San Francisco Opera broadcasts continue on Classical 90.5 at noon this Saturday, September 7th, with a performance of The Capulets and the Montagues by Vincenzo Bellini. The libretto, by Felice Romani, was based on Italian sources rather than taken directly from William Shakespeare's play and is essentially a resetting of the story of Romeo and Juliet for an opera by Nicola Vaccai called Giulietta e Romeo. The performance will be sung in Italian and will run approximately two hours and fifty minutes.
The tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet inspired some of Shakespeare's finest verse and some of Bellini's most beautiful melodies. "An opera of definite dramatic appeal" (The New York Times) awash in "music of extraordinary grace" (All Music Guide), this bel canto masterpiece features international stars Joyce DiDonato, a singer of "glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace and remarkable talent," and Nicole Cabell, who "wields her radiant lyric soprano like a silken lasso" (The New York Times). Saimir Pirgu, praised by Opera News as "a tenor to watch," brings his "honeyed tenor" (The New York Times) to his debut role as Tebaldo. Director Vincent Boussard "effectively underscores the claustrophobic, helpless situation of both lovers" (Opera News). Riccardo Frizza, praised by The New Yorker for his "crisp and idiomatic conducting," leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.