'A sigh in dancing pumps' was Heine's view of Bellini. His physical beauty, boundless success and untimely death at the age of thirty-three combined to give Bellini instant mythical status. But both the facts and the fantasies were to be embroidered by Bellini's close friend and eventual biographer Francesco Florimo, who distorted the posthumous image of the composer to the extent of altering or destroying letters in his possession. In John Rosselli's account of Bellini's life and music, a new picture of the composer emerges. He provides a more accurate view of Bellini's personality, his relationships and his short but dazzling career in Naples, Milan and Paris. He introduces the operatic world of the early nineteenth century, the singers of Bellini's roles, and, above all he explains the writing and performance of the operas themselves.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press