mezza voce

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mez·za vo·ce

 (mĕt′sə vō′chā, mĕd′zə, mĕz′ə)
adv. & adj. Music
With moderate volume or in a subdued tone. Used chiefly as a direction.

[Italian : mezza, half + voce, voice.]

mezza voce

(ˈmɛtsə ˈvəʊtʃɪ; Italian ˈmɛddza ˈvotʃe)
(Music, other) music (in singing) softly; quietly
[Italian, literally: half voice]

mez•za vo•ce

(ˈmɛt sə ˈvoʊ tʃeɪ, ˈmɛd zə, ˈmɛz ə)
adv., adj.
with half the power of the voice (used as a musical direction). Abbr.: m.v.
[1765–75; < Italian]
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References in periodicals archive ?
Those accustomed to an Azucena with a meaty middle and low voice might have been disappointed in mezzo-soprano Kathryn Day, who employs chest voice, a rather diffuse mezza voce and then shifts into lyric soprano for the required high notes.
Reservations regarding her sometimes unfocused mezza voce and lack of weight in the chest voice were forgotten in her Act II aria, "Vissi d'arte.