Search for a suitable source for a libretto[ edit ] Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso , by Francesco Hayez detail Upon his arrival in Paris, Bellini quickly entered into the fashionable world of the Parisian salons , including 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 Cherubini , then in his seventies. Once it was signed, Bellini began to look around for a suitable subject and, in a letter to Florimo of 11 March , he expresses some frustrations, noting: "I am about to lose my mind over the plot of the opera for Paris, as it has been impossible to find a suitable subject for my purpose and adaptable to the company". However, on 11 April he is able to say in a letter to Ferlito that he was well and that "I 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. Finally, Bellini stated that he did not want "to negotiate with anybody until I see what success my opera will have".
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Yet despite these frustrations, there are two reasons not to miss it: The tenor Javier Camarena and the soprano Diana Damrau. As the emotionally unstable Elvira, a young Puritan woman in 17th-century England, Ms.
Damrau sang with gleaming sound, volatile intensity and fearless execution of florid coloratura runs. Camarena again proved to be the leading bel canto tenor of the day.
At 40, he may be entering his prime. He certainly appears to know what he is doing with his career. Camarena retired that role from his repertory. He said that as his voice had matured, he was finding it harder to dispatch flights of rapid-fire Rossinian passagework. Camarena balanced melting warmth and clarion ardor in his beguiling performance. His legato phrasing was a model of grace. And when the melodic line rose above high C, a realm that strains many tenor voices, Mr.
Camarena was in his glory. Given the dramatic vacuum that is this production, Ms. On Friday Ms. Sometimes an impassioned phrase sounded steely. Damrau delivers. The vocally muscular bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni has done some exceptional work at the Met. Striving for lyrical refinement, he often sounded just reticent. The militaristic duet between Giorgio and Riccardo that is supposed to conclude Act II with a chilling pledge to deal with Arturo fell oddly flat. These two singers could have used some juicing from Mr.
Benini, phoning it in from the pit. You can understand why mounting a new production may not be a priority. Still, if the Met is going to stick with a drab year-old show, then some attention should at least be given to generating a little more drama onstage. In what seemed to be default blocking, chorus members would file into place, face the audience to sing and then meander off. Much was forgiven in Act III, though, when Arturo returns and gives the honorable reason for his absence.
Camarena and Ms. Damrau were marvelous in the emotionally charged duet when, realizing that he still loves her, Elvira snaps back to sanity. And Mr.
Review: A Tenor and a Soprano Make ‘I Puritani’ Gleam at the Met
I puritani (Bellini, Vincenzo)