Opera Scotland

Vincenzo Bellini Suggest updates

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini.

Born Catania, 3 November 1801.

Died Puteaux, Paris, 23 September 1835.

Italian composer.

Bellini's early death  was widely seen as a great loss to the development of opera in Europe. Coming from a musical family in Sicily, he trained with them before being sent to the Naples conservatory, where his talents were quickly recognised. His student piece, Adelson e Salvini, was greeted as promising, and he was quickly recruited to provide new works for La Scala, being particularly fortunate in the choice of his librettist, Felice Romani.

He composed two very successful works for La Scala before Zaira caused a few problems at Parma. It seems the natives took offence at his cheerful social manners, taking the air when they considered he should have been hard at work. They didn't realize he generally worked in the wee small hours, so his attractive piece  was booed. Much of the music was successfully recycled into his Romeo and Juliet opera (not based on Shakespeare, but derived from the same source the bard himself had used). La sonnambula, which followed, was a resounding success and remained popular for a century. After his masterpiece, Norma, Bellini and his librettist had a falling out. Beatrice was a comparative failure, and Count Carlo Pepoli was simply not in Romani's league as a writer, though Puritani was also a huge success. Bellini's unexpected death soon afterwards came as a great shock.

Operas performed in Scotland appear in bold:-

01   Adelson e Salvini (Naples 1825) (Tottola)

02   Bianca e Fernando (Naples 1826, rev Genoa 1828) (Gilardoni, rev Romani)

03   Il pirata (Milan 1827) (Romani)

04   La straniera (Milan 1829) (Romani)

05   Zaira (Parma 1829) (Romani)

06   I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Venice 1830) (Romani)

07   La sonnambula (Milan 1831) (Romani)

08   Norma (Milan 1831) (Romani)                                                                                 

09   Beatrice di Tenda (Venice 1833) (Romani)

10   I Puritani (Paris 1835) (Pepoli)                                                                                            

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