Queen Victoria’s favourite opera about the puritans of the English Civil War (1642-1651). It premiered in Paris in January 1835. His last opera was a tremendous success, and in the ten years after its premiere it took Europe by storm.
When Bellini met the author Heinrich Heine at a dinner, the later told him: You are a genius, Bellini, but you will pay for your great gift with a premature death. All the great geniuses died very young, like Raphael and like Mozart. And the superstitious Bellini did: he died in September 1835, aged 33. Coincidence, sure, but in hindsight Heine must have felt guilty about this remark.
While I’m listening to the recording I realise that it is sounding so familiar. This is not only because it is Bellini. I don’t even have that much from this composer. No, this recording is made by almost the same cast as my Norma recording. Even the soundstage of this record is like Norma. It could just as well have been a third act after that great opera.