Bel Canto Singing

Singing Studio Bel Canto provides Classical Italian Opera Singing Lessons from Beginner through to Advanced in the art of 'Bel Canto' in Johannesburg, South Africa in. The objective of Bel Canto singing is to create a vocal sound that is rich in harmonic overtones and is uniform in color from your lowest note to your highest note as well as uniform in color across the vowel sounds necessary to distinguish words in the English language. Bel Canto, historically informed, re-creative singing in the age of rhetorical persuasion, c.1500 – c.1830. Mathilde Marchesi (1821–1913) was probably the most renowned singing teacher of the late nineteenth century. Herself the pupil of the great Manuel Garcia the Second and the associate of the unsurpassable divas of the middle nineteenth century, she also linked the traditional bel canto teaching method to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Do you like Bel canto?
I tried to make a short list about the best Bel canto’s arias (and some choruses). In this list there are only arias from Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, the great Bel canto composers.
Do you agree with the list? Is there missing some of the great arias? What are yor favorite arias? What are your favorite operas? Who is the best composer from Bel canto? What are your favorite Bel Canto’s singers? What operas do you recommend?
1813 TANCREDI Di tanti palpiti
1813 ITALIANA languir per una bella
cruda sorte
1814 TURCO2 Non si da follia maggiore
1816 BARBIERIEcco ridente in cielo
Largo al factotum
Una voce poco fa
La calunnia è un venticello
A un dottor della mia sorte
cessa di piu resistere
1816 GAZZETTA co sta grazia sta portata
1816 OTELLO Assisa a pie d'un salice
1817 CENERENTOLA Una volta c'era un re
Sì, ritrovarla io giuro, aria di Ramiro
1817 GAZZA LADRA Bravo, ma quel piacer che adesso
Accusata di furto
1818 MOSE Mi manca la voce
Dal tuo stellato soglio
1819 ERMIONE Sul lido di Agamennone
Sei vendicata
1823 SEMIRAMIDE ah dove il cimento
Bel raggio lusinghier
1829 GUGLIELMO TELL Selva opaca
Resta immobile
O muto asil del pianto
1830 I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI E serbato a questo acciaro
Se Romeo t’uccise un figlio
1831 NORMA casta diva
guerra guerra
deh non volerli vittime
1831 SONNAMBULA prendi l'anel ti dono
a non credea mirarti
a non giunge
1835 PURITANI A te, o cara
Son vergin vezzosa
Qui la voce sua soave
Vieni fra queste braccia
credeasi misera
1830 ANNA BOLENA Al dolce guidami
Coppia iniqua
1831 L'ELISIR D’AMORE Quanto è bella, quanto è cara!
Come Paride vezzoso
Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera duetto
Una furtiva lagrima
prendi per me sei libero
1833 LUCREZIA BORGIA Com’e bello
T'amo qual ama un angelo
Il segreto per essere felici
1835 MARIA STUARDA Ah! Quando All'ara Scorgemi
Era D'amor L'immagine'
Deh! L'accogli' - 'Morta Al Mondo
1835 LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR Regnava nel silenzio
Oh, giusto cielo!...Il dolce suono
Fra poco a me ricovero
1837 ROBERTO DEVEREUX vivi ingrato
quel sangue versato
1840 FILLE DU REGIMENT. Le camarade est amoureux
Par le rang et l’opulence, Salut a la France
1840 LA FAVORITA Una vergine, un angel
Vieni Amor a piedi tuoi
1842 LINDA DI CHAMOUNIX Oh luce di quest'anima
1843 DON PASQUALE Cercheró lontana terra
Com'è gentil la notte a mezzo aprile
Tornami a dir che m'ami
My favorite arias are Cruda sorte, Una voce poco fa, Assisa a pie d’un salice, Dal tuo stellato soglio, ah dove il cimento, selva opaca, prendi l’anel ti dono, casta diva, a te o cara, una furtiva lagrima, prendi per me sei libero, com’e bello, fra poco a me ricovero, una vergine un angel, cercherò lontana terra.
My favorite operas: L’italiana in Algieri, Semiramide, Guglielmo Tell, Norma, I puritani, L’elisir d’amore and Lucia di Lammermoor.
My favorite singers: Kraus (The very best!!), Pavarotti, Merritt, Aragall, Carreras, Bruson, Sutherland, Caballé, Horne, Larmore...

