in ''Theatre/{{Urinetown}}''
* Roger and Angel in ''Theatre/{{Rent}}''
* Gabe Goodman in ''Theatre/NextToNormal''
* The eponymous character and the Leading Player (if played by a man) in ''Theatre/{{Pippin}}''
* Henrik Egerman in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''
* George(s) in ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge''
* In addition to Pirelli, Tobias and the Beadle in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''.
* Jonathan Harker in any and all musical adaptations of ''{{Dracula}}''
* Moritz, Georg, and Otto in ''Theatre/SpringAwakening''
* Che in ''Theatre/{{Evita}}''
* Chris, Thuy, and John in ''Theatre/MissSaigon''
* The Padre from ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha''
* C.B. in ''Theatre/StarlightExpress''. Starts off appearing to fit the male-ingenue standard, but that impression quickly, um, [[PsychoForHire fades]].
* Jesus in ''Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar'' and ''{{Theatre/Godspell}}'', unsurprisingly. Judas in ''JCS'', surprisingly.
** Annas is also a tenor, even though he sings high enough to be mistaken for a counter-tenor by some people.
* Giuseppe Zangara and the Balladeer in ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}''
* Jimmy in ''ThoroughlyModernMillie''.
* Elders Price, Cunningham, and [=McKinley=] in ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon''.
* Jimmy Powers in ''Theatre/CityOfAngels''
* King George and Philip Hamilton/John Laurens in ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}''.
* J.M Barrie in ''Finding Neverland''.
* Dickon in ''Theatre/TheSecretGarden''.
* Billy and Moonface Martin in ''Theatre/AnythingGoes''.
* Steven Kodaly and Arpad Laszlo in ''Theatre/SheLovesMe''.
* Most of the newsies in "Theatre/{{Newsies}}".
* Death, Franz Joseph, and Rudolf in ''Theatre/{{Elisabeth}}'' are all tenors, with varying degrees of heroism/wide-eyed-ness/obliviousness depending on the production.
* Alfred in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire'' is an idealistic TenorBoy. [[spoiler: Until he's bitten.]]

'''Baritones''', like their female counterpart, the mezzos, come in all shapes and sizes. They are common for leading men, villains, and character parts. There are even a few ingenues, or at least roles for young men, in the baritone range, such as Arpad in ''She Loves Me'', and Anthony in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''. Because it is range shared by many singers, there are many subtypes of baritone roles. Villains and leading men in heavier pieces are frequently dramatic baritones, whereas character types are comic baritones, and younger characters or characters in lighter shows are lyric baritones. Because it is the most common male vocal register, the voice can also have an "everyman" implication, and such roles are frequently baritones.

Other famous baritone roles:
* Don Quixote in ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha''
* InspectorJavert and Thenardier in ''Theatre/LesMiserables''
** [[TheCynic Grantaire]] has the deepest voice out of Les Amis, which makes sense since he is decidedly ''not'' a TenorBoy.
* The eponymous role in the Yeston/Kopit version of ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', and ironically also Raoul can be played by one.
* Billy Bigelow in ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}''
* The male leads of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' prove how diverse baritone roles can be (Beast, Gaston, Lumiere, Maurice, etc.)
* Ditto the the male leads of ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' (The Baker, The Princes, The Narrator/Mysterious Man)
* Graf von Krolock in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire'' is the dramatic type; Chagal in the same show is a character baritone. Krolock's son Herbert is a low tenor/high baritone in the Webber!Phantom range.
* Tevye in ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''
* Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit in ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls''
* Pseudolus in ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum''
* Mark from ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'', although he does break into the tenor range occasionally.
** Same with Benny and Collins. All three could be described as baritenors, although Collins does need a solid low range.
* Much like Mark from ''Rent'', Melchior from ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'' is mostly a baritone that occasionally breaks into the tenor range, such as in his solo in "Mirror-Blue Night."
** Hanschen is a straight-up baritone, though.
* Coalhouse Walker Jr. in ''Literature/{{Ragtime}}''
* The Emcee in ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}'', though this one can go all over the place.
* Henry Higgins in ''Theatre/MyFairLady'', which can also vary because Henry Higgins' lines can be spoken as easily as sung.
* Anatoly Sergievsky in ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''.
* Mr. Graydon in ''ThoroughlyModernMillie''.
* Guido Contini in ''Theatre/NineMusical''.
* Billy Flynn in ''Theatre/{{Chicago}}''.
* Stine (high baritone), Stone, Buddy/Irwin, and Munoz/Pancho in ''Theatre/CityOfAngels''
* Citizen Chauvelin in ''Theatre/TheScarletPimpernel''.
* Monty Navarro and all eight of the D'Ysquith family as played by the same actor in ''Theatre/AGentlemansGuideToLoveAndMurder''.
* The Prince in ''Film/{{Cinderella}}''
* Mafala Hatimbi in ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon''.
* The King of Siam in ''Theatre/TheKingAndI''.
* Paul Berthalet, Marco, and all other male roles in Carnival!
* Archibald Craven in ''Theatre/TheSecretGarden''.
* Georg Nowack and Mr. Maraczek in ''Theatre/SheLovesMe''.
* Captain Georg von Tropp in ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic''

