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: I Capuleti E I Montecchi / Didonato, Cabell, Pirgu, Frizza
Release Date: 10/28/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 59668   Number of Discs: 2
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Bellini: Norma / Callas, Filippeschi, Stignani, Caroli
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634111   Number of Discs: 3
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Bellini: I Puritani / Serafin, Callas, Di Stefano, Panerai
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634118   Number of Discs: 2
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Donizetti & Bellini Operatic Arias / Gimenez, Veltri, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 01/07/1997   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5224   Number of Discs: 1
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Bellini: La Sonnambula / Votto, Callas, Monti, Zaccaria
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634114   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Norma: Casta diva

Browse 1-25 of 197 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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  ... 
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  • 2.
    Pure / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633994 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    The Early Recordings Of Joan Sutherland
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 815 Release Date: 06/10/2014  
    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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  • 5.
    Donizetti Heroines
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 2363129 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Elena Mosuc
    Conductor:  Ivo Lipanoviç
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Croatian Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7702567 Release Date: 06/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prętre,  Antonino Votto  ... 
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  • 10.
    Bellini: Norma (Highlights), Etc/ Molinari-pradelli, Pedrini
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7704769 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Pedrini,  Ettore Bastianini,  Piero de Palma,  Gino Penno  ... 
    Conductor:  Adolfo Camozzo,  Ugo Tansini,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Chorus  ... 
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  • 11.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7704332 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Martha Musial,  Leopold Clam  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Wilhelm Buschkötter,  Kurt Gaebel,  Fried Walter  ... 
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  • 12.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva [6-CD Set]
    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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  • 13.
    Maria Callas The Incomparable
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7706223 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni,  Aurora Cattelani  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre,  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 14.
    Dusk & Dawn
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5479572 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Jerome Kern,  Tom Waits  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Jaimes,  Chris Hill,  Dave Cottrell,  Amy Dickson  ... 
    Conductor:  Chris W. Big Band
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  • 15.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5412002 Release Date: 02/25/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kathryn Stott,  Michael Boriskin,  Todd Levy  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Slatkin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players
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  • 16.
    60 Jahre Munchner Rundfunkorchester: Great Singers Live
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900309 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Francesco Cilča,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Lucia Popp,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ghiaurov,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Georges Prętre,  Alfredo Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 17.
    Verona Live
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233553 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Ghena Dimitrova,  Peter Dvorsky,  Sona Ghazarian  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Franci,  José Collado
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  • 18.
    Essential Opera Divas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234522 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Patrizia Ciofi,  Véronique Gens,  Jessye Norman  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Fabio Biondi,  Christophe Rousset,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
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  • 19.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 50865 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
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  • 20.
    Essential Film Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  James Horner,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Cécile Ousset,  Manuel Barrueco,  Steve Morse  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  David Abel,  Geoff Love  ... 
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
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  • 22.
    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 Cilča,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    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,  Steve Pearce  ... 
    Conductor:  Andreas Delfs,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Daniel Barenboim,  Paul Gemignani  ... 
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  • 24.
    Label: Simply   Catalog: 1206108 Release Date: 09/04/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Joszef Mukle,  Alberto Cupido,  Graciela Alperyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Camerata Budapest,  László Kovács,  Martin Elmquist,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scholars Baroque Ensemble,  I Solisti Italiani
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 25.
    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 Prętre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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