Bel Canto

The beauty of music

In today’s episode, we discover why bel canto awakens so many emotions and why it is a favorite for lovers of opera. Along with Ramon Gener, we head to the rehearsal space for the gospel group “Messengers” to understand what rhythm, harmony and melody are, the three basic elements in music.

In Madrid’s Teatro Real—while sitting in a privileged spot, the Royal Box—we watch the performance of “La fille du régiment" and witness the legendary high C from the chest as sung by Mexican tenor Javier Camarena whose vocal virtuosity is truly surprising. To understand this technique, we perform two different experiments, one with tennis player Álex Corretja and another with tenor David Alegret.

Despite bel canto being born in Italy and all its composers being Italian, we discover why many of its operas are written in French and why so many of its authors moved to France to premiere them. And we’ll also learn how its decline began and about its subsequent revival. For that, we’ll talk with conductor Bruno Campanella, one of the world’s leading authorities on this genre, and with soprano Desirée Rancattore who will show us what was so special about the singers that put bel canto on the map again.

"La fille du régiment" Teatro Real de Madrid, 2014
"Guillaume Tell" Rossini Opera Festival UNITEL 2014
"Maria Stuarda" Teatro La Fenice, UNITEL 2010<


Javier Camarena
Bruno Campanella
Álex Corretja
David Alegret
Desirée Rancattore