“In opera, it is the singing that moves one to tears, that causes horror, that inspires death. Good drama has nothing to do with good sense.” Librettists, take heed.
This was the sound advice seasoned composer Vincenzo Bellini gave to Carlo Pepoli, librettist for his final opera, “I Puritani” (“The Puritans”). Tonight, Boston Lyric Opera unveils a new production of this bel canto masterpiece, a fiery tale of religious mania, royal duty, and nearly thwarted love set around 1650 against the evocative military background of the English Civil War. Considered by many to be Bellini’s finest score, the rarely performed opera (completed in 1835) contains numerous bravura arias and duets for the two principals, the maiden Elvira and her conflicted suitor Lord Arturo Talbot.