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Reflections of a working writer and reader



I Capuleti e i Montecchi

We were at the opening performance of Opera North’s new production of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera in the Grand Theatre and Opera House, Leeds.

Directed by Orpha Phelan in a stunning set by Leslie Travers, Sarah Connolly sings the part of Romeo and Marie Arnet, that of Giulietta. While different slightly from the Shakespearian version, the plot is drawn from the same source material. Instead of being faced with two families of Verona, Bellini gives us two warring political factions.

Apart from the beauty of the tender, elegiac melodies, especially those in harmony between the two leads, I Capuleti e i Montecchi is interesting for its immersion in the bel canto singing style for which it is known. The piece requires a great deal from the singers, and they respond exquisitely with Bellini’s simple yet elegant and emotionally expressive lines of melody. There are more than enough moments in this production where you just want to lean back in your seat and close your eyes, give yourself up to the magic of these voices.

Not to be missed, then, if you’re anywhere in the area and in need of a treat.

One little grumble, is the white suit that Sarah Connolly (Romeo) wears in the first act. This, unfortunately, makes her look like kd lang. Not that there’s anything wrong with kd lang’s looks, but you don’t want her turning up as the star-crossed lover.

And the big grumble; the killer? Romeo has to stop singing and die at some point, and that’s a tragedy.

This is a taster from a different production:

One Response to “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”

  1. Leslie Travers says:

    Dear John,

    I enjoyeyed reading what you had to say about Capuleti very much.

    Kind regards,


    Leslie Travers (designer)

    jb says: Hey, Leslie, good to see you here. We enjoyed your set, too. (Must be patting-each-other-on-the-back-week.)