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Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi bears little resemblance to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for a good reason; it's based not on the play but on a sixteenth century Italian story that Shakespeare also used source material. Librettist Felice Romani pared the story down to five characters and simplified the plot so that it is like Shakespeare's only in broadest outline. This recording, taken from a live 2008 Vienna performance, delivers fully on the promise of the era of bel canto: beautiful singing. Anna Netrebko is a ...

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