Bel Canto is a chain of restaurants, based in Paris, France, where singers perform live opera arias for the diners today you can experience the same in the heart of London. Fine French food in a warm and intimate dining room, served by our fantastic singing waiters. Our professional opera singers have been trained at some of the most prestigious conservatoires and academies in the world and will be happy to share the stories and history behind each aria they sing. The performance starts at 7:30 and our singers will sing a range of solo, duet and group arias every 15 minutes. We ask that all our guests please respect our singers and refrain from talking through the performances, so that this beautiful music can be enjoyed by everyone.
The concept for Bel Canto was born in the late 1990s. Musician and music lover Jacques de la Bussiere suffered from a serious disease which resulted in the loss of 90% of his hearing. Although he could no longer play the piano or the drums, M. de la Bussiere refused to give up his love of music. When he began using hearing aids, he realised the human voice could never be truly captured by electronic means, and inspiration struck. He was going to commit himself to the promotion of the art of opera, and give people the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the human voice up close and personal. With his friend, professional gourmand Jean-Paul Maurel, he decided to re-invent an experience which had not been seen for many years – the tradition of enjoying world class live opera, in close proximity to the singers themselves, while simultaneously savouring wonderful food.
No draughty amphitheatres here, and no opera glasses needed, this was to be a warm, welcoming, intimate setting, and the singers were to be cherry-picked from among the most promising new talent from Paris’s musical academies, conservatories, and opera schools. The goal? “Faire rêver, offrir une scène voire un tremplin à ces jeunes talents.” (“To enable dreams and provide a stage for young talent.”) Selected with the help of a professional opera singer, they soon had their first team. Decorative costumes were acquired from a 1999 auction organised by the Opéra National de Paris, and a beautiful venue was found in Paris’s Marais area, on the banks of the Seine. The first branch was opened in the year 2000, soon followed by the Neuilly restaurant 2004, and our own London branch in 2008. Bel Canto has a vibrant history of passion, hard-work, and vision, all underscored by a sincere love of opera and gastronomy and we hope you will come to experience this with us – at any one of our restaurants – very soon!