I puritani / Staatsoper Stuttgart


Bellini, by dint of his name and inclination, is the essence of bel canto

Of the three pre-eminent Italian composers of that era before the advent of Verdi in the early 1840s, it might be said that Rossini displayed more musical verve, Donizetti the greater dramatic aptitude, but Bellini's operas are the most beautiful. He was less prolific than his main rivals, with only 10 extant titles, because his life and potential were cut short in his 34th year. Today Bellini is remembered above all for the dazzling opportunities he provided for the expressive colours and powers of the soprano voice. Bellini bestowed his trademark long-spun melodies on his prime donne in ways which define them as singers in the collective memory of audiences.