Leta Fulton Whitney's The Lost Art of Bel Canto is the most important modern work written on the subject of the
bel canto (beautiful singing) method.
First, it tells the story of the life of voice and piano teacher William Lincoln Whitney. It describes how he learned from his father and from the greatest masters in Europe in the late years of the 19th century. He went on to
teach thousands of pupils, including the great Eleanor Steber.
The teaching materials in the second part of the book are a compilation of Mr. Whitney's personal notes and mark-ups of music. These materials were assembled by his wife, Leta, in the 1950s. Before becoming Mrs. Whitney, Leta had been William's pupil. She grasped everything about bel canto and went on to teach the method herself.
Finally, the book concludes with a charming passage written by William L. Whitney II, the son of William and Leta. His memories offer additional insights into the life of his wonderful father and mother.