voice, though the exact cause of the fact is not known. It was erroneously maintained by Sax that the material of the bell exercises no influence on the quality of the tone. Notes of exactly similar pitch with those from brass or wood can of course be obtained, as he stated, from similar bells made of leather, gutta percha, or papiermâché. Even a trumpet-shaped orifice in a solid wall, fitted with a mouthpiece, gives all the open notes of a wind instrument. But the quality and timbre are found to be very different when compared with the real instrument.
[ W. H. S. ]
[ W. H. H. ]
BELLE HÉLÈNE, LA, Opéra-bouffe in three acts, words by De Meilhac and Halévy, the music by Offenbach; produced at Paris, Théâtre des Variétés, Dec. 17, 1864.BELLERMANN, Constantin, born at Erfurt, 1696, rector of Münden, a composer of operas and oratorios, and an extraordinary performer on the lute. His most important work is 'Programma in quo Parnassus Musarum voce, fidibus, tibiisque resonans, sive musices divinae artis laudes diversae species singulares effectus atque primarii autores succincte enarrantur' (Erfurt, 1743), an analysis of which is given by Mitzler in his 'Bibliothek,' vol. iii. He died at Münden in 1763.
[ F. G. ]
[ F. G. ]
BELLETTI, Giovanni, the great barytone, was born in 1813 at Sarzana, a town in the Lunigiana, of respectable parents engaged in trade. While still a child, he showed a very strong inclination to music. Having an exceedingly delicate ear and a wonderful agility of voice, he soon began to repeat with his child's treble every operatic air that he heard. His father, being advised to cultivate his son's talent, placed him in the hands of a master in the neighbourhood, upon whose advice he soon after transferred him, at no small personal sacrifice, to the famous school at Bologna, over which the celebrated Pilotti presided. The latter took the greatest interest in the boy, and taught him counterpoint as well as singing. After five years of study, Belletti received his diploma. His voice was now settled as a barytone of the most beautiful quality and evenness, with marvellous facility of execution. Advised to try the stage, he hesitated for some time, until he met at Carrara a Swedish sculptor named Byström, who proposed to take him to Stockholm, free from all risk or expense, to lodge in his house, and make his debut; and, if unsuccessful, to send him back on the same terms to Italy. This generous offer he accepted, and arrived at Stockholm in 1837. Early the next year he appeared in the 'Barbiere,' and achieved his first success about a month earlier than Jenny Lind, with whose brilliant career he was so much connected afterwards. With her he sang in 'Lucia,' in 'Robert,' and others of Donizetti's and Meyerbeer's operas, translated into Swedish. To the influence of Jenny Lind, and to the critical taste of his first audience, as well as to the fine old school of singing in which he had been brought up, he owed the pure style and freedom from vulgarity which, more even than his noble voice, made him the greatest barytone of the century. When Jenny Lind left Stockholm for Paris, young Belletti returned to his native land: but when she came to London, Lumley, upon her urgent advice, soon persuaded him to come to sing with her again.