Orriel Smith | The World's Favorite Cluckoratura Arias

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Classical: Traditional Classical: Opera Moods: Mood: Funny
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The World's Favorite Cluckoratura Arias

by Orriel Smith

Coloratura Soprano Chicken magnificently clucks your Operatic favorites
Genre: Classical: Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Queen of the Night Aria ~ from The Magic Flute~ by Mozart
2:52 $0.99
2. Quando Rapita in Estasy~ from Lucia Di Lammermoor~by Donizetti
2:56 $0.99
3. Caro Nome~from Rigoletto~ by Verdi
5:49 $0.99
4. Olympia's Doll Song~from The Tales of Hoffman~ by Offenbach
2:24 $0.99
5. Alleluia~from Exultate Jubilate~ by Mozart
2:39 $0.99
6. Chacun Le Sait, Chacun Le Dit~from The Daughter of the Regiment~
2:30 $0.99
7. The Shadow Song~from Dinorah~ by Meyerbeer
2:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Orriel Smith Releases Unique Chicken Opera Arias – A Barnyard Operatic Variation That Brings Down the Hen House!

"Coloratura": runs, trills and other florid decorations in vocal music: a soprano of high range who specializes in such music.

Bio: I was surrounded with operatic music from the moment I was taken home. I began singing very early imitating the coloratura arias that surrounded me. John's Hopkins University had developed experimental schools for young children which emphasized creativity, and I was admitted at an early age. Soon I was singing Lakme's "The Bell Song" at the end of my mother's concerts.
A few years later, we went to live in Milano, Italy, where my mother had been invited to study and sing. I was able to speak Italian quickly and was enrolled at the Milano Conservatory studying piano and violin, as well as the La Scala Ballet Company School. Three years later we moved to Hollywood, CA. where my mother worked at Paramount Studios and I attended Hollywood Professional School. As a young teen, I continued singing as guest artist in city concerts, the Hollywood Bowl and special occasion musicales I also began acting on television, Divorce Court, Alfred Hitchcock, and had a co-starring role in "The Mark of Distinction" starring London the Wonder Dog.
During one summer I attended Arrowbear Music Camp as a violinist in the orchestra. Jean Ritchie was the guest artist and I was fascinated with the haunting melodies of Appalachian folk songs with guitar. I became obsessed with the idea of having portable accompaniment and soon was carrying my new guitar everywhere with me. I decided to learn to play by playing Joan Baez albums on a slowest 16 RPM speed. Then I would tune the guitar down to that pitch to get down every note. Tedious process! But it worked pretty well.
At eighteen, I was invited to go to NYC to study singing with Roberta Peter's teacher, William Herman. I would take my operatic lessons during the day, and explore the folk clubs in Greenwich Village at night. I soon discovered Gerde's Folk City where Jose Feliciano, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan performed. I also began singing there as a regular paid performer.
My mother came for a visit and as usual we were doing our vocal exercises playing "who can go the highest". A theatrical manager who happened to be staying on the same floor knocked on our door, gave us his card and suggested we look him up at his office. We did and while we were there he called the Johnny Carson show saying he had a "voice higher than Yma Sumac" in the office with him. The next day I was singing "The Russian Nightingale" on the show to a standing ovation. The appearance was noticed by Columbia Records NYC and I was signed to Bobby Scott ("A Taste of Honey") as producer. He was delighted that I liked to sing Irish and English folk songs since that kind of music was his great interest. We quickly put together a guitar/voice album "A Voice in the Wind" and I began touring doing promotional concerts and televised "Hootenannys" throughout the U.S. and as opener for Dick Gregory at The Hungry Eye in San Francisco. I joined the Jimmy Joyce Singers who were about to become the musical mainstay for The Smother's Brother's Show, The Red Skelton Show and many television specials.
After several years with The Jimmy Joyce Singers, I went on the road alone with guitar. I fell in love with Seattle while singing at the Washington Plaza Hotel and moved there to work at The Van Ackeren Film Production Co. I'd always been interested in learning the "behind the camera" workings of a studio and was able to apprentice as a film and music editor as well as creating music and performing for commercials. Around this time I wrote my country song "Lifetime Woman" which was recorded by David Frizzell.
Several years later, I returned to Los Angeles to spend six years singing and on tour with the Ray Conniff Singers overseas Japan Tour, Charo in Las Vegas and Dolly Parton. Eventually I moved to Irvine, California where I finished my UCLA/UCI Psychology degree and Real Estate license.
For the past 20 years I've been teaching presentation skills for many companies including educational, the Universities of California, and government. I'm further training my voice with Jill Goodsell of Yorba Linda, CA and as you can see from my latest CD, what fun!

