Bianca e Fernando

Vincenzo Bellini

(Catania, 3 Nov. 1801 – Paris, 23 Sept. 1835)

Bellini’s opera success was based in his poetic sense formed in (long) expressive melodies and exquisite text-setting. As an absolute leading figure of early 19th-century opera he acted as the rightful heir of the belcanto tradition.

Born into a musical family he soon showed evident signs of great talent. Reportedly he was already singing before he reached 2 years of age, conducting with 3, playing piano at 5 and composing at 6. At 18 the Catania City Council recognized his talent by getting him a scholarship to the Naples Conservatory, bastion of the great Italian vocal writing tradition.

He eventually finished his studies with a first successful stage production: Adelson e Salvini (1825). This won him the opportunity to write a second opera for the prestigious Teatro San Carlo in Naples: Bianca e Fernando (1826). Its success managed to attract the attention of the influential impresario D. Barbaja (1777-1841) who, in turn, prompted the composer on his way to the Teatro alla Scala di Milano with I Pirata (1827).

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