An Improbable Beauty: Bellini's 'La Straniera'


THE HIT SINGLE: "No, non ti son rivale"

This Act One trio is among the opera's many fine ensembles. Arturo (tenor Norman Reinhardt) believes Valdeburgo (baritone Franco Vassalo) and Alaide (soprano Marlis Petersen) are lovers, but Valdeburgo reassures him, saying "No, you are not my rival."


THE B SIDE: "Ciel pietosa"

In the Act Two aria "Ciel pietosa" -- "Merciful Heaven" -- it seems Alaide has persuaded Arturo to fulfill his promise and marry Isoletta, but she now feels guilty over her unhappiness at seeing the couple together.