Recipe for a headache

I was listening to Bellini’s I Puritani in the car today. I realized that it has some of the same qualities as those “Magic eye” 3-D pictures where you have to deliberately unfocus your eyes to see the 3-D. (I think what you actually have to do is deliberately wall-eye both eyes, which is hard.) That is, I can hear it as music about Puritans – I can hear what Bellini was going for and why he went there, or at least it seems that way – only for very short stretches of time, by dint of special concentration.

And then I fled back to the more immediate and communicative artificiality of opera seria and Cadbury Eggs.

2 thoughts on “Recipe for a headache

  1. must admit i don’t know this opera at all.. and we all know i have preference for a certain opera of his.. (think i have 5 live versions with a certain singer and several other versions with many other mezzos.. :D). i did try his other supposedly most famous opera “Norma” live in Munich, with Gruberova! and confess to falling asleep in there! any opera with a soprano screaming looong Bellini’s lines sacrificing everything for some tenor is just reallly hard to handle… Before leaving the theater, this cute old lady insisted on giving me a Gruberova button. On that same trip i also saw Gruberova live in another belcanto, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, that’s more like it! a screaming soprano killing everyone, you can try (watching, not doing the part..) next perhaps? i quite like the Christof Loy’s staging.


    1. I have actually never watched I Capuleti e i Montecchi, despite having a bootleg of it on my hard drive with Frau K in it – one of these days, I will 🙂

      You had some serious Gruberova exposure on that trip! I like some of her bel canto recordings (there’s a DVD of Roberto Devereux where she’s really impressive as Elizabeth, even though the opera itself is not one of my favorites ever). Maybe I will try Lucrezia Borgia next.


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