Bellini’s "Il Pirata" is considered the prototype of the early Romantic Italian opera. Situated in the 13th century at the time of the bloody uprising of Sicily against the Angevins, this story has a few remarkable parallels with Verdi’s Luisa Miller: a woman disavows her true love in order to save her father. In his sense for unity between drama and music, Bellini was far ahead of his time. The madness scene of the female lead, Imogene, is an absolute highlight of Italian bel canto.
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