Kathryn Lewek’s unusually dark, rich voice flashes through high coloratura as if born to the fach. But early on, singing soprano seemed a distant dream. “I had a very large range,” says Lewek, “but I had this gap from high B to D—and then I had a fifth or a sixth above it. Since my voice basically stopped at B-flat, everybody was like, ‘Duh! You’re a mezzo.’ I figured this high-note weirdness was more like a male’s falsetto, and I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear it, because it sounded like a chorus of dying cats.”

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