'''Bass-baritones''' are either low baritones or high basses. They are often held to many of the same tropes as basses (see below), but are more common and likely to be a major role due to the fact true basses are rare. These roles are written with the darker sound in mind, but can be expected to sing as high as a baritenor at times. An example of this Officer Lockstock from ''Theatre/{{Urinetown}}' who is required to sing a solid high G and has an optional A above that, yet is still expected to have a solid low range. Bass-baritone roles are common features in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including the Pirate King from ''Theatre/{{PiratesOfPenzance}}'' and Dick Dead-Eye from ''Theatre/{{HMSPinafore}}''.

* Officer Lockstock in ''Theatre/{{Urinetown}}''
* Alexander Molokov from ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''.
* The eponymous role in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''
* Jud Fry in ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}''
* Bill Sykes in ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}''
* Audrey II in ''Theatre/{{LittleShopOfHorrors}}''
* Mack Sennett in ''MackAndMabel''
* Scar and Mufasa in ''Theatre/TheLionKing''
* The Wazir from ''Kismet''.

'''Basses''' are very rare in modern musical theatre, chiefly because there are few vocalists who have sufficient volume at those low registers. Because of the unique qualities of the sound, most bass roles are [[EvilSoundsDeep villains]] and/or authority figures, and in either case older men. The most notable exceptions to this are Emile de Becque of ''Theatre/SouthPacific'', who is the romantic lead (though still middle-aged), and Joe of ''Show Boat'', who is the [[MagicalNegro wise old black man]]. Otherwise, bass roles are few and far between, and it is more likely to find bass soloists from the ensemble rather than bass leads. BassoProfundo is when someone has a very low voice ''even when compared to other basses''.

Other famous bass roles:

* Judge Turpin in ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''
* Caiaphas in ''Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar''
* Leon Czolgosz and the Proprietor in ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}''
* The Innkeeper in ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha''
* Walter de Courcey (if he's not a tenor) in ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''.
* The Boatman from ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge''
* Frollo in ''The Hunchback of Notre Dame''
* Lurch in ''Theatre/TheAddamsFamily''

There are many who also use the term ''baritenor'' which is an informal use to describe the high baritone roles that are increasingly common in modern musical theatre, such as Marius and Enjolras in ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', Bobby in ''Theatre/{{Company}}'', or The Phantom and Raoul in ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''.


!!'''Usage outside standard musical theatre''':

* The opera sequence from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' features two male characters: the heroic tenor Draco and the villainous [[EvilSoundsDeep bass]] Prince Ralse.
* The four basic voices (sop, alt, ten, bas) are also used to organize and classify singers in any genre where singing happens, but rarely involve any personality associations ("How many tenors does it take to change a lightbulb" jokes notwithstanding). Also, this organization only matters when multiple singers will be singing at once; the tenor/bass division is important in a {{Boy Band}}, for instance, but Music/BritneySpears' voice part[[note]]Alto, from the sound of things[[/note]] is irrelevant because she's a solo act.
* The characters in Music/TheDecemberists album ''The Hazards of Love'' have voice types that match up very well to their roles in the story. Of the female parts, Margaret (Becky Stark), the sweet LoveInterest, is a soprano; the villainous Queen (Shara Worden) has a much deeper alto. The parts of William and the Rake are both sung by Colin Meloy, but he tends to sing heroic William's parts higher than the Rake (most evident in "The Rake's Song," where Meloy's voice takes on a much rougher aspect than is featured in the rest of the album).
* The song "[[ Alto's Lament]]" is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin an alto lamenting]] the fact that she always gets stuck singing the harmony in big, show-stopping musical numbers instead of the livelier and much more recognizable melody.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Rachel is a mezzosoprano and Santana is an alto. Most of the boys are in the tenor range, with the exception of Kurt (Chris Colfer), who is a true countertenor and does ''not'' use falsetto.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''{{Fanfic/Pagliacci}}'' has a group of characters known as [[GangOfHats the Choir Boys]] who are all named after different vocal types. But since they're all vicious killers, [[BrownNote their songs]] [[YourHeadAsplode shouldn't be listened to]] unless you have a deathwish!
* The manga ''Manga/ShounenNote'' is about a middle school choir. The protagonist, Yutaka, is a prodigious boy soprano but recognizes soon his voice will crack. Yutaka fits TheIngenue stereotype, being a bright eyed and sensitive boy.
* Katja from ''VisualNovel/MissingStars'' is said to be a soprano. She's reserved and a potential love interest.