Join Dr Joseph Talia OAM, opera singer, artistic director, teacher and scholar, in a musical journey across four centuries, enhancing our appreciation of the qualities that make Italian opera one of the most loved artistic forms of all time, as well as one of the most successful cultural exports of il Bel Paese. The romantic bel canto period of Donizetti and Bellini saw the continuing decline of the castrati and the rise of the normal soprano and tenor. It was during this period that a new type of interpreter came to the fore – one capable of displaying great ecstasy, sadness, anguish and romantic vigour. We will compare and contrast Donizetti’s comedies such as Don Pasquale and L’Elisir d’Amore with his dramatic works such as Lucia di Lammermoor and Anna Bolena. Within this framework we shall examine the dramatic coloratura of Donizetti and Bellini.