The Minnesota Opera’s Artistic Philosophy
Minnesota Opera's artistic philosophy is inspired by bel canto ("beautiful singing"), the ideal upon which Italian opera is based. Bel canto values, which emphasize intense emotional expression supported by exquisite technique, inform every aspect of the company's programs, from repertoire selection, casting and visual design to education and artist training.
"Bel Canto," Italian for "beautiful singing," was both a period of operatic composition in Italy from 1800-1850 and a philosophy of vocal production that centered around the capacity of the human voice to convey emotion beautifully. The tenets of the philosophy are threefold: the effortless and expressive delivery of music, the mastery of appropriate musical style, and the natural beauty of the voice.
Beginning in the 2000 season with Rossini's Semiramide, Minnesota Opera committed to producing one Bel Canto-period opera in each subscription season. Over time, these Bel Canto operas have focused the Opera’s energy on becoming a specialist in this period (in addition to the Opera’s continuing commitment to the broader repertoire). Setting the standard for this neglected body of work, The Minnesota Opera is becoming a destination point for audiences and artists interested in Bel Canto-period operas and the Bel Canto style of singing.
Inspired by Bel Canto vocal standards, Minnesota Opera will bring those standards of beautiful singing to all of the repertoire it produces and design all its productions with the intent of creating an environment that facilitates the beautiful expression of emotion through the human voice.