BELLINI'S I PURITANI
New York Metropolitan Opera broadcast
Radio New Zealand, Concert FM
Sunday 4th of February 2007 at 3 pm
The story and background
The characters and cast
The cast with photographs
The Libretto in Italian
Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) was another short-lived composer of operas (like Mozart and Bizet), and I Puritani (The Puritans) dates from the last year of his life. He gave us captivating music, with delightful orchestration and "beautiful singing" (bel canto, as opposed to can belto).
This is an opera we associate with Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland, as also his Norma and his Sonnambula (Sleepwalker). It has a "mad scene" for soprano. Maybe this started with Shakespeare's Ophelia (and the sleepwalking with Lady Macbeth), whereby a poor girl is "sick of love" and sings about her sorrows in a deranged but melodic manner.