I Capuleti e i Montecchi @ Wexford Festival Opera 2021
I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Felice Romani
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
First performance 11 March 1830, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Bogdan Sofei | violin
Ingrid Nicola | violin
Andreea Banciu | viola
Adrian Mantu | cello
Giulio Zappa | piano
The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet has fascinated many writers and even the Bard was inspired by illustrious predecessors that date back to Greek literature, including a mention in Dante’s Divina Comedia.
The most evident literary source is the Novelle by Matteo Bandello who partly inspired Felice Romani when he wrote the libretto for Nicola Vaccaj’s Romeo e Giulietta.
When the impresario Lanari offered the young Bellini the opportunity to provide an opera for the 1830 Carnival season, Romani adapted his existing libretto for the young Sicilian.
Bellini pays homage to the custom of the time, of entrusting a young male character to a female singer and so the two protagonists are played by a soprano and a mezzo soprano.