SHOW NOTES: Tracking the elusive bel canto tenor

We're tracking the elusive bel canto tenor in this week's podcast episode. They are rare and elusive creatures, I promise!  In this podcast I advise you to track them down, and when you find one, never let it go.  They are unique, indeed.

Its very hard to find tenors who are comfortable singing in the musical stratosphere, with a beautifully lyric sound, while being charming on stage.  The bel canto repertoire sounds effortless from a voice blessed and trained to sing it, but I promise you each role is a marathon of singing.

I warn you, I did download a bunch of sound effects that inspired my safari approach to this topic. I promise I used them sparingly, and I hope you’ll find it in the spirit of fun it is intended.

This episode offers an array of some fantastic singing, from some of the world’s finest interpreters of this repertoire.  I highly recommend you track down these gems!


The William Tell Overture by Rossini was not originally written to accompany the Lone Ranger television show.  I think its a festive start to any occasion. There are several great recordings of this piece. 

This is the famed 'Una furtiva lagrim'a, by Donizetti from L’ELISIR D’AMORE sung by the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti. You should download this one to your library!

This feat of operatic singing is the final aria for Count Almaviva in Rossini’s IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. It is called 'Cessa di piu resistere'.  It is often cut from productions because it is so difficult.  I don’t really know many tenors who can pull it off.  Here is Juan Diego Florez demonstrating how it really should go.

Another clip from Mr. Florez, who absolutely shines in this repertoire.  This is part of Tonio’s aria 'Ah mes amis!' from Donizetti’s LA FILLE AU REGIMENT.  This is the final part of the aria where the infamous nine high c’s are required.  Whew!

'Povero Ernesto', from DON PASQUALE is a true masterpiece when sung well.  This is from one of my favorite recordings of the work.  The tenor is Aldo Bertolo. 

No one sings 'Fra poco a the verrà' from LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR by Donizetti like Luciano Pavarotti.  Amazing voice.  Amazing performance lead by Richard Bonynge.