I Puritani

I Puritani at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Upcoming Dates

I Puritani

I Puritani at Lyric Opera of Chicago


by Vincenzo Bellini
Sung in Italian with projected English translations


I Puritani Opera Overview

Of all opera composers, none glorified the human voice more than Bellini. His final opera was I Puritani, in which a soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass can truly revel in some of the most thrilling vocal music ever written. Opera companies produce this work only when they can cast fabulous singers with masterful techniques and superb style. Bellini places them within a sweeping historical drama in 17th-century England, in which a passionate young couple find themselves caught up in a conflict between opposing political factions.
“Albina Shagimuratova [is] a dominant force, first among a cast of equals…she earned the thunderous ovation she got at its end.”
The New York Times

“[Lawrence Brownlee’s] sound has warmth and bloom...he soars up to ringing top notes, high Cs and even higher.”
The New York Times


National Endowment for the Arts

This production was originally directed by Sandro Sequi and premiered at The Metropolitan Opera. All scenery, properties, and costumes constructed by The Metropolitan Opera.

Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes with 2 intermissions




Photo: Andrew Cioffi

I Puritani Opera Resources

Join us in the theater one hour before the curtain rises for a free, 30-minute preview talk about the opera. Learn more about pre-opera talks.


During the English Civil War, the emotionally fragile, Puritan woman Elvira and the heroic Royalist Arturo have fallen in love and are to be married. However, another Puritan, Riccardo, is in love with Elvira and has been promised her hand in marriage. The star-crossed lovers’ story unravels in a tangle of political intrigue, deception, misunderstanding, and madness, but the power of true love may be able to conquer all.

View Program

I Puritani opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Audio Highlights

Vincenzo Bellini

EMI recording — Caballé, Kraus, Manuguerra, Ferrin, cond. Muti. Courtesy of Warner Classics.

“A te, o cara”

“Vien, diletto”

“Suoni la tromba”

I Puritani opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Opera Commentary

commentary by Roger Pines

(right click and "Save Target As" / "Save Link As")

Lawrence Brownlee Flies High

Lawrence Brownlee Flies High

Lawrence Brownlee has been the toast of Chicago in two signature roles. This season, Lawrence returns to the Lyric stage in another role he has truly made his own, Arturo in Bellini’s I Puritani.

Read More
I Puritani opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

I Puritani: Vocal Fireworks and Passions That Run High

The Olympics are coming this February! You may be excited about the athletics that will be taking place in Seoul, but equally as thrilling is the feat of acrobatic vocals that will be coming to Lyric’s stage when I Puritani opens.

Read More
I Puritani opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Aaaaand…the Gold Medal Goes to…TEAM PURITANI !!!

Brilliant bel canto singing and Olympic sports have more in common than you might think. We asked members of Lyric’s I Puritani team two questions to illustrate that point. Here’s what they had to say.

Read More
I Puritani opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Season of Delights

The English Civil War is the setting for Bellini’s romantic drama I Puritani (The Puritans), the crowning achievement of this Italian master’s career.

Read More
Music for I Puritani provided by through generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago.

© 2017/18 Lyric Opera Commentaries Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of Warner Music Group. All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

I Puritani Synopsis

TIME: About 1650


Scene 1. The terrace of a fortress near Plymouth
Scene 2. Giorgio’s apartment within the fortress
Scene 3. The courtyard of the fortress


The great hall of the fortress


Elvira’s garden


Scene 1. As dawn breaks, Bruno Robertson leads the Puritan soldiers in prayer before they set about their duties. Villagers enter in a festive mood and announce that it is Elvira’s wedding day. Sir Riccardo Forth appears, brooding and in despair. Lord Gualtiero Walton has yielded to his daughter Elvira’s wish to marry Lord Arturo Talbot, a royalist opposed to Cromwell and the Puritan cause. Lord Walton has thus broken his promise to Riccardo that Elvira should be his bride. Bruno’s attempts to comfort the rejected suitor are to no avail. Riccardo laments his lost happiness.

Scene 2. Unaware of her father’s change of heart, Elvira has resolved not to go through with the loveless marriage to Riccardo. She learns from her uncle, Sir Giorgio Walton, that the wedding preparations are for her and her beloved Arturo, through her uncle’s intercession. Elvira is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.

Scene 3. The residents of the fortress assemble to greet the bridegroom. Among them is the condemned royal prisoner, Queen Enrichetta. Arturo recognizes her and promises to rescue her. Elvira is filled with a happiness she longs to share with the prisoner; before leaving to prepare for the ceremony, she gives Enrichetta a veil, a present form Arturo. Alone, Arturo recognizes the prisoner as the Queen and promises to rescue her. Arturo convinces her that in his company and disguised as his bride, she will be able to evade the sentries.

Their escape is barred by the arrival of Riccardo, who challenges Arturo to a duel for stealing Elvira’s affections from him. Enrichetta places herself between them and, in the confusion, her identity is revealed. Riccardo offers no further hindrance to their departure, knowing that Arturo’s treason will prevent his ever marrying Elvira. She and the other Puritans return to the courtyard; in the distance, they can see the fugitives riding away, leaving Elvira distraught.


Giorgio describes to the Puritans the madness that has overcome Elvira, who believes that Arturo has abandoned her for another woman. Riccardo appears with a proclamation naming him leader of Cromwell’s forces and ordering him to capture and execute Arturo. A disheveled Elvira appears. Her confused mind darts from the reality of Arturo’s departure to the delusion that he has never left. Giorgio begs Riccardo to save his rival’s life for Elvira’s sake. Riccardo agrees to spare him if he returns alone and defenseless, but if he returns armed and with military escort, the rebel will be crushed. Giorgio declares that he will join Riccardo in battle if England is attacked.


Pursued by Cromwell’s troops, Arturo approaches the fortress hoping desperately to see Elvira once more. The lovers are soon joyfully reunited. Arturo refuses to leave Elvira, despite his personal danger. The troops come upon them and seize Arturo. A sentence of death is about to be carried out, which shocks Elvira and restores her reason. Suddenly a messenger arrives with the news of Cromwell’s victory and the pardon of all prisoners, leaving the way clear for Arturo and Elvira to marry.

Featured Media

Bellini's I Puritani