A History of Bel Canto
Bel canto singing was a historical phenomenon which embraced Italian opera of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It required infinite variety of sound, in particular a lyrical ecstacy, a faultless technique to dispatch the vocal pyrotechnics demanded of it, and earned itself eloquent praise as `the singing which is heard within the soul'. Rodolfo Celletti, who has devoted his whole career to studying the voice from every historical, technical, and musical aspect, offers here a fascinating history of bel canto singing and the voice in operatic literature. He begins by discussing the links of bel canto with the operatic ideals of the baroque, and points out that the style was created as much by operatic composers and their librettists as by their executants, the singers. To this end he undertakes a review of Italian opera of the period, andtraces the development of the style in different composers and their works. There is a chapetr on Castrati - the voice par excellence of bel canto - and the art of singing in their day. The final chapter looks at the history of bel canto since Rossini, charting its death and resurrection.
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The Cult of Bel Canto Virtuosity and Hedonism
The Vocal Art in Baroque Opera
Particular Aspects of Baroque Opera
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acrobatic agility passages Allegro Allegro sung Andante aria aria sung arioso Armida baritenor baritone Baroque opera bass bel canto Bellini Bononcini Bordoni breath cantabile Carestini castrato Cavalli Cavalli's Cesti character Colbran coloratura colour concitato contralto Cuzzoni Donizetti duet effects eighteenth century Elisabetta emotions example execution expression fairly famous Farinelli figures fioriture Florentine opera florid Giovanni Handel Hence high notes high tessituras imitation instrumental interpreter Italian L'incoronazione L'italiana Largo leaps legato Legrenzi long vocalises lover male alto male soprano melismatic melody Metastasio mezzo-soprano Monteverdi music-drama musical theatre nuances opera composers opera seria ornaments Otello pathos performance period personages phrase played Poppaea protagonist recitative rhythm Romantic opera Rossini Sartorio Scarlatti scene semiquavers Semiramide sense seventeenth century singers soprano sound stage Steffani Stendhal style Tancredi tempest tenor tessitura timbre title-role tone Totila trills Venetian opera Verdi verismo Vie de Rossini virtuosity vocal art vocalise passages vocalises words written