Island City Opera presents Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto opera, La Sonnambula

Vincenzo Bellini had already become a superstar opera composer when he died at age 33.  Though he was young, he was not a happy-go-lucky guy when it came to choosing his subject matter.  His works were built around betrayal, backstabbing, heartbreak and graphic deaths.  His protagonists were typically poisoned, stabbed, or immolated.  Then there’s La Sonnambula.

In La Sonnambula, our heroine is discovered in the wrong man’s bed.  How did she get there?  Sleepwalking.  How innocent.  And, for her troubles does she meet the usual grisly, Bellini-esque fate?  No.  In fact, in the end, she gets the guy (though, he’s not that great a catch.)

When Bellini wrote La Sonnambula, he was trying to placate some persnickety Italian censors who had just squashed his setting of Ernani, a Victor Hugo story containing the usual dose of sword play, assassination, suicide and poison.  So, Bellini turned to a tale so innocent that no one could object.

But, the innocence of its sentiment is the perfect complement to the inspired purity of Bellini’s melodic style.  And, our own Elks Lodge Ballroom is the perfect setting to image yourself transported to an opera hall in small town Italy in the middle of the 19th Century.

The opera will be sung in its original Italian with English super-titles.

Tickets are on sale online and through the Box Office at (510) 263-8060.