FanstRA 4: Richard Armitage’s Voice–Speaking and Singing by Delia La Fanetta, March 13, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#378)

Dear Readers,
Today I have a guest blogger friend, Delia La Fanetta, sharing her perceptions with you today about Richard Armitage’s voice–speaking and singing.  She shares her thoughts first in Italian and then in English.  I am thrilled to have her essay to share with you today.  Please help me give a warm welcome to Delia!
Cheers!   Grati ;->

Ho amato la voce di Richard Armitage dalla prima volta che l’ho sentita,  in North and South. L’inglese non è la mia prima lingua, spesso non capisco il significato di tutte le parole ma mi ha subito colpito la tonalità della sua voce, così profonda, roca, dura in alcune scene, profonda, dolce e sensuale in altre. Solo il tono della sua voce mi fa venire i brividi, ogni volta che lo ascolto.

Imparando a conoscere meglio il lavoro di Richard ho potuto apprezzare le sue doti come attore e la sua splendida voce non solo in film e tv drama ma anche nella recita di poesie e negli audiobooks.

Warner Bros. Pictures And Legendary Pictures Preview - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" - Comic-Con International 2012

Ed infine, la ciliegina sulla torta: Thorin che canta nello Hobbit. Da subito la sua voce in questo film mi è sembrata cambiata, ancora più profonda. Infatti ora sappiamo che  la voce di Thorin è il risultato di un lungo lavoro che Richard ha fatto sulla sua voce, per renderla adatta al personaggio. [Richard Armitage at Comic Con 2012, right]

Un passo molto importante, secondo R,  è stato lavorare sulla canzone dei nani. Nell’intervista da lui rilasciata al sito italiano racconta così la sua ricerca per la voce perfetta per Thorin.


I loved the voice of Richard Armitage from the first time I heard it, in North and South. English is not my first language, often I do not understand the meaning of all the words but I was immediately struck by the tone of his voice, so deep, hoarse, harsh in some scenes… deep, sweet and sensual in others. Only the tone of his voice gives me the chills every time I hear it.

When I’ve learned more about the work of Richard, I’ve appreciated his talents as an actor and his wonderful voice not only in film and TV dramas, but also in the recitation of poems and in the audiobooks.D3x_6552.dng

And finally, the icing on the cake:  Thorin singing in The Hobbit. From the beginning his voice in this movie seemed changed, even deeper. In fact, we now know that the voice of Thorin is the result of a lot of work that Richard has done on his voice to make it fit the character. [Richard Armitage portrait as Thorin  Oakenshield, right]

A very important step, according to RA, has been working on the song of the dwarves, Misty Mountains. In this interview  to the Italian website, he talks about his quest for the perfect voice for Thorin.


“Lo Hobbit: un Viaggio Inaspettato, la nostra intervista a Richard Armitage”

“Q: Did you enjoy singing with the other dwarfs?

RA: I did, yes! It was actually a key moment in the development of the character because Tolkien describe the deep throating singing of the dwarfs so specifically. He really gave me a place to look for Thorin’s voice, because was important to me to find a voice for him witch I think was appropriate, so he could command his dwarfs with honor and nobility and, at the same time, have a kind of  sensitivity  to him…and also stand in front of an army and bellow orders to them …so that song helped me to find a tone for Thorin.

Q: Did you studied with Howard Shore?

RA: I actually studied with a team in NZ and Fran Walsh wrote the tune and of course Tolkien wrote the words. How it developed that tune in to what is now a leitmotiv for the dwarfs throughout the movie and it’s a beautiful theme, I think it’s almost a mantra and it’s the way the dwarfs are able to  seduce Bilbo on coming in the quest with them.”

Più avanti nella stessa intervista R dice:

Later in the same interview he says:

“ […] all that voice production that I did for my work with the Shakespeare company was very useful for Thorin”

Proprio al suo metodo di recitazione R fa riferimento in un’altra intervista, per il sito

RA talks about his acting method in another interview for

“Lo Hobbit: intervista i protagonisti” (Richard Armitage’s interview is at 5:40)

“Q: You said that you are a method actor and every time that I deal… I talk with method actors, like Viggo Mortensen for example, the question is: What’s the craziest thing you do to prepare for the role?

