Vincenzo Bellini

Biography

Born: 1801   Died: 1835   Country: Italy   Period: Romantic
Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was one of the most important composers of Italian opera in his time. He was born in 1801 in Catanina, Sicily, to a family already steeped in music; his father and grandfather were both career musicians. He began composing before receiving any formal music education. Bellini developed a reputation for fine craftsmanship, particularly in the way he forged an intricate relationship between the music and Read more the libretto. To perform one of his operas, singers required extremely agile voices. His abilities and talent earned him the admiration of other composers, including Berlioz, Chopin, and even Wagner, and his flowing, exquisitely sculpted vocal lines represent the epitome of the bel canto ideal.

Bellini entered the Royal College of Music of San Sebastiano, now the Naples Conservatory, in 1819. Although he started off in elementary classes, he progressed rapidly and was granted free tuition by 1820. He soon developed into a teacher, becoming a primo maestrino in 1824. Bellini's first opera, Adelson e Salvini, was chosen to be performed by the conservatory's students. After the initial performance in February 1825, it was performed repeatedly throughout the year. This particular work was never performed outside of the conservatory, but it did serve as a source of material for at least five other operas Bellini composed. Shortly thereafter, Domenico Barbaja of the San Carlo Opera offered Bellini his first commission for an opera, which resulted in Bianca e Gernando (1826). That first commission was followed by a second from Barbaja, Il pirata (1827), and led to a long-term collaboration between Bellini and librettist Felice Romani. The premiere of Il pirata on October 27, 1827, at La Scala, Milan, established Bellini as an internationally acclaimed opera composer.

As Bellini gained experience and recognition, he settled into a working method that stressed quality instead of quantity. He composed fewer operas, for which he commanded higher prices. He was not, however, immune to the pressures of production. His opera Zaira (1829), written with Romani for the inauguration of the Teatro Ducale at Parma, was hurriedly completed; the opera was a notable failure and was never produced again. He rebounded, though, with I Capuleti e i Montecchi (based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) in 1830.

The year 1831 proved most successful for Bellini as two of his most famous operas, La sonnambula and Norma, were produced. Although Norma was unenthusiastically received, many critics and Bellini himself believed it to be his finest work. Its aria "Casta diva" is one of the evergreens of the classical vocal repertory. These two operas were followed by a less successful composition, Beatrice di Tenda. This opera was premiered at La Fenice, Venice, on March 16, 1833, a month later than scheduled; the failure led to the falling out of Bellini and Romani.

Bellini spent the summer of 1833 in London directing performances of his operas. He then moved to Paris, where he composed and produced his last opera, I puritani, which premiered on January 24, 1835. The libretto for this particular opera was written by the exiled Italian poet Count Carlo Pepoli. Unlike Bellini's previous two operas, I puritani was enthusiastically received. At the height of his career and only 33 years old, Bellini died of a chronic intestinal ailment on September 23, 1835, in a small town near near Paris. Read less
Bellini: Norma / Young-Hoon, Biondi
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 109198   Number of Discs: 2
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Bellini, Donizetti & Rossini / D'Aguanno, Spencer
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: C3005   Number of Discs: 1
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Bellini: Norma / Theodossiou, Palacios
Release Date: 06/27/2006   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 33493   Number of Discs: 2
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Bellini: I Capuleti E I Montechi / Acocella, Ciofi, Etc
Release Date: 05/30/2006   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 504/1-2   Number of Discs: 2
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Bellini: Norma / Halasz, Bumbry, Cuberli, Giacomini, Et Al
Release Date: 03/01/2005   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 469/1-2   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Norma: Casta diva

Browse 1-25 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Sognando lo spazio / Cecconi, Carey
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 14024 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Claude Debussy,  André Jolivet,  Carl Reinecke  ... 
    Performer:  Elena Cecconi,  Tim Carey
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  • 3.
    Dimitra Theodossiou in Concerto
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 2567 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Dimitra Theodossiou,  Elda Laro
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Solo / McCarthy
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554225 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludovico Einaudi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Nicholas McCarthy
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  • 5.
    A Touch Of Anna
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84631 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Rosenblatt,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Hashimoto,  Daniel King Smith
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 6.
    Maria Callas Remastered - Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $274.98
    CD: $226.99
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  • 7.
    Pure / Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633994 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Francesco Albanese,  Nadine Sautereau,  Jane Berbié
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Gabriele Santini,  Victor De Sabata,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 8.
    Soprano / Hibla Gerzmava [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0050 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Hibla Gerzmava
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Of Russia
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  • 9.
    The Early Recordings Of Joan Sutherland
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 100815 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  April Cantelo,  Raymond Nilsson,  Dennis Brain  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Fulvio Vernizzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Goldsborough Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Le Meilleur D'une Vie: Enregistrements 1958-1997
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 631289 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith,  Pierre Pierlot,  Gérard Jarry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Martini,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jean-François Paillard,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
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  • 11.
    Amato Belcanto - Rossini, Donizetti, Spontini, Bellini / Viviana Araiza Staffini
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 188 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gasparo Spontini,  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Viviana Araiza Staffini
    Conductor:  Stellario Fagone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Plovdiv Symphonic Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    The Grandmaster [scores]
    Label: Lakeshore   Catalog: 343392 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Shigeru Umebayashi,  Traditional,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ennio Morricone
    Performer:  Bruno Martinez,  Nathaniel Méchaly
    Conductor:  Olivier Holtz
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  • 13.
    Toti Dal Monte - A Tribute
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802170 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Toti Dal Monte,  Augusto Beuf,  Tito Schipa,  Beniamino Gigli
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  • 14.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    60 Jahre Munchner Rundfunkorchester: Great Singers Live
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900309 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Lucia Popp,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ghiaurov,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Georges Prêtre,  Alfredo Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 16.
    Bellini Portraits / Edita Gruberova
    Label: Nightingale Classics   Catalog: 10242 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova
    Conductor:  Friedrich Haider,  Marcello Viotti,  Fabio Luisi,  Pinchas Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Icon: Maria Callas - La Divina
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23401 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $42.99
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  • 18.
    The Art of Renee Fleming
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001717202 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Bryn Terfel,  Ralph Salmins,  David Hartley  ... 
    Conductor:  Andreas Delfs,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Daniel Barenboim,  Paul Gemignani  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59794 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jeffrey Tate
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 20.
    Callas Alla Scala, Vol. 1 - (CD With Booklet)
    Label: La Scala   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Opera Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707702 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Fausto Cleva,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 22.
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6647 Release Date: 07/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Gabriele Santini,  Guido Picco
    CD: $29.99
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  • 23.
    Joan Sutherland: A Portrait
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 3013 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Peter Pears,  Owen Brannigan,  George Malcolm
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Anthony Lewis
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    CD: $21.49
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  • 24.
    Thomas Newman: The Iron Lady - Music From The Motion Picture
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 91434 Release Date: 12/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leslie Stuart,  Thomas Newman,  Richard Rodgers,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Marni Nixon,  Deborah Kerr,  Yul Brynner,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Newman,  Tullio Serafin
    ArkivCD $14.99
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  • 25.
    The Callas Effect [Standard Edition]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84362 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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