Capuleti and Montecchi alla Scala: heads Scappucci


The work The Capulets and the Montagues by Vincenzo Bellini back to Ladder after more than thirty years with a new production directed by Hope Scappucci. Directed by Adrian Noble, director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for thirteen years.

The Capulets and Montecchi alla Scala

Opera in two acts, it was premiered on 11 March 1830 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. Felice Romani’s libretto was in reality an adaptation, with a drastic reduction of the recitatives, of a previous melodrama of his. A work already set to music by Nicola Vaccaj. In this there was ample space for the struggle between the families of the Montecchi and the Capulets. While in that for Bellini, political family relationships are in the background. The development of the dramatic story focuses on the couple of the two unhappy lovers and their tragic fate.

The musician and librettist in close collaboration at work for the opera in the same Venetian apartment. And it took a little over a month to compose between late January and early March. So much so that Bellini, due to time constraints and to respect the commitment made with the impresario Alessandro Lanari, drew heavily on the music of the unfortunate Zaira, the work he composed. He then adapted the soprano and alto parts of Zaira and Norestano to the vocal registers of the 2 “prime” singers. That is the singers destined to support the roles of Juliet and Romeo respectively.

Bellini and artistic maturity

With the composition de The Capulets and the Montagues Bellini reached full artistic maturity. Following the debut, which was very successful, all the reviewers of the time recognized that the work “had produced a stylistic change, perceived at the same time as a restoration of the ancient Italian school and as an impetus towards the future” as writes the musicologist Graziella Seminara. But the novelty of Bellini’s language was not unanimously accepted. Proof of this is the practice of replacing the last scenes of the gods Capulets with the last ones of Romeo and Juliet by Vaccaj, which soon became a widespread practice in Italian and European theaters. Until the singer Giuseppina Renzi de Begnis, requesting attention from the public, in the spring of 1834 at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, found the courage to re-propose the Bellini ending: “Where there are no things that scratch the ear and to enjoy the beauty of both the music and the declamation, a religious silence must be made. This I got … In short, in short it was great pleasure, and after we were called out.

In the meeting “A dramaturgy without the vilain”, With plays and videos, he talks about The Capulets and the Montagues Graziella Seminara, Professor of Musicology and History of Music at the University of Catania.

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