Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening–until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
LitLovers – Includes Author Info, Discussion Questions, and Brief Reviews
The Guardian – “Danger Arias” by Alex Clark
Entertainment Weekly – “Review” by Karen Valby
The New York Times – “Uninvited Guests Wearing You Down? Listen to Opera” by Janet Maslin
On the Web:
Author’s Website -
Spotify Playlists – Listen to the music mentioned in the book via Tattered Cover and GalleyCat.
NPR – “Talk Like an Opera Geek: Savoring the ‘Bel Canto’ Sound” by Tom Huizenga
NPR: Morning Edition – “Ann Patchett and Renee Fleming on ‘Bel Canto’“
If you enjoyed Bel Canto, you might like:
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Check out The Book Club Cookbook for a delicious recipe inspired by Bel Canto‘s kitchen scene.