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Calgary Concert opera presents Bellini’s story of Romeo and Juliet

22 Feb Posted by in Schedule | Comments
Calgary Concert opera presents Bellini’s story of Romeo and Juliet



Bellini’s story of the star-crossed lovers with libretto by Felice Romani is not the tale most familiar to Shakespeare’s fans. Bellini and Romani hadn’t read Shakespeare when they composed the opera, although they used the same sources as the Bard.

What is most striking about this opera is the way Bellini incorporated the lovely melodies of bel canto singing into a story that follows the feud between warring factions in Renaissance Verona.

Bellini wrote the role of Romeo for a mezzo soprano, to be played by CCOC co-founder Barbara King. King has delighted audiences in Canada and Europe with her exquisite vocal command of a three octave range and a warm, agile mezzo-soprano voice. Lyric soprano Erin Armstrong takes the role of Romeo’s heartthrob Guilietta (Juliet).


“We’re thrilled to be performing a Bellini opera,” said King and co-founder Chris Gieck. “This builds on our success with Massenet’s Werther last year. The company was established to give rising opera singers a chance to perform more frequently and it’s an invaluable experience, setting them on a path to a career. CCOC also offers opera at a price many can afford, making this art form available to more people from different walks of life.”