The Bel Canto Technique

coral singing The Bel Canto technique originates in the days of Italian  opera where control and the tone quality of the voice were  paramount.  Although translated, Bel Canto simply means  “beautiful singing,” it is much more than a descriptor of any  given singing style.  The practitioners of Bel Canto such as Lamperti used specific techniques in producing the voice that resulted in resonance and purity of tone, consistency of tone across the registers of the voice, a high degree of breath control, excellent projection, and longevity of the voice.  Unfortunately, over the years, the term “Bel Canto” has become watered-down and too broadly used such that it has lost a lot of the specifics of the original meaning it once had.

Bel Canto is about:

  1. a style of singing that originated in Italian opera
  2. a technique of producing the voice in such a way as to achieve the aesthetic of the above style of singing
  3. a way of singing where your voice does not tire, but actually gets stronger over the course of a performance, tour, etc.
  4. a natural way of singing that “makes sense” as it is rooted in simple physical and physiological principles
  5. has four key components – the lift of the throat, the mask of the face, the inhalation of the voice, and the hold of the breath
  6. should appear as effortless as speaking – it does not strain the voice in any way – getting nodes is impossible if you are using the technique.

Any technique that leaves out ANY of this (note the inhalation of the voice especially!) is a version of Bel Canto that has been manipulated for the sake of convenience or is lacking due to ignorance.  Many people who claim to use and teach Bel Canto genuinely believe they are doing so, but that is only because the teachers they studied with were victim to someone else’s sense of convenience or ignorance along the way.

Now that I have your attention with some of those potentially contentious points, please feel free to navigate through this site to find out more!