Music with Ease > 19th Century Italian Opera > Life of Bellini (2)
Italian opera composer
Bellini, born in Catania, Sicily, November 3, 1802, is the composer of "La Sonnambula," one of the most popular works of the old type of Italian opera still found in the repertoire. "I Puritani," another work by him, was given for the opening of two New York opera houses, Palmos in 1844, and Hammersteins Manhattan, in 1903. But it maintains itself only precariously. "Norma" is given still more rarely, although it contains "Casta diva," one of the most famous solos for soprano in the entire Italian repertory.
This composer died at the village of Puteaux, France, September 23, 1835, soon after the highly successful production of "I Puritani" in Paris, and while he was working on a commission to compose two operas for the San Carlo Theatre, Naples, which had come to him through the success of "Puritani." He was only thirty-two.
It is not unlikely that had this composer, with his facile and graceful gift for melody, lived longer he would have developed, as Verdi did, a maturer and broader style, and especially have paid more attention to the instrumentation of his operas, a detail which he sadly neglected.