Bianca e Fernando / Bellini.

Bellini, Vincenzo, 1801-1835 [Browse]
[Place of publication not identified] : Opera d'Oro, [2005]
2 audio discs (132 min., 32 sec.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.


Library of Congress genre(s)
Summary note
  • This opera has a typical plot of complications, disguises, and villains, but Bellini nonetheless lavished beautiful, if somewhat conventional, music on it. Fernando and Bianca, a young widow, are brother and sister, the children of Duke Carlo, who has been secretly imprisoned by Filippo. Fernando has been secretly exiled, as well, but Bianca has remained unaware of Filippo's treachery, and in fact plans to marry him. The opera opens with Fernando's return from exile, with his followers, and he sings a martial aria about his plans, embelished with intimidating high notes. He is in disguise and is pretending to bring to the usurper the news of Fernando's death. He also plans to confront his sister. Filippo gloats over the news of Fernando's death, and Bianca enters, musing on her love for Filippo and looking forward to their marriage. She thinks she recognizes Fernando, though Filippo tells her that Fernando is still in England. When she asks the disguised messenger why Fernando has never come to visit her, he whispers that it is so that he will not see her crimes. She is astounded, and the act ends in a confused ensemble.
  • In the next act, in a chillingly menacing aria, Filippo tells Fernando to kill the old, imprisoned Duke, and to make his death more painful by telling him that Fernando is dead and that Bianca will marry Filippo. In the second scene, Bianca tries to sort out her thoughts and feelings, and in the aria "Sorgi, o padre, " she decides that despite her wishes, she cannot give the throne to Filippo, when it should belong to Fernando. Fernando himself appears, out of disguise, and reproaches her for loving the man who imprisoned and wishes to kill their father. She is horrified, and goes with Fernando to find their father. They are reunited in his cell, and Fernando's followers defeat Filippo's. In the last scene, Filippo is fleeing, and takes Bianca's son by her first husband hostage. In a lovely aria, she pleads with him, and while he is briefly distracted, one of Fernando's men pulls the child away, and Filippo is taken away to his punishment. While by no means the most creative of Bellini's works, it does have a typical bel canto flow of melody, and the music is rarely less than pleasing. - All Music.
  • Opera in two acts.
  • Compact discs.
  • Includes program notes and plot synopsis in English in booklet ([6] p.) inserted in container.
Time and place of event
Recorded live May 29, 1976, Turin.
Yasuko Hayashi as Bianca ; Antonio Savastano as Fernando ; Mario Machi as Carlo ; with supporting soloists ; RAI orchestra & Chorus, Turin ; Gabriele Ferro, conductor.
Language note
Sung in Italian.
Publisher no.
Universal Product Code
  • 723721067359
  • 00723721067359
C - O
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