bel canto

bel can·​to | \ bel-ˈkän-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce bel canto (audio) , -ˈkan- How to pronounce bel canto (audio) \

Definition of bel canto

: operatic singing originating in 17th century and 18th century Italy and stressing ease, purity, and evenness of tone production and an agile and precise vocal technique

Examples of bel canto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Callas, whose passionate artistry helped resuscitate the early-19th-century bel canto repertoire that had largely vanished by the mid-20th century, had no shortage of drama in her own life. Matthew Anderson, New York Times, "The Coronavirus Derails Marina Abramovic’s Maria Callas Opera," 9 Apr. 2020 The work embraces bel canto singing, a technically challenging idiom that emphasizes florid vocal lines and ornate melodic embellishment, a Mazzola specialty. Howard Reich,, "Lyric Opera review: Music director designate Enrique Mazzola presents a high-stakes ‘Luisa Miller’," 13 Oct. 2019 Javier Camarena The Mexican tenor, accompanied by pianist Angel Rodriguez, makes his LA Opera recital debut with bel canto favorites by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini plus songs and arias from the Spanish-language repertoire. Los Angeles Times, "Classical music in L.A. this week: LA Phil’s 100th birthday concert and more," 19 Oct. 2019 This didn’t matter in some kinds of early music, bel canto music or French Baroque music., "That successful audition propelled Mr. Conrad into a multifaceted career as a tenor and a baritone, a stage director and a teacher, and as the founder and longtime leader of the Boston Academy of Music.," 3 Oct. 2019 Mazzola’s repertoire includes 87 operas, said Freud, with specialties in bel canto, French, early Verdi and contemporary opera. Howard Reich,, "Enrique Mazzola to succeed retiring Andrew Davis as Lyric Opera’s music director," 12 Sep. 2019 The chorus is a worthy project both in education and community: Its members are schooled in traditional bel canto, and the results are impressive from so young a group. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, "‘Bach to the Future’: Concert to Make One Feel Lucky to Live in New York," 8 June 2019 Stéphane Lissner is the opera’s director general, and—in contrast to Dupont’s fireworks—the surprisingly traditional programming and format of the opera gala largely highlight the bel canto repertoire of the 19th and early 20th century. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "The Paris Opera Celebrates 350 Years With a Glittering Gala," 14 May 2019 Cohn’s disappearance is explained in a brief aria sung by the famous bel canto mezzo-soprano Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump the Opera—II," 26 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bel canto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bel canto

1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bel canto

Italian, literally, beautiful singing

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The first known use of bel canto was in 1838

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Cite this Entry

“Bel canto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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