Seems like the universe really does like to engage in some balancing. After having the last classical piece be a brief collection of brief pieces by Reynaldo Hahn, the music gods decided to send me a three hour opera. Not just any three hour opera, an opera set in England during the Civil War that features characters with well known English (and not at all Italian) names like Gualtiero and Elvira. I don’t really mind the name thing – I just find it a bit adorable and I know that the English are very much guilty of the opposite.
I Puritani (or The Puritans) is the final opera written by Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini, he died not long after it premiered… at the age of 33. Me, being 31, sees something like this and it terrified that at two years older than me, there is a classical composer who has a lovely tomb in the cathedral of his hometown (which I will have seen on my final day in Sicily).
Being his final opera, and that I haven’t heard any of his previous works, it is hard to judge this compared to his other works like Norma and others that I don’t actually know the names of. It’s hard to overplay how much of an initial success this was upon its Parisien premiere.
I guess there is something to the actual presentation to it other than the music, especially as I had no idea about the story without the occasional trip to Wikipedia. I don’t really know anything about opera, but compared to some of the others that I have listened to for this didn’t exactly make me want more.