A star of Glyndebourne's 2015 tour shows exactly how to sing bel canto

28 October 2015, 11:55 | Updated: 28 October 2015, 12:02

American baritone John Brancy is taking to theatres around the country, singing in Donizetti's 'Don Pasquale' as part of the opera company's 2015 tour. He shows us his spectacular coloratura chops and shares the secrets of how it's done.

Long, luscious, seductive vocal lines one moment and then rapid, virtuosic, earth-shattering phrases the next.   

Bel canto literally means "beautiful singing" and it's synonymous with some of the most difficult and vocally challenging operas ever composed. 

Glyndebourne are currently taking a bel canto masterpieces – Donizetti's Don Pasquale – around the country as part of its 2015 tour. We caught up with one of its stars, American baritone John Brancy, and quizzed him about the glories and challenges of singing this style of opera. 

So what is bel canto, and what does Donizetti have in store? We'll let John explain...

Here's John demonstrating that beautiful bel canto legato line

Baritone John Brancy sings legato


Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 28 October 2015



We also asked him to sing something from the other end of the spectrum – a coloratura line. Coloratura features fast flurries of notes and ornaments, often pushing the limits of a singer's upper range.

But what exactly does coloratura involve for the singer?

And he was kind enough to demonstrate

This particular bit happens in a dramatic conflict at a wedding (because, opera). Take it away Dr Malatesta

Baritone John Brancy sings coloratura


Posted by Classic FM on Wednesday, 28 October 2015


What it's like to sing for Glyndebourne?

We asked John to tell us what it's like to sing for one of the best known companies in the world.

If you like the sound of all this, John and a host of operas finest singers are taking Donizetti's "beautiful singing" around the country as part of Glyndebourne's 2015 tour.

The production is directed by Mariame Clément, and features some of opera's finest up and coming singers. Lovely, lavish period staging too. 

It's being performed in Glyndebourne, Lewes, The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, Milton Keynes Theatre, Theatre Royal in Norwich, Theatre Royal in Plymouth and the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. Full details of dates and locations here.