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"Like a performer, the voice is a nomad ‘par excellence.’ It constantly travels and moves (according to our emotions). It appears and disappears. It is an individual process in constant mutation. As an instrument it is not a neutral one, out there, made of this or that substance, but rather one of the utmost human kind; it is ephemeral, mutable.


The voice is hard to maintain as an instrument because its material is the body itself.


The Multi-Octave Voice is revealed by expanding the practitioner’s 'daily voice' from one octave into the multiple dormant identities, textures and expressions that inherently are contained in it."

- Rafael Lopez-Barrantes

The Multi-Octave Barrantes Voice System aims to simply reveal the human voice, its substance, grit and authenticity. Through breathing and conditioning exercises, students will explore, strengthen, develop and connect with the voice. Each voice is unique, and contains within it the fine line between the seen and the unseen, thus, the work has a two-way effect: one, exterior, the performance; the other, interior, based on the images, emotions, sensations and perceptions of the performer.


Each student will build a vocabulary of gestures to create movement phrases that will be associated with sound, text or song, and will work to produce many different tonal qualities on the same note, as well as covering a musical range. By referencing the scale of the piano, this technique helps students identify the five different vocal textures (Water-Earth-Wood-Metal-Air) that constitute: the Multi-Octave human voice.

Voice Made Visible
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Voice Made Visible is an exploration of voice training and performance practice based on the use and application of Multi-Octave Vocal Range techniques. "Multi-Octave" is understood as the arsenal of sounds that exists uniquely within each human voice, beyond the comfortable average octave that we use in everyday life.


In Voice Made Visible, Rafael Lopez-Barrantes builds on the voice work created by Alfred Wolfsohn and developed by Roy Hart and his company in France to assist students, artists, and those interested in the performing arts with their vocal practice. He draws from over three decades of multi-cultural performance and teaching, sharing the three fundamental pillars of his system: Fiction, News, and Body Source. This book will help readers unfold their understanding of the voice by strengthening it and inspire them to create new vocal paths for the stage, camera, and voice acting, as well as for their own personal expressive growth.

Voice Made Visible is an invaluable resource for students of Acting and Voice courses, as well as working performing artists.


Rafael Lopez-Barrantes

Founder, Creator, Master Teacher

Rafael Lopez-Barrantes is the creator of the Barrantes Voice System (BVS) and co-founder of the Archipelago Theater in France and the US.

Rafael’s work as a Spanish performer and voice teacher developed from his time acting, directing, and teaching with the Roy Hart Theatre, as well as research in traditional Japanese Noh Theater, Buddhist Shomio, and Spanish Flamenco.

He was a faculty member at the National School of Puppetry Arts in France from 1984 to 1992, Duke University from 1992 to 2007, and the American Dance Festival from 1992 to 2015. Since 2007, he has been a full-time faculty member in the School of Theater at the California Institute of the Arts teaching the Barrantes Voice System to MFA and BFA students. Between 2010 and 2016, Rafael served as the Associate Director of Performance for the CalArts School of Theater and in 2018 conceived the House of Voices initiative,


Rafael's first book Voice Made Visible: Multi-Octave Voice Training and Techniques for Performers was published by Routledge in October 2023.


To download a more detailed bio, please click here.

Barrantes Voice System
Certified Teachers

It is with great pleasure that we announce Kalean Ung and Adam J. Smith are

BVS Certified Teachers. They both currently teach at the California Institute of the Arts. 


A symposium / lab experiencing

different ancestral voices. 


A CalArts School of Theater Initiative

conceived by Rafael Lopez-Barrantes.

Upcoming workshops and events will be posted here.

Check back soon!

House of Voices
Workshops & Residencies


The Barrantes Voice System provides a Multi-Octave Voice training and techniques for performers. The system is firmly anchored on his book Voice Made Visible published by Routledge last October 2023.


This technique for performers is based on the unraveling of the multi-octave human voice.     


The voice of each individual, as well as the group “voice,” is explored in such a way as to contact sources of energy hidden deep within the body. 


The session begins with the voice of each individual just “as it is”. There is no need to have had previous vocal training to discover one’s own multi-octave expressiveness. 


Through breathing and body conditioning exercises we will approach sound, text and/or song. 


The movement/gesture work in the sessions evokes the world of physical and dance-theatre and it is explored in conjunction with the voice.


The work is designed to: 

  • Strengthen, free and develop the vocal range of the performer/puppeteer 

  • Establish the connection with its source, the body and how to transmit it to the object being manipulated 

  • Represent the voice through gesture, “tasks" and movement 

  • Address the interdisciplinary vocal demands currently placed on the performer

  • Each student should bring a 90 second monologue and an excerpt of a song to explore the materials shared in the workshop.


The student will build a vocabulary of gestures to create movement phrases that will be associated with sound, text, or song, and will work to produce many different tonal qualities on the same note, as well as covering a musical range.


  • By referencing the scale of the piano or keyboard, this technique helps students discover, identify, and express the five different emblematic vocal textures that constitute the Multi-Octave Human Voice of his system:





I will be doing a short residence at the National School of Arts of Puppetry in France.


Following my last sabbatical invitation, I will be conducting a workshop again at the Paul Valery University in Montpellier under the direction of Laurent Berger.


In the early summer, I have been invited by Vicente Fuentes, Director of Fuentes de la Voz, to teach at the Centro de Investigacion de la Voz, Palabra y Verso, in Spain.


I will return to Los Angeles to continue my regular Fall semester teaching at CalArts.


Rafael will be conducting a series of Masterclasses, workshops, and guest lectures throughout 2024 across the globe.


Please use the contact form below if you are interested in bringing the Barrantes Voice System and Voice Made Visible to your institution. 

Download the full brochure to learn more about the offerings that will be catered to your needs.  



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