I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Abbado-Pavarotti)

I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Abbado-Pavarotti)
Composer:Vincenzo Bellini
Conductor:Claudio Abbado


The libretto by Felice Romani was a reworking of a the story of Romeo and Juliet for an opera by Nicola Vaccai called Giulietta e Romeo. This was based on Italian sources rather than taken directly from Shakespeare. (The tomb scene from Vaccai's opera has sometimes been performed with Bellini's opera.)

Bellini was persuaded to write the opera for the 1830 Carnival season at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, with only a month and a half available for composition. He succeeded by appropriating a large amount of music previously written for his unsuccessful opera Zaira.

The first performance of I Capuleti e i Montecchi was on 11 March 1830.

Place: around the palace of Capellio (Capulet) in Verona
Time: 13th century

In this version of the story the Capuleti and Montecchi are rival political factions (Guelph and Ghibelline respectively) rather than Shakespeare's 'two households, both alike in dignity'. Capellio is the father of Giulietta (Juliet) and the leader of the Capuleti. Giulietta is betrothed to Tebaldo (Tybalt), however she has already met and fallen in love with Romeo, leader of the Montecchi. This is a secret to all but Lorenzo (Lawrence), her doctor and confidant. Complicating matters, Romeo has inadvertently killed the son of Capellio (Giulietta's brother) in battle.

Act 1

Scene 1

In the palace, Capellio (bass) and Tebaldo (tenor) address their followers advising rejection of an offer of peace to be brought by an envoy from Romeo. Tebaldo will avenge the killing of Capellio's son to celebrate his marriage to Giulietta ('È serbata a questo acciaro'). Capellio wants the marriage to take place immediately, brushing aside the objections of Lorenzo (bass) that Giulietta is ill with a fever.

Romeo (mezzo-soprano) enters in the guise of a Montague envoy, offering peace to be guaranteed by the marriage of Romeo and Giulietta. He explains that Romeo regrets the death of Capellio's son ('Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio'), and offers to take his place as a second son for the old man. Capellio indicates that Tebaldo has already taken on that role and rejects all idea of peace. Romeo accepts their challenge of war ('La tremenda ultrice spada').

Scene 2

In her room Giulietta (soprano) longs for Romeo (in the romanza 'Oh! quante volte'). Lorenzo enters. He has arranged for Romeo to come to her by a secret door. Romeo tries to persuade Giulietta to escape with him, but she resists in the name of family law and honour, declaring that she would prefer to die of a broken heart.

Scene 3 Another part of the palace, the Capuleti are celebrating the forthcoming marriage. Recognized by Lorenzo, Romeo is in disguise awaiting the support of his soldiers to prevent the wedding. In the tumult following the armed attack by the Montecchi, Giulietta sees Romeo and he again unsuccessfully urges her to run away with him. Capellio and Tebaldo discover them, believing Romeo to be the Montecchi envoy. Giulietta tries to shield him from her father, but he proudly tells them his true name. The Montagues enter to protect him and the lovers are separated by their two factions.

Act 2

Scene 1 Introduced by an arioso for cello, Giulietta awaits news of the fighting in another part of the palace. Lorenzo tells her that Romeo lives, but she will soon be taken away to Tebaldo's castle. He persuades her to take a sleeping drug that will make it appear that she has died. He will arrange for Romeo (and himself) to be present when she awakes. Capellio comes to order her to leave with Tebaldo at dawn. She begs her father's forgiveness before she dies ('Ah! non poss'io partire'). Capellio is alarmed and suspects the involvement of Lorenzo. He will have him watched.

Scene 2

The grounds of the palace. Romeo is impatiently waiting for Lorenzo who fails to appear. Tebaldo enters and they have an angry duet ('Stolto! a un sol mio grido'). They fight but are interrupted by a funeral procession ('Pace alla tua bell'anima'). It is Giulietta's. The rivals are united in remorse, asking each other for death.

Scene 3

The tombs of the Capuleti. Romeo enters and his companions open Giulietta's tomb. Romeo bids her farewell ('Deh! tu, bell'anima') and swallows poison. Giulietta awakes finding Romeo surprised by her simulated death and unaware of Lorenzo's plan. With great pathos, Romeo tells her that he has already acted to end his life. He dies and Giulietta, unable to live on without him, expires on his body. The Capuleti and Montecchi blame Capellio for the tragedy.  

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1 01 Sinfonia 4:13 3.86 Mb 128 Kbps buy
2 02 Aggiorna appena... 3:30 3.20 Mb 128 Kbps buy
3 03 Ode Capellio, generosi amici' 1:59 1.82 Mb 128 Kbps buy
4 04 Rinvenirlo io sapro 3:31 3.22 Mb 128 Kbps buy
5 05 L'amo, ah! L'amo, e mi e piu cara 3:54 3.57 Mb 128 Kbps buy
6 06 Vanne, Lorenzo 1:30 1.37 Mb 128 Kbps buy
7 07 Lieto del dolce incarco a cui mi elegge 5:06 4.67 Mb 128 Kbps buy
8 08 La tremenda uitrice spada 2:53 2.64 Mb 128 Kbps buy
9 09 Eccomi in lieta veste 5:40 5.20 Mb 128 Kbps buy
10 10 Oh quante volte 7:18 6.68 Mb 128 Kbps buy
11 11 Si, fuggire a noi non resta 8:05 7.41 Mb 128 Kbps buy
12 12 Oditu? 1:01 0.93 Mb 128 Kbps buy
13 13 Vieni, ah! vieni, in me riposa 3:54 3.58 Mb 128 Kbps buy
14 14 Lieta notte avventurosa 2:55 2.68 Mb 128 Kbps buy
15 15 Deh! per pieta, t'arresta 2:37 2.41 Mb 128 Kbps buy
16 16 Tace il fragor 4:03 3.71 Mb 128 Kbps buy
17 17 Vieni, io te lo chiedo in nome della giurata fe 2:54 2.66 Mb 128 Kbps buy
18 18 Oh notte raddensa 3:05 2.82 Mb 128 Kbps buy
19 19 Accoriam... Romeo! 0:54 0.83 Mb 128 Kbps buy
20 20 Al furor che si ridesta 3:12 2.94 Mb 128 Kbps buy


1 21 Ne alcun ritorna! 4:00 3.67 Mb 128 Kbps buy
2 22 Morte io non temo 3:44 3.42 Mb 128 Kbps buy
3 23 Prendi... gl'istanti volano... 1:35 1.45 Mb 128 Kbps buy
4 25 Deh! padre mio! 6:30 5.94 Mb 128 Kbps buy
5 25 Deserto e il loco 3:58 3.64 Mb 128 Kbps buy
6 26 Ola, chi sei, che ardisci 5:50 5.34 Mb 128 Kbps buy
7 27 Ella e morta di dolore, o sciagurato 3:17 3.00 Mb 128 Kbps buy
8 28 Siam Giunti 3:22 3.09 Mb 128 Kbps buy
9 29 Ecco la tomba 5:23 4.93 Mb 128 Kbps buy
10 30 Tu sola, o mia Giulietta 3:25 3.13 Mb 128 Kbps buy
11 31 O tu mia sola speme 2:41 2.46 Mb 128 Kbps buy
12 32 Ah! crudel! che mai facesti? 5:17 4.84 Mb 128 Kbps buy

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