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Il Pirata



Il pirata

Vincenzo Bellini

3 disc set

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Vincenzo Bellini’s third opera, Il pirata, marked an important step in his career. Not only was it the 27 year old’s first score for the brand leader of Italian opera houses, La Scala, Milan,... read more

BUY TRACKS
Song title Time Format Price
playstop01 Il pirata: Sinfonia07:23
playstop02 Il pirata: Act I scena I: Coro d'introduzione: Ciel! qual procella orribile 06:44
playstop03 Il pirata: Act I scena II: Scena e Cavatina: Io vivo ancor! 02:20
playstop04 Il pirata: Act I scena II: Ascolta! Nel furor delle tempeste 03:05
playstop05 Il pirata: Act I scena III: Del disastro di questi infelici 02:02
playstop06 Il pirata: Act I scena III: Per te di vane lagrime 03:37
playstop07 Il pirata: Act I scena IV: Scena e Cavatina: Sorgete; e in me dover quella pietade 03:09
playstop08 Il pirata: Act I scena IV: Lo sognai ferito, esangue 03:59
playstop09 Il pirata: Act I scena IV: Cielo! e dessa 01:17
playstop10 Il pirata: Act I scena IV: Sventurata, anch'io deliro 05:19
playstop11 Il pirata: Act I scena V: Coro di Pirati: Evviva! allegri! 03:40
playstop12 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Recitative: Ebben? ? Verra 01:43
playstop13 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: scena and Duet: Perche cotanta io prendo d'uno stranier pieta? 05:34
playstop14 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Tu, sciagurato! 02:57
playstop15 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Pietosa, al padre! 03:28
playstop16 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Alcun s'appressa 01:05
playstop17 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Bagnato dalle lagrime d'un cor 02:39
playstop18 Il pirata: Act I scena VI: Recitative: Grazie, pietoso ciel 01:57
playstop19 Il pirata: Act I scena VII: Marcia e Coro: Piu temuto, piu splendido nome 04:44
playstop20 Il pirata: Act I scena VII: Aria: Si vencemmo 02:16
playstop21 Il pirata: Act I scena VII: Aria: Piu temuto 03:43
playstop22 Il pirata: Act I scena VIII: Recitative: M'abbraccia, o donna 03:17
playstop23 Il pirata: Act I scena IX: Finale: Il suo disegno 01:59
playstop24 Il pirata: Act I scena IX: Quintet: Parlarti ancor per poco 03:00
playstop25 Il pirata: Act I scena IX: Stretta del Finale I: Ebben; cominci, o barbara 04:37
playstop26 Il pirata: Act II scena I: Coro d'introduzione: che rechi tu? 04:03
playstop27 Il pirata: Act II scena II: Recitative: Vieni; siam sole alfin 01:46
playstop28 Il pirata: Act II scena III: scena and Duet: Arresta. Ognor mi fuggi! 02:19
playstop29 Il pirata: Act II scena III: Tu m'apristi in cor ferita 04:57
playstop30 Il pirata: Act II scena III: Ah! lo veggo 02:56
playstop31 Il pirata: Act II scena IV: Che rechi? 00:59
playstop32 Il pirata: Act II scena IV: Io ? si ? lo rinverro 02:37
playstop33 Il pirata: Act II scena V: Lasciami, forza umana non puo 01:33
playstop34 Il pirata: Act II scena VI: scena and Duet: Eccomi a te, Gualtiero 02:00
playstop35 Il pirata: Act II scena VII: Vieni: cerchiami pe' mari 05:17
playstop36 Il pirata: Act II scena VII: Trio: Cedo al destin orribile 04:15
playstop37 Il pirata: Act II scena VII: Parti alfine: il tempo vola 02:59
playstop38 Il pirata: Act II scena VII: Recitative: Sventurata! fa core? 01:41
playstop39 Il pirata: Act II scena VIII: Lasso! perir cosi 04:09
playstop40 Il pirata: Act II scena IX: Giusto ciel! Gualtiero! 01:54
playstop41 Il pirata: Act II scena IX: Aria: Tu vedrai la sventurata 03:33
playstop42 Il pirata: Act II scena IX: Gia s'aduna il gran concesso 01:10
playstop43 Il pirata: Act II scena IX: Ma non fia sempre odiata 04:13
playstop44 Il pirata: Act II scena IX: Recitative: Udiste? E forza, amiche 01:01
playstop45 Il pirata: Act II scena X: Oh! s'io potessi dissipar le nubi 08:38
playstop46 Il pirata: Act II scena X: Col sorriso d'innocenza 03:29
playstop47 Il pirata: Act II scena X: Qual suono ferale echeggia 01:44
playstop48 Il pirata: Act II scena X: Oh, Sole! ti vela di tenebre oscure 03:02
playstop49 Il pirata: Act II scena X: Finale: La tua sentenza udisti 03:10

