You are here
Lucia di Lammermoor Bellini Donizetti Lyric Opera of Chicago New to opera Pavarotti Rossini Sutherland 

What is bel canto?

With Lyric Opera of Chicago’s opening of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a prime example of the Italian style known as bel canto, this weekend, I thought now would be a good time for a little refresher. So, what exactly is bel canto? “Opera buffs today use the term bel canto all the time. Yet we each seem to bring a different set of assumptions to the concept.” -Anthony Tommasini, New York Times Bel canto literally translates to “beautiful singing,” and it was a popular singing style in Italian opera from…

Read More
Mario Antonio Marra Donizetti Features Lyric Opera of Chicago 

“The drama is very direct and true,” Mario Antonio Marra on Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lucia di Lammermoor

With Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor opening this weekend, we wanted to interview someone who is both intimately involved in the production and has a profound and personal connection with this bel canto masterpiece. Mario Antonio Marra, the pianist for the production, was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions. +240

Read More
Lucia di Lamermermoor, Mad Scene Bellini Donizetti Mozart New to opera Styles, definitions, and more Sutherland Verdi 

Mad Scenes

  They were all the rage in the early 19th century, a time when bel canto dominated the operatic stage. The vast majority of mad scenes were written for the leading soprano, providing her the ultimate opportunity to showcase her skills. Many of these pieces are extremely demanding, full of expressive and challenging coloratura passages. Here are some of the most famous mad scenes in the canon… “Il dolce suono” from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, sung by the masterful Joan Sutherland in one of her signature roles. The piece was…

Read More