Despite being a light lirico soprano, Hồ Quỳnh Hương is not a pure-metal like Thu Minh, So Hyang… Her timbre is the combination of water and metal.
The metal in her voice helps her high notes become bright, resonant and goes farther.
On the other hand, the water makes her voice become soft at middle range. This combination creates an extremely charming soprano, even in comparison with Thu Minh, Hà Trần, Thùy Chi, So Hyang…
With this forte, Hồ Quỳnh Hương can sing ballads softly just like she was gently whispering. In comparison with Hồ Quỳnh Hương, Thuy Chi (a light lirico soprano that sings ballads) cannot have the softness or warmth like her even with the intention of being gentle.
Moreover, the mixture of metal and water helps Hồ Quỳnh Hương resonate easily even when she is singing softly or whispering.
But very Powerful and Piercing at High Notes
Hồ Quỳnh Hương was always believed to be the best mixed-voice singer in Vietnam for a reason. Hồ Quỳnh Hương has quite a wide mixed range (C5-Bb5) and a supported range C5-F5. It is quite rare in Vietnam to have any female singer that has this wide a supported range. Exspecially, Hồ Quỳnh Hương is the master at E5 with mix voice.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương can use 2 placements while belting E5, firstly at the part of forehead that is close to the eyebrows, frontly projects and create a sharp sound.
At the second placement, Hồ Quỳnh Hương resonates on the whole top of her head, which is very hard to execute, yet creates a soft, stunning sound with widespread and huge succession. This technique resembles the opera divas such as Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price…, and is even similar to the master Lara Fabian.
Let’s take a look at this clip: The way that Hồ Quỳnh Hương use her placement somehow resembles Lara. Meanwhile, at E5, Hồ Quỳnh Hương used her energy very little so she sounded comfortable yet much more successive than Lee Haeri (who tried to use her energy to do a larger-volumed belt but lost her resonance and openness).
Hồ Quỳnh Hương sings with her mixed voice in almost every range, she rarely sings in her pure-chest voice. That is why she is able to keep her voice softly and non-chesty like lullabies.
The ability to ballance her larynx is quite remarkable. In her supported range or at her heydays, Hồ Quỳnh Hương rarely raise or lower her larynx.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương is well-trained to control her voice smartly. She knows how to use her forte at short yodels, going from a high belt to a high volume (forte) and lower into a half volume (mezza voce) without any difficulties. She can even slowly exchange between pianissimo - alnient - pianissimo while belting F5.
She can even move pianissimo – alnient – pianissimo when belting a F5. (4:02)
Or she can slowly lower her volume while belting E5 on pianissimo without complexities or changes in placement. (4:14)
The excellent pronounciation and the softly way of singing makes Hồ Quỳnh Hương able to pronounce the hard syllables like /ơ/, /i/, or even /a/ on high beltings. Moreover, she can even stroke the volume even on those beltings, make them extremely charming, in other words, remains resonant even with low volume.
Another one in her special skills is the ability to do vocal breaks (intentional vocal breaks) perfectly, makes the song more emotional and extremely dynamic on her softly belted G#5s.
The singing style based on ancient vocal music helps Hồ Quỳnh Hương to sing very softly, she never use all of her power for the first chorus of a song.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương can switch her voice on half-voice fluently and subtly with moderate melisma.
Despite being a light lirico soprano, Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s middle range is excellent even in comparison to other light lirico sopranos.
She can also use Airy Voice in the right place of the song.
Let's listen to Hồ Quỳnh Hương's airy voice
Studied classic vocal music, Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s head voice is well-developed. She’s one of the light music singers who uses her head voice the best in VN.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s head voice is bright yet solid and thick. Her head voice range is widen to F6 and supported to D6.
She can Cover Sound and Sing Greatly Arias.
She executed well the required skills for head voice: legato, staccato, pianissimo,..ect
Moreover, she can use her head voice in light music.
Despite not being a jazz singer, Hồ Quỳnh Hương has the ability to run scat singing (a very difficult skill in jazz) although it is not well-controled yet.(4:26)
Like other sopranos, Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s low range is not well-supported. Her notes from F3 are quite blur, unsupported and lack of control.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s voice switching is not very well. When she switches the high legatos into the low ones, the notes are quite blur and uncertain.
Hồ Quỳnh Hương is well-supported to F5 (mixed voice) but from G5 (mixed voice) there is no steadiness, easily pushed and strained.
Her way of handling the songs is well-done but not really subtle. Some switches to legato are a bit rough.
Her pianissimo in head voice is good but not profound.
The singing style is still somewhat belongs to ballad, mawkish even in songs that aren’t ballads and makes them sound a bit shallow, proved when she sang the jazz songs that plays on words with quite dull improvisation.
Together with her aging, Hồ Quỳnh Hương’s voice sometimes become weak and nasal. It’s getting harder for her to control high notes, and sometimes she raises her larynx and doesn’t open her throat. In a 2017 liveshow, the high notes were uncontrolled that made her have to avoid them sometimes. In my opinion, the reason for these changes can be:
Her new vegetarianism did not ensure her health that she’s usually found tired. In fact, the diets of opera singers like Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballe, Birgit Nilsson, etc contains a lot of meat and protein, hence they are mostly quite big and have enough strength to sing with high intensity.
Her cosmetic surgery sometimes changes the structures of her facial cavities, makes it harder to control her singing voice. There are many occassions in the world that a singer may loose their voice after cosmetic surgeries such as Korean Yeonji.
In conclusion, Hồ Quỳnh Hương can still be considered as one of the most skillful sopranos in VN’s light music industry recently.