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OPERA Fun Facts!!

A changing exhibit on pearls of opera knowledge

 

What is Bel Canto?

Operatic song that is melodic and lyrical and which calls for depth and breadth of tone along with flawless phrasing

"Ah, non giunge"

a beautiful aria in the bel canto style, from the opera La Sonnambula

...sung by such notable singers as Maria Malibran, Jenny Lind, Maria Callas and Cecilia Bartoli, to name a few. 

La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) is an excellent example of the bel canto tradition. Composed by Vincenzo Bellini and set to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, it premiered in the Teatro Carcaro of Milan, 6 March 1831. 

Versatility of the bel canto style

Fun fact: piano composer Frederic Chopin was inspired by the bel canto style when he wrote his Nocturne in C sharp minor. The haunting melody played by the right hand floats above the lilting chords of the left...as the bel canto singer carols above the orchestra that accompanies her.