The term bel canto refers to the Italian-originated vocal style that prevailed throughout most of Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries whose hallmarks are impeccable technique, purity of tone and phenomenal breath control. Its star singers, especially the castrati, were lionised by an adoring public to whom beauty of sound and brilliance of performance were prized far more than dramatic expression or romantic emotion.
‘An Exaltation of Larks’ glories in some of the most stupendous singing you’ll ever hear with dazzling vocal pyrotechnics, unbelievable breath control that will leave you gasping, and a full-throttled Bb almost an octave above top C that could shatter Crystal Palace.
Ross Alley was, for many years, a music lecturer for Birkbeck College, University of London. He has also given numerous guest lectures for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Wigmore Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Wagner Society, the Gustav Mahler Society, the London Jewish Cultural Centre and NADFAS.