Opera singers are known as the true “vocal athletes” in the music world. They must rely entirely on their body to be heard: no microphones allowed. (Unless they’re performing in a stadium, of course)! Operatic singing requires voices that can easily be heard over a full orchestra in very large houses.

Although pop music dominates today’s televised talent shows and the radio, opera is still a celebrated art form that is more accessible than ever. Every year, many young singers begin their studies of opera singing technique in the hopes that they will have a successful career singing the music of composers like Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi.

Have you always wondered what it takes to become an opera singer? Let’s take a look at the five keys to mastering opera singing technique so you can find out how to get started!

How to Master Opera Singing Technique

1. Find the Right Teacher

An opera voice teacher must have a strong knowledge of the “bel canto” technique, which means “beautiful singing” in Italian. Renowned opera singers such as Maria Callas and Jussi Bjorling knew the importance of bel canto and made it a point to study with such teachers often.

When looking for an opera instructor on TakeLessons, you can easily find someone with experience who specializes in bel canto. See if the instructor lists who theirteachers were, and what master classes or other programs they have attended. If you’re really serious about opera, you should study with someone who has learned from the experts.

2. Practice Opera Singing Technique Daily

Yes, daily. Opera singing requires more than other genres, and to succeed you must have stamina. There are several helpful resources you can purchase that opera singers use, including the vocal exercise books by Vaccai, Concone, and Sieber. These books are inexpensive and can be used daily to improve your opera singing technique!

It’s important that you spend time perfecting your arias. However, keep in mind that there is such a thing as practicing too much! While there isn’t a magic number of minutes that every singer should practice, listen to your body. If you feel any sort of fatigue, it’s best to stop for the day so you don’t strain or damage your voice.

Check out the video below for more helpful tips, including some good opera songs for beginners that you can try.

3. Study the Greats

The best opera singers were considered great because there was consistency in their voices, and they knew how to treat them! Watch them closely and you’ll start to notice things, like how they never “push” or put forth way too much effort when they sing.

They also knew what roles were appropriate for them, as they were fully aware of what their voices could and couldn’t do. Dame Joan Sutherland was often approached to sing heavy Wagner repertoire, but she declined knowing it would ruin her voice. She instead stuck with the bel canto repertoire, which showcased her incomparable coloratura skills.

Bel Canto Singing Definition

There is a reason why people still talk about artists such as Sutherland and tenor Luciano Pavarotti to this day. Both were absolutely committed to the art of bel canto. They both enjoyed long careers on the opera stage because of their reliable technique.

Here is a YouTube video of them describing some of the basics of bel canto, along with revered mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne.

Bel Canto Singing Vocal Technique

Bel canto singing method

4. Take Care of Your Instrument

You are the instrument! Unlike a pianist or guitarist, you can’t put your instrument away – it is with you at all times and you must care for it almost obsessively. Opera singers should be sure to have an exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

Many famous opera singers practice yoga as it helps them breathe more effectively. It’s also critical that opera singers get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated at all times. As for your diet, it’s best that singers avoid caffeine and too much dairy, as it can cause acid reflux and excess mucus.

Operas are not known for being short performances. As mentioned previously, you will need lots of physical and mental stamina to sing your role well! Keeping your body and voice in tip top shape is necessary to improve your opera singing technique.

5. Study a Few New Languages

Americanized vowels, such as the diphthongs you hear in country music, are frowned upon when singing opera. This can be one of the biggest challenges singers face when learning opera singing technique, but a good voice teacher will help you master “pretty vowels” (which bel canto is all about)!

Bel Canto Opera Singers

The main languages to focus on for opera singing are Italian, French, and German. The more you gain basic knowledge of each language, the more beautiful your vocal lines will be in your arias.

Beginning singers should consider taking classes in as many of these languages as possible. Depending on what happens with your opera career, you might be visiting these European countries and you’ll need to know how to communicate with the locals, too!


So there you have it. If you can master opera singing technique, you can sing anything! Are you ready to get serious? The best place to start is TakeLessons. Find the right classically trained vocal coach for you today!

Post Author: Molly M.
Molly M. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Schaumburg, IL. Her specialties include teaching Opera and Classical Voice to beginners, shy singers, children, and older beginners. Molly started teaching in 2002. Learn more about Molly here!