I Puritani

US Premiere of the Naples (Malibran) version


I PURITANI by Vincenzo Bellini
Conductor: Stephen Lord
Cast: M. Shigematsu, P. Groves, R. Aceto, D. Fortunato
Production: J.Conklin (scenery/clothes), C. Akerlind (lighting)

“With its current production of I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera asserts its claim to be taken seriously as an artistic force both in Boston and nationally. This is not only the American premiere of the long-unknown Naples version of Bellini’s last work, it is a ravishingly sung, meticulously prepared, deeply moving and surprisingly coherent production of an opera that is almost as famous for its dramatic ineptness as it is for the melting beauty of its music. Nicholas Muni’s deftly expressionistic staging and John Conklin’s looming set of a blood-soaked and blasted castle combine in a powerfully unified vision of love and tenderness in the midst of the horrors of war. It is the power and beauty of the music—the logic of emotion, not rational narrative—that unifies this opera and makes it memorable. And it is that power and beauty that is captured in this production.”
Jon Lehman, The Patriot Ledger (September, 1993)

Boston Lyric, which relishes tak­ing fresh looks at familiar chestnuts, has dusted off a rare, two-act ver­sion of this Bellini score and one of the best casts Lyric Opera has ever assembled. This production, in fact, is crawl­ing with back-lit ghosts who haunt the recesses of the bombed-out the­ater that serves as a camp for the Puritan forces loyal to Cromwell; the staging makes for an engaging evening for what can other­wise be an awfully tawdry opera, despite Bellini’s dulcet score.
– Channing Gray, The Providence Journal

A worthy Bellini homage…this convoluted story is just an excuse for one gorgeous, long-lined vocal melody after another; the young singers engaged by the Boston Lyric, creating convincing, occasionally powerful, vocal and dramatic portrayals and many individual scenes were convincingly staged: Bellini could not have asked for more.
– T.J. Medrick, Jr., The Boston Tab

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