bel can·to / bel ˈkäntō; ˈkan-/ • n. a lyrical style of operatic singing using a full rich broad tone and smooth phrasing: a superb piece of bel canto [as adj.] the bel canto arias of Bellini.
bel canto (It.). Beautiful singing, beautiful song. A term covering the remarkable qualities of the great 18th-cent. and early 19th-cent. It. singers, and suggesting rather perf. in the lyrical style, in which tone is made to tell, than in the declamatory style. Vocal agility, beauty of tone, and legato phrasing, with faultless technique, were the prin. ingredients.
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