Bel Canto

Marriage of the Consummate Vocal Technique

In the Bel Canto a refinement was sought that deserved its name as beautiful singing, a perfect interpretation, with an excellent production of the entire vocal register, a brilliance of the highs and over-treble like perfect breath management

Maria Callas. Bel Canto

The Bel Canto arose, flourished and developed in the 16th and 17th centuries in Italy but it actually originated all the way through the Middle Ages. His story began with the Castrati brothers, one of the most dazzling and extraordinary stories in music. The castrati were Italian children castrated in order to preserve their high voices as Soprano and Mezzo Soprano, they were prepared from childhood for their careers as musicians. Their breathing capacity and vocal agility are legendary, their voices were the perfect mix of the tenderness of a child and the power and strength of an adult. Rarely has such perfection of virtuoso singing been achieved as in the Baroque.

One of the most famous Castrati of the 18th century was Carlo Broschi known as Farinelli, his vocal extension was from A 2 to Re 6, between 3 and four octaves. In 1726, Farinelli performed in Milan, where Johann Joachim Quantz heard him and wrote Farinelli had a penetrating soprano voice, full rich, bright and well modulated, with a range at that time from A below middle C to D. three octaves above middle C ... His intonation was Pure, his vibration was wonderful, his breath control was extraordinary, and his throat was very agile, so he sang the widest intervals quickly and with the greatest of ease and security. The passages of the work and all kinds of melismas did not represent difficulties for him. In the invention of free ornamentation at the Adagio he was very fertile. " With success and growing fame, Farinelli performed in almost all the great cities of Italy, thus perpetuating his fame.

As the Castrati disappeared, the women began to sing the parts where they fit naturally. Several women have become legends for their great performance in Bel Canto, one of the most prominent is María Callas, a heroine of the technique.

Callas, with his vocal majesty and his great dramatic talent changed the sad fate of Bel Canto. Since with the passing of the years this style was going out of fashion and the composers began to privilege singers who knew how to declaim rather than sing virtuosically. So the vocal style in vogue was now more like a spoken voice. And it was then that María Callas arrived with her splendid performances and thus left an open gap that was later followed by other singers.

In Italy, the Bel Canto produced a true school that had its golden age with the vocal works of Mozart, as well as the compositions of Italians such as Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini and the early works of Verdi.

Gioachino Rossini was an Italian composer, who assumed the throne of the Italian Opera in Bel Canto aesthetics, thanks to the exceptional degree of vocal difficulty of his operas, they are so extreme that, from the 19th century to 1970, practically his works were impossible to sing.

Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian romantic composer of the 19th century, one of the most notable composers who greatly influenced the Italian Opera and a bridge between the Bel Canto of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and the current of Verdism and Puccini.

Therefore, beautiful vocal lines were characteristic of this beautiful music. Which is a technique that enhances the beauty of the vocal melodic line without neglecting one of the other musical aspects.


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