At the beginning of Bel Canto, Hosokawa is a man with a tidy, conventional life. He works very hard. He is a success. He has a family. But when Hosokawa listens to opera, he stops doing and thinking and feeling what is proper and experiences the intensity of human love, anguish, and passion.
During his captivity, Hosokawa experiences a major awakening. Once a man who only felt passion while appreciating art, Hosokawa is transformed by his captivity into a man who feels passion while experiencing life. When his romance with Roxanne Coss blooms, the love that he used to feel only while listening to opera begins to color all of his days. This transformation amazes Hosokawa, who never knew that such a life could exist.
Coss alone is not responsible for the change in Hosokawa. He, like all of the characters in Bel Canto, experiences life with particular intensity during the siege. Unlike the other characters, Hosokawa faces the reality that the almost magical idyll of captivity will one day come to an end, and that when it does, the relationships formed under duress will be affected. Hosokawa wonders if he and Coss will be able to protect and maintain their passion for each other once they have been released.