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21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 September 2008
Vincenzo Bellini
I Puritani
Melodrama in three acts
Libretto by Carlo Pepoli

Conductor Friedrich Haider
Director, Scene and Costume Designs, Lighting Pier’Alli
Assistant Director Giovanna Maresta
Assistant Scene Design Manuela Gasparoni
Assistant Costume Design Elena Puliti
Assistant Lighting Bruno Ciulli
Teatro Massimo Orchestra and Chorus

Chorus Master Miguel Fabían Martínez

A new production by the Teatro Massimo in co-production with Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Teatro Lirico di Cagliari


Lord Gualtiero Valton Alessandro Guerzoni
Sir Giorgio Valton Carlo Colombara
Burak Bilgili September 23, 25 e 27
Lord Arturo Talbo José Bros
Shalva Mukeria September 23, 25 e 27
Sir Riccardo Forth Marco Di Felice
Vincenzo Taormina September 23, 25 e 27
Sir Bruno Robertson Gianluca Floris
Enrichetta di Francia Federica Proietti
Elvira Desirée Rancatore
Iolanda Auyanet September 23, 25 e 27

Sunday 21 September 2008 Premiere at 8.30 pm
Tuesday 23 September 2008 Turn S2 at 6.30 pm
Wednesday 24 September 2008 Turn B at 6.30 pm
Thursday 25 September 2008 Turn S1 at 6.30 pm
Friday 26 September 2008 Turn C at 6.30 pm
Saturday 27 September 2008 Turn F at 8.30 pm
Sunday 28 September 2008 Turn D at 5.30 pm

Running time
Three hours and 15 minutes. The opera is in three acts.


Scene 1
Plymouth, a Puritan stronghold, is threatened by siege from the Royalist troops. Distant voices herald the wedding day of Elvira, daughter of Gualtiero (Lord Walton), the fortress’s commander. Riccardo (Sir Richard Forth) enters lamenting that his promised bride, Elvira, loves another man – a Stuart partisan. Her father will not force her to marry against her will, it seems, so Riccardo’s friend Sir Bruno urges him to devote his life to leading the Parliamentary forces.

Scene 2
Elvira tells her uncle, Giorgio (Sir George Walton), that she would rather die than marry Riccardo. Her uncle reassures her that he has persuaded her father to let her marry her lover, Arturo (Lord Arthur Talbot). Although Arturo is a Royalist, he is heralded as he approaches the castle.

Scene 3
Everyone gathers for the wedding celebration and Arturo greets his bride. He learns that King Charles’s widow, Queen Enrichetta, is a prisoner in the castle and soon to be taken to trial in London. Alone with the queen, Arturo offers to save her even if it means his death. Elvira returns with the bridal veil; she capriciously places the veil over Enrichetta’s head. When he is alone again with the queen, Arturo explains that the veil will provide the perfect disguise for escape from the castle. As they are about to leave, Riccardo stops them, determined to kill his rival. Enrichetta separates them and reveals her identity. Riccardo lets them flee, knowing this will ruin Arturo. The others return for the wedding, and Riccardo tells of Arturo’s escape with Enrichetta. Soldiers rush off in pursuit. Elvira, believing herself betrayed, is beset by madness.

The townsfolk mourn Elvira’s mental breakdown. Her uncle, Giorgio, explains that she continues to long for Arturo. Riccardo arrives to announce that Arturo has been condemned to death by Parliament. The Puritans depart. Elvira wanders in, reliving her happy past. In her madness, she mistakes Riccardo for Arturo and dreams of her wedding. When she leaves, Giorgio tries to convince Riccardo to save Arturo. At first indignant, Riccardo is finally moved to help Elvira, and the two men unite in patriotism: if Arturo returns as a friend, he shall live – if as an armed enemy, he shall die.

In Elvira’s garden, Arturo reveals that love for her has brought him back to Plymouth. He overhears her sing their old love song and is torn between his love and his loyalty to the Stuarts. Elvira herself appears and Arturo reassures her that she is his only love. Soldiers rush in to arrest Arturo. Just then, a diplomat arrives with the news of the Royalists’ final defeat and a general amnesty for all the offenders. The shock of this news restores Elvira’s senses, and all rejoice in the peace as Elvira and Arturo embrace in their new happiness.



(Click on any photograph you wish to see enlarged)

Foto Franco Lannino ©Studio Camera