I PUKITANI, A GRAND OPERA, WITH AN ENGLISH VERSION, THB MUSIC BY BELLINI. [OOPYRIG-HT.] . Coro di Puritani dentro la Fortezza. La campana. I puritani (The Puritans) is an opera in three acts by Vincenzo Bellini. It was his last opera. Its libretto is by Count Carlo Pepoli, based on Têtes rondes et. from Act I, Scene 3 of the Italian opera I Puritani by Vincenzo Bellini. Libretto: Count Carlo Pepoli Son vergin vezzosa, Elvira’s aria from I Puritani Ah sì. Oh, yes.
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I puritani The Puritans is an opera by Vincenzo Bellini. It was originally written in two acts and later changed to three acts on the advice of Gioachino Rossiniwith whom the young composer had become friends.
Taking from April until its llibretto the following January, Bellini had time to ensure that the opera was as close to perfection as possible. After the premiere, Bellini reported to his friend Francesco Florimo in Naples that:. The French had all gone mad; there were such noise and such shouts that they themselves were astonished at being so carried away In a word, my dear Florimo, it was an unheard of thing, and since Saturday, Paris has spoken of it in amazement .
Upon his arrival in Paris, Bellini quickly entered into the fashionable world of the Parisian salonsincluding that run by Princess Belgiojoso whom he had met in Milan. In addition to the many writers of the time, among the musical figures which he would have encountered were several Italians such as Michele Carafa and Luigi Cherubinithen in his seventies.
Thus, for most of the remainder ofBellini’s musical activity was very limited. He pleaded guilty in the letter to Florimo in March noting that the city’s attractions were immense. Once it was signed, Bellini began to look belini for a suitable subject and, in a letter to Florimo of 11 Marchhe expresses some frustrations, noting: However, on 11 April he is able to say in a letter to Ferlito that he was well and that purritani have chosen the story for my Paris opera; it is of the times of Cromvello [Cromwell], after he had King Charles I of England beheaded.
When first shown the play and other possible subjects by Pepoli, in the opinion of writer William Weaver, “it was clearly the heroine’s madness that attracted the composer and determined his choice. In his letter to Ferlito of 11 April, Bellini provides a synopsis of the opera, indicating that his favourite singers, Giulia GrisiLuigi LablacheGiovanni Battista Rubiniand Antonio Purktaniwould all be available for the principal roles, and that he would begin to write the music by 15 April if he had brllini the verses.
Before the collaboration had got underway and initially impressed by the quality of Pepoli’s verses in general,  Bellini had prepared the way for his librettist by providing him with a scenario of thirty-nine scenes thus compressing the original drama into manageable proportionsreducing the number of characters from nine to seven and at the same time, giving them names of a more Italianate, singable quality.
But a month later, he comments to Florimo on what it takes working on the libretto with Pepoli: But, to balance the situation, William Weaver comments that “to some extent Bellini could compensate for Pepoli’s deficiencies with his own first-hand theatrical experience” and suggests that some of that experience had been “acquired from Romani.
Continuing to work on the yet-unnamed I puritaniBellini moved from central Paris, and at some time in the late Spring specific date unknown Bellini wrote to Pepoli to remind him that he should bring his work with him the following day “so that we can finish discussing the first act, which Carve into your head in adamantine letters: The opera must draw tears, terrify people, make them die through singing .
By late June, there had been considerable progress and, in a letter copied into one written to Florimo on 25 July, Bellini writes in reply to Alesandro Lanarinow the director of the Royal Theatres of Naples, telling him that the first act of Puritani is finished and that he expects to complete the opera by September, in order that he may then have time to write a new opera for Naples for the following year.
Finally, Bellini stated that he did not want “to negotiate with anybody until I see what success my opera will have”. When nothing came of negotiations with Naples for a new opera, Bellini composed an alternative version intended for the famous Maria Malibranwho was to sing Amina at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples in However, she died exactly a year to the day after the composer, and so this version was not performed on stage until 10 April at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bariwith Katia Ricciarelli in the title role.
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Given Bellini’s own expressions of frustration at working puritxni a new librettist for the first time, one musicologist, Mary Ann Smart, provides oibretto different point of view in regard to Pepoli’s approach to writing a libretto. Firstly, she addresses the issue of Pepoli’s inexperience:. An address that Pepoli delivered to prize-winning students in Bologna in reveals not only a surprisingly broad grasp of operatic repertoire but also some forceful ideas about how music could provoke political feeling.
Pepoli adopts a modern aesthetic agenda, condemning vocal ornamentation as a dilution of dramatic sense and attacking imitation as cheapening music’s inherent, nonverbal language. After touching on exemplary passages from operas by Francesco MorlacchiNicola Vaccaiand Vincenzo Bellini, Pepoli turns to the ” Marseillaise “, arguing that it melds music and poetry perfectly to arouse feeling and provoke action. Quoting Pepoli, Smart continues: Europe and the world shouted Liberty! The Italian phrase Pepoli uses here, [i.
For their homeland they will take up arms and gladly face death: It is beautiful to face death shouting ‘liberty’. When he wrote to Pepoli that his “liberal bent. Nevertheless, the Suoni la tromba which Bellini described as his “Hymn to Liberty” and which had initially been placed in the opera’s first puriatni was enthusiastically received by the composer: According to Weinstock, quoting letters sent to Puritanu in Italy at around puritank time and continuing almost up to I puritani ‘s premiereBellini perceived this to be a plot orchestrated by Rossini and, in a long, rambling letter of 2, words to Florino of 11 Marchhe expressed his frustrations.