Vincenzo Bellini’s third opera, Il pirata, marked an important step in his career. Not only was it the 27 year old’s first score for the brand leader of Italian opera houses, La Scala, Milan, it also represented his first collaboration with Felice Romani, the leading librettist of the day, who was to become his regular artistic partner.

Based (via a French translation) on an English play by the Anglo-Irish Gothic writer Charles Maturin, Il pirata describes how Gualtiero (José Bros) is shipwrecked during a storm on the Sicilian coast, where his former love, Imogene, (Carmen Giannattasio) has been forced into an unwilling marriage by Ernesto, the local duke (Ludovic Tézier). Tensions build between the three until Gualtiero kills Ernesto in a duel, causing Imogene to go mad with guilt. David Parry conducts this exceptional example of early romantic opera at its most dramatically potent.

The 3CD set comes with Opera Rara’s usual exemplary packaging; its beautifully illustrated book includes a complete libretto with an English translation by Jeremy Commons and comprehensive article and synopsis by Dr Benjamin Walton.

 

Ludovic Tézier (Ernesto), Carmen Giannattasio (Imogene), José Bros (Gualtiero), Mark Le Brocq (Itulbo), Brindley Sherratt (Goffredo), Victoria Simmonds (Adele), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry - conductor

ACT ONE

The opera opens on a stormy Sicilian seashore, near the castle of Caldora; a ruined monastery can be glimpsed in the distance.  As the tempest rages, fishermen and women gather to try to help a ship in distress.  The hermit Goffredo, now the monastery’s sole resident, calls them to prayer, and shortly afterwards a skiff manages to reach the ship and rescues its crew.  Those still on shore head for the castle to ask the Duchess Imogene for her hospitality towards the new arrivals.

 The rescued sailors include Gualtiero, the former Count of Montaldo, who had been outlawed from Sicily ten years earlier after losing in battle to Ernesto, Duke of Caldora.  In his absence, Ernesto has married and had a son by Imogene, Gualtiero’s former beloved; Gualtiero, meanwhile, has taken up as leader of a band of Aragonese pirates, and remains bent on revenge.  The rescued ship is the pirates’ only surviving vessel, following a further defeat at the hands of Ernesto that now leads Gualtiero back to the land of his youth, and into his enemy’s territory. 

Goffredo, who in happier times had served as Gualtiero’s tutor, quickly recognizes his former pupil, and they greet each other joyfully.  But the mood soon darkens, as Gualtiero dwells on his continued hatred of Ernesto, and his equally unshakable love for Imogene.  The fishermen return with news that the Duchess is on the way to visit the survivors.  Keen to keep from Gualtiero the identity of Ernesto’s wife, Goffredo bids him to take refuge in his hermit’s cell.  Imogene then enters, accompanied by her lady-in-waiting Adele, and asks Gualtiero’s companion Itulbo for details of his wrecked ship.  She is also keen to hear of recent encounters with pirates, and particularly eager for news of the pirates’ leader.  Itulbo responds evasively, and his suggestion that this leader may be dead upsets Imogene, leading her to recount to Adele a dream where she had seen Gualtiero wounded on a deserted shore.  It is at this moment that Gualtiero emerges and sees Imogene; she hears (and half-recognizes) his cry, and wants to investigate further, but is persuaded to return to the castle, having extended invitations to all the survivors.

At the castle that night, the pirates carouse.  Itulbo seeks to restrain their entertainments, in order to conceal their piratical qualities.  Imogene sends Adele to tell Gualtiero of the duchess’s wish to see him; he enters, wrapped in his mantle.  She offers him financial assistance, which he refuses; both confess the sorrow of their lives.  It is only when she starts to leave, however, that Gualtiero discloses his identity.  They embrace, but Imogene then reveals her marriage to Ernesto, unwillingly undertaken to save her father from death in prison.  Gualtiero is horrified, not least by the realization that all his hopes during his years of exile have been built on nothing.  So great is his anger that when Imogene’s young son enters he reaches for his dagger; her cry leads him instead to embrace the child, before rushing out.

