Bellini's breakthrough: Il pirata
- Vincenzo Bellini Il pirata
Giampaolo Bisanti conducts the little-played Bellini opera Il pirata. Albina Shagimuratova, a Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti specialist, performs the demanding leading role.
Belcanto! A lesser-known Bellini
The Matinee has quite a history in the Italian bel canto repertoire. By Vincenzo Bellini, La straniera and Norma have sounded in recent years. Italian conductor Giampaolo Bisanti, music director at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, will lead Il pirata musically. He has already performed successfully at the Matinee: with Giordano's (significantly later opera) Fedora.
Revolutionary innovative opera style
The story of the unhappy love between Imogene and Gualtiero offered Bellini passionate and dramatic situations, which allowed him to put romantic characters on stage in an innovative way. Also revolutionary is Imogene's madness scene at the end, after the brutal execution of her lover Gualtiero: 'O sun, hide / in the darkest darkness, / keep the cruel axe / away from my eyes.' Il pirata marked the composer's final breakthrough, especially since here he collaborated for the first time with what would become his favorite librettist, Felice Romani. Its 1827 premiere at the Milan Scala was an immediate and overwhelming success.