Copyright © 2003 Orriel Smith ~ All rights reserved



to write a review

Eva Ströberg

Squawk! This is good...
If you are a chicken lover, and have at least a remote interest in opera, this one is for you. I find myself happily clucking and squawking along...


Got it for my parrot,Dali:-)
My African Grey parrot, Dali and I are both opera fans. I had already taught her 'pok pok pok pokagina' and she loves to, sing like a chicken. We just got Orriels cd and listen to it every day. Dali recognizes that this is her kind of opera too and now I am waiting for her to hit the high poks. Thank you Orriel for so much fun.
'Sheila & Dali


technical bravura; to opera as the Trocaderos are to ballet.
An opera fan will wet him/herself from the first notes of the Queen of the Night Aria. Subsequent listenings reveal Ms. Smith's astounding technical control, tonal sophistication, and interpretive brio. There are few sopranos who can punch the leaping arpeggios of that aria as she can. The Trocks can really really dance, and Orriel Smith can really really sing.


You have to hear this!
This makes great escapist listening because it just puts you in a good mood. You can tell she's a technically proficient singer, but she makes fun of herself this way and has a ball doing it! If you're a singer and need a break from the mundane, repetitive life, just pop this in and get carried away in stitches!

Ron Pollard

What fun !! A "MUST" for every opera fan
What a fun CD!! Musically ...superb!! and LOTS of thrills!! Ms. Smith knows when to "cluck" and when to sing "the REAL high notes" (esp at the end of Caro Nome). A REAL MUST for every fan of high coloraturas!!


Orriel's discography
See the entire discography and many photo's from Orriel's career at The Orriel Smith Appreciation Society www.myspace.com/orrielsmithsociety

Nicholas Limansky

Operatic parody at its best
Available from a Portland, Oregon company, CD baby, and privately produced, this CD was released two years ago in 2000. Surprisingly, it touches within a number of arenas. The concept of a chicken "clucking through" a coloratura aria is not a new one. However, Orriel Smith goes one further by showing a voice that, when allowed to float freely on its own, turns out to be quite beautiful. This is especially true in the upper register which is sweet, pure and right on target when it comes to pitch. Not only that, do not assume that because of the humorous emphasis of the CD that this is something Ms. Orriel threw together. Not at all. The clucking has been thoughtfully plotted for each aria and various types of clucking sounds and placements have been used. To her credit, she actually sounds like a chicken. Complimenting her clucking is excellent staccati work and some startling forays into the high register. (for a longer review of this disc go to divalegacy.com and look under Recordings)

Mike Sheppard

CD serves to introduce kids to classics &showcase major talent
This CD serves two purposes.Firstly it brings a grand touch of humour to the classics-the atmosphere of The Three Tenors at their most whimsical.It could serve parents well as an intro to the classics helping young curiosity to hear the human version!Behind the cluckings lies a very clever mind-which is the hallmark of all originality and a consumate artist.The second purpose would be to lead the listener down the rewarding path of finding Orriel's folk Lp A Voice In The wind.This seminal work of British ballads,spirituals and American folk classics showcases surely the most beautiful voice of a generation.Hear it and judge for yourself-you will be well rewarded.


Cluckoratura Extraordinaire!!
Fabulous stuff; no words of these arias are sung; everything is clucked or squawked like a chook, but oh, so very melodiously and mellifluously!! One wonders how they would have sounded if Orriel had sung these straight. The voice soars easily to high F, and the sustained (interpolated) D at the end of the Queen of the Night's Aria would make any renowned coloratura green with envy. The whole CD clucks along irresistibly and after 23 or so minutes it's time to go back to the start and listen all over again. Brava, Orriel - no, make that bravissima!!! More, please!!

Andrew Lynch

Birthed by a chicken?
You know, to some, this will seem like nothing more than a cute novelty item; a quirky piece of pop (classical pop?)culture that's fun for a moment, then promptly forgotten. But you know what? Those people are dead wrong. Orriel Smith has crafted an album so bizarrely beautiful, that it's difficult to explain why it's so good. But it is. It's absolutely amazing. She "b-gok"s and warbles her way through the delicate instrumentation, sometimes lifting her clucking to a pitch you never knew existed in human (or chicken!) vocal cords. It's strangely moving and sad at some parts, and quite fun in others. It takes you to another reality, where coloratura chickens, decked to the nines in pearls and peacock feathers, sing opera on elaborate Venetian stages. And come on, who doesn't want to be *there?*

Thank you, Orriel, for sharing your talents with the world. I can't wait for your next project!
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