the bel canto style of opera. Bel
canto consists of long passages of simple melody alternating with outbursts
of elaborate vocal scrollwork, which turns the voice into a complex wind
instrument. The desired effect was to
heighten the dramatic meaning and significance of the words through attention
to pitch, dynamics, melody, and rhythm.
This highly emotional and intense use of the human voice was in
Whitman’s view the highest form of art.
singer: Marietta Alboni (in NY 1852-1853). Her work influenced the aria of
the mockingbird in “Out of the Cradle endlessly Rocking” and the carol of the
hermit thrush in “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” These 2 poems
employ a recitative-aria structured modeled on Italian operatic style. (WW