A Very Short Video History of “Bel Canto”

My submission to La Cieca’s You Can Ring My Bel Cantocompetition, over at parterre.com was deemed one of four runners-up, from what must have been close to 50 submissions, I’m guessing.

The challenge? To post a youtube video that serves as a sterling example of the art of bel canto, including narrative explaining why. Enjoy it here:

A Brief youtube History of Bel Canto

It includes offerings by Orgonasova (‘94), Baltsa & Gruberova (‘84), Pavarotti (‘68), Steber (‘58), Gigli (‘33), and Barrientos (‘18, pictured above). I will always jump to the defense of my favored, and less touted bel cantists!

Many submissions honored the greats: Muzio, Callas, Kraus, Sutherland, Horne, Caballé, Sills, and so on. However, this offering, by Shirley Verrett, although not a winner or runner-up was the most exciting new find for me:

Now, please share your bel canto favorites!

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1 comment so far

  1. donna venefica on

    Parterre lurker wandering over, and my apologies for commenting on a year-old post. I had to thank you, though–this is so beautiful, and I wondered why it sounded faintly familiar to me. Utterly transformed, but familiar. Voila: my Toscanini set had been dust-gathering for years, and sure enough, poor Gladys Swarthout just doesn’t have a good time with this air. Thank you for such a beautiful document of Shirley Verrett and Berlioz.


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