diapason \dahy-uh-PEY-zuhn\, noun:
1. A full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.
2. The compass of a voice or instrument.
3. A fixed standard of pitch.
4. Either of two principal timbres or stops of a pipe organ, one of full, majestic tone (open diapason) and the other of strong, flutelike tone (stopped diapason).
5. Any of several other organ stops.
6. A tuning fork.
When I saw this word and its first definition, I could only think of Mr. Armitage’s marvelous instrument of a voice-that rich, honeyed baritone, like aural chocolate, dark and silky, impossible to forget.
Whether speaking dialogue, telling a children’s story, performing an audiobook, doing the voice-over for an advertisement, singing a dwarven song, or, as he is in the video below, reciting poetry, Richard Armitage’s voice is always arresting. Its musicality, expressiveness, flexibility and sheer beauty mesmerize us. It is truly a diapason voice.
Here is an extract of Richard reading The Lords of the North:
And I must include one of the delightful CBeebies stories by Mr. Storyteller himself. I think the true joy he takes in sharing his talents, the pleasure he receives in creating all these characters’ voices shines through in these performances.