By September Bellini was writing to Florimo of being able to “polish and re-polish” in the three remaining months before rehearsals and he expresses happiness with Pepoli’s verses “a very beautiful trio for the two basses and La Grisi ” and by around mid-December he had submitted the score for Rossini’s approval.
Rossini is known to have recommended one change to the placement of the “Hymn to Liberty”, which had initially appeared in the first act but which Bellini had already realised could not remain in its written form if the opera was to be given in Italy.
Instead of two acts, with the “Hymn” appearing midway in the second act, Rossini proposed that it be a three-act opera with Suoni la tromba ending act 2, arguing that the effect would always be likely to create an ovation, something which he rightly foretold. Throughout his stay in Paris, Bellini had cultivated the older composer and had maintained a friendship with him: It was attended by “all of high society, all the great artists, and everyone most distinguished in Paris were in the theatre, enthusiastic.
In a word, my dear Florimo, it was an unheard of thing, and since Saturday, Bellin has spoken of it in amazement I showed myself to the audience, which shouted as if insane How satisfied I am! It was upon Rossini’s advice and after the dress rehearsal that the opera was changed from two acts to three, the second act ending after the Suoni la tromba duet for the two basses.
The opera became “the rage of Paris” and was given 17 performances to end the season on 31 March. Weinstock recounts details of hundreds more, including being given in Rome in as Elvira Waltonand during that year he details performances in Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, and Bologna with Giulia Grisi as Elvira. Between and with no details provided before 20th century performances are discussedthe opera was presented every year in different cities.
Details from forward are provided by Weinstock. In that year the opera appeared at the Manhattan Opera House in New York, followed by stagings at the Metropolitan Opera in Februarybut in New York it was not revived for many years. Various performances are reported to librettl taken place in,and in different European cities, but it was not until in Chicago that Puritani re-appeared in America with Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano in the major roles.
The s saw a variety of performances bdllini the years between Glyndebourne Festival with Joan Sutherland which was recorded and when Weinstock’s account ends. However, he does include a section on performances from the 19th century forward at the Royal Opera House in London up to Joan Sutherland’s assumption of the role of Elvira. A fortress near Plymouthcommanded by Lord Gualtiero Valton.
At daybreak, the Puritan soldiers gather in anticipation of victory over the Royalists. Prayers are heard from within, and then shouts of joy as the ladies and gentlemen of the castle come out announcing news of Elvira’s wedding. Puritsni alone, Riccardo shares with Bruno his plight: Riccardo had been promised Elvira’s hand in marriage by her father Lord Valton but, returning to Plymouth the previous evening, he has found that she is in love with Arturo a Royalistand will marry him instead.
He confides in Bruno. Forever have I lost you, flower of love, oh my hope; ah! As he pours out his sorrows to Bruno, Riccardo is called upon by his soldiers to lead them but he declares “I am aflame, but the flame is love, not glory”. Elvira welcomes Giorgio, her uncle, with fatherly love, but when he tells her that she will soon be married, she is horror-struck. Aria, then extended duet: She continues, stating a determination never to be married. But when Giorgio tells her that her cavalier, Arturo, will be coming, he reveals that it was he bellinu persuaded her father, Lord Valton, to grant Elvira’s wish.
Then the sound of trumpets is heard announcing Arturo’s arrival; he is welcomed by all. Arturo and his squires come into the hall and are joined by Elvira, Valton, Giorgio and the ladies and gentlemen of the castle. After a general welcome from all assembled, Arturo expresses his new-found happiness. Aria, Arturo; then Giorgio and Walton; then all assembled: Valton tells everyone that he will not be able to attend the wedding ceremony and he provides Arturo with a safe conduct pass.
I puritani (Bellini, Vincenzo)
A mysterious lady appears, and Valton tells her that he will be escorting her to London to appear before Parliament. Giorgio tells him that she is suspected of being a Royalist spy. As Elvira leaves to prepare herself for the wedding and the others depart in various directions, Arturo hangs back and finds the mysterious lady alone. Insisting that she not be concerned about Elvira, Arturo vows to save her: Aria, Riccardo; then Enrichetta; then together: You shall be saved, oh unhappy woman.
To allow that to happen, she removes her wedding veil and places it over Enrichetta’s head. Both Arturo and Enrichetta realise that this may allow them to escape, and as they proceed, they are challenged by Riccardo who believes the woman to be Elvira.
He almost provokes a fight with Arturo until he discovers that she is not Elvira; then, he is content to allow them to pass, swearing not to reveal any information. When the wedding party enters, they ask for Arturo, then learn, largely from Riccardo, that he has fled with Enrichetta. Becoming increasingly distraught, Elvira believes that she sees Arturo: It is increasingly clear that she has gone mad.
As the ladies and gentlemen of the castle are mournful for Elvira’s totally downcast state of mind, Giorgio describes her madness: Riccardo brings the news that Arturo is now a fugitive who has been condemned to death by Parliament for allowing Enrichetta to escape.
Giorgio states that the only hope for Elvira will be a sudden joyous experience. Elvira is heard outside, still deranged but longing for Arturo: As she enters, she expresses all her longing: Libetto he swore to be true, here he swore it, and then, cruel man, he fled!
Entering, she confronts her uncle and Riccardo, whom she fails to recognise, even in her moments of lucidity. She addresses him as if he were Arturo: The two men encourage Elvira to return to her room. For Elvira’s sake, Giorgio encourages Riccardo to help save his rival, advising that he will forever be pursued by their phantoms.
Riccardo rejects the request: Giorgio, then Riccardo, then duet: However, he states that if in the following day’s battle, Arturo appears, he will perish at his hand. The two men now have an agreement: Giorgio, then Riccardo, then together: Let the trumpets sound, and I shall fight strongly, fearlessly.