Donald Macleod explains how Bellini turned his failed opera Zaira into success by recycling material in his reworking of the Romeo and Juliet story: I Capuleti e I Montecchi.
Bellini's opera Zaira was nearly left unperformed due to his librettist Felice Romani refusing to shave his moustache, then considered illegal by the local Palma authorities! Though the opera was a failure, Bellini was able to recycle the best material for his new reworking of the Romeo and Juliet story: I Capuleti e I Montecchi, which went on to be a great success. We learn about the beginnings of his ill health that recurred throughout his short lifetime, and hear four of his songs. Presented by Donald Macleod.