La Straniera

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Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania, Sebastiano ROLLI, Catania 2017.
Alaide : Francesca Tiburzi
Isoletta : Sonia Fortunato
Arturo : Emanuele d’Aguanno
il barone di Valdeburgo : Enrico Marrucci

In 1834 Bellini stated that choosing a good subject for an opera was “more difficult than creating the music itself.” The success of Il Prata, with a plot containing all the ingredients of Romantic popular literature, convinced Bellini and Romani to continue in the same direction and early in August 1828 they decided on their source: The gothic novel L’Etrangere by Charles D’Arlincourt, set in an imaginary medieval Brittany. A new anti-Rossini approach was recognized by Bellini’s contemporaries as a mark of his modernity, featuring a plain vocal style free of ornament and attentive to the emotional meaning of words. Critics were immediately award of Bellini’s innovations in La Straniera. A partial sacrifice of belcanto was inevitable if opera singing was to be once more expressive and dramatic and rid itself of the flowery ornamental and virtuoso style then in vogue. In Bellini’s mature style, coloratura and vocal virtuosity are never a pretext for showing off but always intrinsic to the action. A hallmark of Bellini’s style, the arioso led to a revision of the recitative which, in order to evolve into the arioso, abandoned conventional formulae and so took on an expressive power wholly new in Italian opera at the time. The same search for flexible form is found in the lyric pieces, which Bellini revised in accordance with the needs of the action. The absence of routine numbers meant he did not indulge in the customary practice of self-borrowing from his previous operas or using La Straniera as a source for future works.

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