WHAT IS BEL CANTO SINGING SYTLE?

Bel Canto singing is an operatic style of singing that originated in Italy. It began with polyphonic or multipart style music and Italian courtly soloists in the 16th century. Later in the 17th, 18th and 19 centuries it was used to develop Italian opera! Bel Canto is Italian for “beautiful singing.”

This style of singing requires amazing breath control in order to sustain long, legato phrases. These phrases are sung smoothly and connected. In the Bel Canto Opera, the singer uses very fast vocal movement in the upper (head) register. Composers would write long, sustaining vocal lines with the intention of showing off the singer’s voice. The melodies are characterized by ornate vocal style written with trills, turns and runs which demand amazing vocal agility and control. It’s flooded with rapid notes winding their way up and down the scale.

Bel Canto encompasses a singing style that focuses on beautiful sound, not on acting or emotion. Opera singing is not amplified, the singer must have good technique to develop sufficient breath support. This enables the voice to be heard in a large theater without a microphone. The singer needs to visualize a solid column of air, beginning at the diaphragm or bottom of the lungs and extending up to the throat. With good breath support a singer can sing a long line of music, like a river with an unbroken string of connected notes.

Bel Canto singers need great flexibility to sing all of those fast notes. This style of singing really puts the spotlight on the voice, creating a visceral effect on the audience like no other art form.

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