RA: It’s very difficult with this role because so much of the character is about the transformation and when you take that off you do walk away from it so…I think the idea of bringing Thorin with me was always there… I think the craziest thing I used to do is drive my car around Wellington with a Maori chant playing on the radio…I used to scream very loudly so that I can get a kind of gravity sound going in my voice and the reason that I used to do it in my car is because I didn’t want to disturb the neighbors”

Il riferimento al canto maori non è casuale. Nell’intervista al sito R dice:

The reference to Maori singing is not accidental. In the interview for RA says:

“On my first day on the set I had to stand up in front of the entire company and speak Māori to a line of people who were giving us a Pōwhiri, which is like a welcoming ceremony to bless the soundstage. I was more terrified of that than the filming![….] That speech actually became part of my vocal work. Because I wanted to pitch my voice lower, and create a resonance for the character, I built a program of works, I used Shakespearean speeches to find certain things, but I also used that speech every day. I found there was something in Māori culture that’s essential to the feeling of Middle-earth.”


Lo stretto legame tra voce e musica è sempre stato ben chiaro a R. Nell’intervista del 2010 per l’audiobook Naxos “The Convenient marriage” , R dice che:

The close link between voice and music has always been clear to RA. In a 2010 interview  for the Naxos audiobook “The Convenient marriage”, he says:


“[…] I do think that there’s a resonance in music which is also the same in words; and actually you can see the progression from the spoken word into the sung word is fascinating because as a character becomes more animated, so the vibration in their speech grows and eventually you go into song. It was something we explored quite a lot when I was training as an actor and I find it’s very useful for characterizing voices because you almost have to sing certain voices.”

E certo la sua voce è per me sempre una musica emozionante!

His voice for me is always a lovely music.

“The voice of Richard Armitage: singing” by LaFanetta8

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in Fangurling, FanstRAvaganza, movies, Music, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Thorin, Video, Voice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to FanstRA 4: Richard Armitage’s Voice–Speaking and Singing by Delia La Fanetta, March 13, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#378)

  1. Pingback: FanstRA 4: Richard Armitage’s Voice–Speaking and Singing by Delia La Fanetta, March 13, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#378) | FanstRAvaganza

  2. Xenia says:

    What a lovely guest post. Part of Richard’s allure is his deep voice. In North & South I loved the low gritty bass sound of it. In The Hobbit Richard managed to make his voice go even lower and it is PERFECT for singing the Misty Mountain song.

    Happy FanstRAvaganza!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Hi Xenia,
      Thanks for your nice note. Delia’s essay is gReAt! And I love how Richard Armitage says that he wanted to get a really deep tone on his voice–as if it weren’t deep already. Ha!
      Happy FanstRAvaganza to you, too! Cheers! Grati ;->


  3. ladycassiadw says:

    Eccellente analisi, Delia! Excellent analysis, Delia! <3


  4. Delia La Fanetta says:

    Thank you! :) I really love RA voice and is a pleasure to share my passion with you all.
    And thanks again Gratiana for giving me this possibility!
    Happy FanstRAvaganza!!!


  5. Servetus says:

    Great to flesh out the picture of a name I’ve seen on Facebook and here and there. Super presentation.


  6. Ania says:

    Oh, I love his voice. And listening to his voice is pretty good when I need a calming therapy.
    Thanks for your excellent analysis,Delia!


  7. fitzg says:

    How much is the voice an element of Armitage appeal? Olivier was an actor without such a voice, though he used it well! But Mr. A’s voice had me hooked.

    Excellent guest post, and thanks, Gratia and Delia. :D


    • Hi Fitzg,
      Thanks for your nice note about Delia’s guest post. Delia did a fantastic job!

      And I agree that Olivier used his voice to perfection as well. And I also prefer the deeply resonating velvety baritone timber to Richard Armitage’s voice. Sighhhhh!
      Thanks for visiting and commenting! Cheers! Grati ;->


  8. katie70 says:

    Thank you Grati and Delia for this great post. If I could not see Richard the voice alone would win me over. He gives so much to the roles he is in by just his voice. I could go on and on about his voice and how much I like it. o.k. love it.


