Misunderstood Melodrama: Bellini's 'Zaira'


THE HIT SINGLE: "Qui, crudele"

Though Bellini is known for spectacular arias, some of his most beautifully lyrical writing is found in ensembles. In this emotional, Act One trio, "Qui, crudele" ("Here, cruel woman"), Lusignano (bass Abramo Rosalen) is devastated at finding his daughter in a harem; Nerestano (mezzo-soprano Anna Malavasi) tries to calm Lusignano. And Zaira (soprano Saioa) feels desperately guilty at causing her father so much pain.  

THE B SIDE: "Sequi a piangere"

Later in the first act, Zaira and Nerestano are reconciled in the moving duet "Segui a piangere" ("Weep On"), in which Zaira vows to leave the sultan and return to her family, and her faith.