Bellini, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, A. Baltsa, E. Gruberova, Royal Opera House, R. Muti
(re-released on November 9, 2010)
DG 477 8031 | 2h10
The Bel Canto opera series at the Caramoor Festival, situated on a sprawling country estate near Katonah, New York, is generally one of the high points of the summer opera season in the Northeast. The music director, Will Crutchfield, chooses rarities from 19th-century Italy, presented with scholarly attention to the score and often with excellent casts.Vincenzo Bellini, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (better in the critical edition, not online)
The main attraction of this Caramoor season was a rare staging of Rossini’s early opera Ciro in Babilonia, presented earlier this month in the 200th year after its premiere and featuring the outstanding Polish mezzo-soprano Ewa Podleś. That performance was produced in conjunction with the Rossini Opera Festival, in Pesaro, Italy, where it will travel next month.
By comparison, the second opera, Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi — performed in Caramoor’s usual semi-staged concert format and heard on Saturday night — was a less starry affair. Still, Bellini’s 1830 take on the classic story of Romeo and Juliet — bearing little relation to the version by William Shakespeare — is enough of a rarity to warrant interest. [Continue reading]
Charles T. Downey, Caramoor: Capulets and Montagues (Ionarts, July 20)
Steve Smith, Uncovering the Roots of an Oft-Told Love Story (New York Times, July 23)