A distant military band proclaims the unexpected return of Ernesto from battle; Adele informs Imogene that the Duke awaits her.  The scene changes to the illuminated exterior of the castle, where soldiers and Duke celebrate their victories over the pirates.  Ernesto is disappointed to see Imogene so downcast.  She pleads illness, and he promises to devote more time to her now that the threat from Gualtiero’s men has receded.  Ernesto asks if she knows anything about the shipwrecked sailors, and calls for their leader to come before him.

The pirates enter, and Itulbo steps forward as their leader in place of Gualtiero, who stays concealed within the group.  Ernesto initially declares that all of them will remain as prisoners in Caldora until their names and intentions can be ascertained.  Imogene then appeals for clemency, and Ernesto agrees to let them leave the next day.  All the pirates kneel before Imogene in thanks, and Gualtiero uses the opportunity to speak to her again, hidden from Ernesto by the hermit and Itulbo, to ask for a further meeting.  She resists, and in response he calls for revenge.  Imogene then faints, and as she comes round all the characters express their conflicting thoughts and emotions: torment from Imogene, worry from Adele, suspicion from Ernesto, rage from Gualtiero, and from Itulbo and the hermit the desperate desire to escape.  As the act closes, Gualtiero is led away by his friends; Imogene is taken off by her ladies in waiting.  Ernesto is left on stage with his knights, deep in thought.

ACT TWO

Late that night, outside Imogene’s rooms, her attendants seek information from Adele about the Duchess’s health, and pray that she can find peace.  As dawn breaks, Adele tries to convince her to see Gualtiero, since otherwise he will not leave.  They are interrupted by Ernesto, who accuses his wife of feigning illness while pining for her former lover.  Imogene reminds Ernesto that he knew of her continued feelings for Gualtiero when he married her, and that they remain unchanged, although she lives without hope, and she looks forward to the end of her life.  A knight brings news of Gualtiero’s presence in the area, which incites Ernesto to a furious call for the deaths of both his enemy and his wife.

The scene changes to a loggia in the castle, where Itulbo expresses disquiet over Gualtiero’s plan to keep all his men in place to prepare for action, dependent on the outcome of his encounter with Imogene.  With the stakes now clear, Imogene and Gualtiero meet once more.  Gualtiero says that either she should come with him, or he will fight Ernesto to the death.  He tries to tempt her with the pleasures of a life over the sea, but Imogene stands firm, and calls on Gualtiero to show forgiveness.  She then tries to depart, but he prevents her.  At the same time, Ernesto arrives to spy on their conversation, before stepping forward to interrupt their farewells.  The two men turn on each other, thirsting for blood, and as they leave to do battle it is Imogene who finds herself alone, again calling for her own death; she faints, and when she comes round she can think of nothing but stopping the fight.

Knights and Ladies of the castle gather on the ground floor of the castle, which provides a view to a waterfall beyond.  Ernesto has been killed by Gualtiero, and his soldiers bring his weapons in the form of a trophy.  They call for revenge on Gualtiero, and are astonished when he enters the hall.  He offers his own life in return for the free passage of his men.  Ernesto’s men call for the Council of Knights to put him on trial, and Gualtiero asks Adele to tell her lady that he hopes for her compassion.  As he heads to the Council, the chorus is struck by his courage, despite his crime; Gualtiero hopes that he will be remembered for his tormented life as well as for his ruthless actions.

Imogene enters with her son, having lost her mind.  She imagines Ernesto calling for their child, and asks him to seek his father’s pity.  With the news that Gualtiero has been condemned, she calls for him to be set free.  Instead, she sees the scaffold that has been erected for him, and as her ladies in waiting try to lead her away she imagines his death and runs off.  The Knights lead in Gualtiero, who asks only for a quick end; but before his wish can be granted, the pirates attack.  Imogene and Adele enter again, to see Gualtiero and his men traversing the bridge out of the castle, over the waterfall.  Gualtiero then kills himself; Imogene loses consciousness once more, and the opera ends with a tableau of collective dismay and horror.




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