Giuseppe Verdi’s great opera was first performed in Paris in 1855. It was censored in Italy due to its patriotic content and was performed in Milan’s La Scala under its original title only in 1864, after the unification of Italy. The title refers to the rebellion on Easter Monday in 1282, when the Sicilians rose against and massacred their French occupiers. The conflict between the Sicilians and the French offers a frame for another, more intimate conflict, in the lives of Helena, a patriotic Sicilian noblewoman, and Henry, who has just discovered that he is the illegitimate son of the French governor De Montforte. After a failed conspiracy, it seems that all will end well with the wedding of the two lovers and reconciliation between the Sicilians and the French; however, the rebels decide to go through with the massacre of the French. The Sicilian Vespers is a unique and complex opera which shows Verdi’s inclination towards experimentation, most noticeably in the orchestral music. Its overture is very famous and the source of some of the most beautiful themes of this opera.
— A show that pushes the boundaries of classical opera through its energy and vivacity. —
Jutarnji list, October 2015.
— The Sicilian Vespers is the operatic enterprise of the decade for the Zagreb CNT. —
Večernji list, October 2015.
— A superb performance of Verdi’s monumental piece. —
Novi list, October 2015.