Bellini, Vincenzo vēnchān´tsō bĕl-lē´nē [key], 1801–35, Italian opera composer. He acquired his musical training from his grandfather and father, and began composing religious and secular music in his childhood. His first opera, Adelson e Salvini, was successfully performed in 1825. His most celebrated works are the operas La Sonnambula and Norma (both 1831). In their profusely melodic style they exemplify the bel canto tradition of the 18th cent., and their roles demand great virtuosity of the singers. Bellini's last opera, I Puritani (1835), was influenced by the dramatic style of French grand opera. Unlike that of his immediate predecessors, Rossini and Donizetti, his operatic output was small. It was characterized by careful composition, great attention to the relationship between words and music, and an originality of harmony that gave rise to his music's sensual, ecstatic quality. He greatly influenced the work of Verdi.
See study by H. Weinstock (1971).
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