for 'beautiful sing
ing', bel canto
refers to both a specific period in the musical history of Italy, 1800-1850, and also to a very appealing and light vocal
by Italian Opera
singers, especially sopranos
during this period. A prime aspect of the style is the continuity
, and the flowing, vowel
-rich Italian language lends itself to this. There was emphasis on expressing emotion while sounding as natural as possible. Puccini
(The Barber of Seville
, for example), among others, wrote Operas with bel canto style in mind.
The popularity of the bel canto
style waxes and wanes
, but it never seems to go completely out of style
(for good reason).