Review Scene: Bravo Bellini, Palais Theatre, 2nd September 2023 by Michael Greenwood

On the 2nd September 2023, Victorian Opera presented a single concert of a blend of operas of Vincenzio Bellini performed under “Bravo Bellini” at the Palais Theatre, St. Kilda.

Bellini produced 12 operas in his short lifetime. He died in 1835 and was born in 1801. People often died young in the 19th century with a typical life expectancy of less than 50 years. Parts were taken from several of his operas with each part being explained concisely and understandably by the conductor Richard Miles, apart from the part which he admitted where it was difficult to follow the plot. He was right, I did not get the plot!

The concert was split into two halves of one hour each with a 30-minute intermission. This was timed well.

Jessica Pratt, Carlos Barcenas and Allister Copper-Golec and the Orchestra Victoria all performed superbly. A standing ovation said it all.

Personally, I really liked the production of Norma which is set in Roman times which has all sorts of characters likeNorma the High Priestess of the Druids, the Vestal virgins and the goddess of love Venus. My second other favourite was ‘Puritani’ which is set in England during the English Civil wars of the 1640’s. Poor old Charles the first of course eventually lost his head to Cromwell.

Victorian Opera should be thanked for giving Melbourne a superb blend taken from Bellini operas.

Michael Greenwood

For more information, visit Victoria Opera.