    • Hi Katie70,
      Thanks for your nice note about Delia’s post! RA’s voice is amazing! I love listening to him narrate his audiobooks.
      Cheers! Grati ;->


      • katie70 says:

        Most every Sunday while making Sunday dinner I listen to one of Richards audiobooks. I also listen while cooking the big holiday meals and birthday parties.


        • That is neat! I have listened to “Venetia” and “The Convenient Marriage”–both twice. I also listened to the BBC Radio’s “Clarissa”. And I hope to buy “Lords of the North” soon.
          Might you have listened to “Sylvester”? Any thoughts about it?


          • katie70 says:

            I have “Ventia”, “The Convenient Marriage”, “Sylvester”, Robin Hood audio works from Big Finish and are getting 2 of the audio works from the first series of Robin Hood. I got the Robin Hood from Big Finish that also has Sam Troughton, David Harewood and Jonas Armstrong. I think that Richard is the best followed by Sam Troughton. The command of voices is great by Richard.
            “Sylvester” is just as good as the other two by Georgette Hayer. Son 1 even told that he can do a great women’s voice. If I where you I would get “Sylvester” too, to add to the rest.
            I am also looking into “The Lords of the North”, but the only place that I have seen it is on Amazon for $75.00 and on Audio To Go and they will not ship to the US, it was I think around 20 pounds. I might have to get my friend over there to get it for me and ship it over that way.
            There was a time that I didn’t think that I would like audiobooks. That all changed the first time I heard Christopher Timothy read “All Creatures Great and Small”,what a great job he did on all of James Herriot’s books. I also enjoyed the TV show by the same name, with Christopher Timothy as James Herriot. They are also worth a listen too, Christopher does a great job with voices, but also the Yorkshire accent.


          • Hi Katie70,
            Thanks for the good review of “Sylvester”. I will definitely look into it. And LOTN is also on my shopping list.
            Your mentioning the Herriot books made me think of my late father. He was a great reader with a large library of books that he had amassed during his lifetime (over 3,000 when I indexed them in high school for him, ha!). And the Herriot books were among his favorites.
            Thanks for visiting and commenting. Cheers! Grati;->


  9. April 11, 2013–Fabo Laktuko also has a lovely essay with sound/video clips and links:

    “The Bass Sound in a Male Voice”, April 10, 2013


  10. Ale says:

    Bellissimo servizio!!…Anche io ho scoperto la voce di Richard in “Nord e Sud”…per caso…non so cosa cercassi e mi sono imbattutta sulla versione in lingua originale…ed è stato brivido immediato…poi ho continuato a cercare qualunque cosa in cui parlasse,interviste e perfino le favole della Buona notte alla BBC….la sua voce è un continuo variare ed è meravigliosa…come lo è lui…ti rilassa e tranquillizza…e riesce a modularla nei modi più impensati al momento giusto…quando poi ho sentito Thorin canatare ne “Lo Hobbit” …altro brivido!!…non mi stupisce che abbia studiato così tanto la voce per Thorin…la cosa che mi piace di lui come attore è proprio la ricerca e lo studio approfondito del personaggio che interpreta….e poi come persona deve essere una persona dolcissima ed eccezionale…dotata di un senso dello humor e dell’autoironia che non è da tutti(soprattutto gli inglesi)!!!…Diciamo che l’ho scoperto con “Nord e Sud” è una continua scoperta di novità sui suoi personaggi che continua a far aumentare anche la stima che ho verso di lui come persona!!…
    Grazie per questo post!!!
    Ps:a proposito di “Voce” …della Colonna Sonora del primo Capitolo de LO HOBBIT esiste la versione “ridotta” della canzone cantata da Richard e i Nani a casa di Bilbo e su youtube si trova anche una versione estesa della stessa canzone…che voi sappiate è una cover totale o comunque è cantata da Richard anche quella?…perchè nelle due compilations della Colonna Sonora questa versione estesa non esiste…ma a me sembra la voce di Richard!!!
    Grazie per qualunque informazione mi possiate dare!!!


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