Bellini’s last opera with its spectacular vocal fireworks is presented as a single gala concert with an extraordinary cast
2 JULY 2015
The art of bel canto is given new life by Victorian Opera in this rare concert performance. Bellini’s masterpiece, set against the English Civil War, tells the story of two lovers; a Puritan and a Royalist who must choose between love and loyalty.
Following her critically acclaimed performance in La traviata (2014) Australia’s own Jessica Pratt, ‘a prima donna assoluta’, returns for this gala concert performance of Bellini’s masterpiece, famed for its breathtaking vocal artistry. Joining her is one of the world’s greatest bel canto tenors, Celso Albelo.
This Gala Concert will feature a star studded cast, the Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra Victoria conducted by Richard Mills.
Single tickets now available. BOOK ONLINE >
Composer Vincenzo Bellini
Conductor Richard Mills
Lord Gualtiero Valton Jeremy Kleeman
Sir Giorgio Valton Paul Whelan
Lord Arturo Talbot Celso Albelo
Sir Ricardo Forth Nathan Lay
Sir Bruno Robertson Carlos E. Bárcenas
Enrichetta di Franca Tania Ferris
Elvira Jessica Pratt
Victorian Opera Chorus
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
3 hours with one interval.
Find our more about our accessible peformances >
The I Puritani programme is online and filled with notes from the creative team, artist biographies and more. View the programme online >
★★★★ FOUR STAR REVIEW from 'The Age'.
Read it here.
Check out the 'The Age' article about Jessica Pratt performing I Puritani.
Read it here.
In 2014, Jessica Pratt made her Victorian Opera debut in La traviata. Read the Limelight article here.
Moreland Leader interviewed Jeremy Kleeman and Carlos E. Bárcenas, two cast members of I Puritani. Read the article here.
In a Puritan (Roundhead) fortress in Plymouth, the Governor, Lord Valton, has promised his daughter's hand to the Puritan Sir Riccardo, but Elvira loves a Stuart (Cavalier) partisan, Lord Arturo. Influenced by his brother, Sir Giorgio, to not force his daughter into marriage, Valton accepts Arturo as his future son-in-law. Riccardo expresses his bitterness to his friend Sir Bruno.
Arturo and his retinue enter the Hall and greet the Valton court; Valton promises him a safe-conduct after the marriage, and consigns Elvira to the care of Giorgio, as Valton must escort a female 'spy' to the Parliament. Arturo learns that she is Enrichetta di Francia, widow of Charles Stuart, whom the Parliament will certainly condemn to death. Elvira enters wearing her wedding-veil; Arturo decides to use the safe-conduct to get Enrichetta away, disguised under the veil. Riccardo, happy to see him leave, swears not to reveal their flight. Elvira, thinking she is betrayed and abandoned, becomes unbalanced. The Puritans blame Arturo, who, Parliament decrees, must be executed.
Moved by Elvira's unravelling, Giorgio urges Riccardo to save Arturo, but cannot persuade him. Arturo returns by night and explains the true situation to Elvira. She almost recovers herself, and Arturo tries to persuade her to flee with him. Puritans and guards rush in and recognise Arturo. Their shouts as they constrain him clear Elvira's mind; she and Arturo are sadly farewelling each other when a messenger announces the rout of the Stuarts and proclamation of an amnesty. Arturo and Elvira embrace joyfully.