A Romeo and Juliet story set in England in 1645, Vincenzo Bellini’s I Puritani is all about the bel canto music. It has a stagnant libretto, a mad maiden “scene” that drags over three acts, and a happy ending. Lyric Opera presents a stodgy 42-year-old production borrowed from the Met.
See it for its sterling vocalists, especially tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Arturo and soprano Albina Shagimuratova as his true love, Elvira (a part famously, and probably more histrionically, sung at Lyric by Maria Callas). Bass Adrian Sampetrean as Elvira’s uncle and baritone Anthony Clark Evans as her disappointed suitor round out the quartet of leads, while the mighty Lyric Opera chorus amps up the aural drama.
As for visual interest, there’s a narrated, open-curtain set change during the second intermission. In Italian with English supertitles.
I Puritani Through 2/28: Wed 2/7, Sat 2/10, Tue 2/13, Sat 2/16, and Sun 2/24, 7:30 PM; Wed 2/28, 2 PM. Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker, 312-827-5600, lyricopera.org, $49-$269, $20 students Wed 2/7 and Sat 2/16.