A bass singing voice in opera is generally produced by a male vocalist, as bass voices cover the lowest possible vocal range, from the second E under middle C to the E just above middle C. While all bass voices are at the low end of the possible singing range, there are a number of different types of bass opera singers. The Italian system for classifying bass vocal ranges consists of the basso cantante, the basso buffo, and the dramatic basso profondo.
Each bass opera range has its own place in a production. The basso buffo range, for example, is often referred to as the comic bass, as it is generally used for comedic roles. The basso profundo is the lowest of the main bass ranges, and therefore often reserved for the most serious, dramatic roles. The basso cantante, or singing bass, is the most melodic of the bass vocal ranges, and is used for prominent, lyrical parts, such as the role of King Philip in Don Carlo, by Verdi.