The German system (; literally "compartment" or "subject of study", here in the sense of "vocal specialization") is a method of classifying singers, primarily opera singers, according to the range, weight, and color of their voices. It is used worldwide, but primarily in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries and by repertory opera houses.
The system is a convenience for singers and opera houses. It prevents a singer from being asked to sing roles which they are incapable of performing. Opera companies keep lists of available singers by so that when they are casting roles for an upcoming production, they do not inadvertently contact performers who would be inappropriate for the part.
Below is a list of , their ranges as written on sheet music, and roles generally considered appropriate to each. When two names for the are given, the first is in more common use today. Where possible, an English and/or Italian equivalent of each is listed; however, not all have ready English or Italian equivalents. Note that some roles can be sung by more than one and that many singers do not easily fit into a : for instance some sopranos may sing both and roles. In addition, roles traditionally more difficult to cast may be given to a voice other than the traditional . For instance, the " Queen of the Night" is more traditionally a dramatic coloratura role, but it is difficult to find a dramatic coloratura to sing it (particularly given the extreme range). Therefore, the role is often sung by a lyric coloratura.
Usage examples of "fach".
Michael Tucker war von Beruf Dieb, ein Meister seines Fachs, der die Risiken des Handwerks einkalkulierte.