Ettore Moschino
(Page 6-7)

The documents demonstrating the great Maestro’s Abruzzan origin are conclusive proof and incontrovertible. At times some scholars made mention of it but in a fleeting way; but no other occasion is as propitious as this one of his Centenary to stress the importance and significance of these proofs.

*  *

In one of his eulogies, on the occasion of the first Centenary of the birth of Vincenzo Bellini, Gabriele d’Annunzio[15] glorifies the Bard saying that having been brought up by his talented family, he came across the double sea singing of the beauties and the pain of Man: the health of a great, melodious singer, born in the ancestral earth of the other spirit “flowering at the feet of Etna” to the same immortal spirit. Recalled today, this Ode has the same value as a new pact of acknowledgement and appreciation between these two distant yet sister lands.

Certainly Naples and Sicily nourished the Great Bellini’s intellect and provided him with sources of sublime inspiration. But also the land of Abruzzo transmitted to him, by means of his fathers, the fluid secret of its ancient melodious virtues. Visiting those places and listening to those voices, one cannot but help thinking of Bellini’s music. The idyllic songs of The Sleepwalker (La Sonnambula[16]) have many pastoral expressions of these people; certain dramatic accents of these spirits which suddenly recall the great passionate accents of the singer of Norma.

In certain seasons, nature itself assumes a character that I would say is almost of Bellini. Because if on certain religious summer nights, the “chaste diva” turns her limpid dawn upon those age-old trees, the murmuring leaves, the vibrations of space, the wings and the rays compose a marvellous chorale, not dissimilar to that which with so much powerful mystery and dreams, arises from the druidic forest created by the Bard’s imagination, which at the beginning of the nineteenth Century renewed, and which continues in itself to renew throughout eternity, the myth and the greatness of Orpheus. 

Ettore Moschino.


[15] Gabriele d’Annunzio – (1863 - 1938) Italian poet, novelist and dramatist, military hero, and supporter of fascist political ideas. D'Annunzio combined naturalism, symbolism, and erotic images in his work, becoming the best interpreter of European Decadence in post-Risorgimento Italy. His love affairs, relationship with the world-famous actress Eleanora Duse, heroic adventures during World War I, and his occupation of Fiume in 1919 made him a legend in his own time.

[16] La Sonnambula - Opera in three acts by Bellini, words by Felice Romani. First produced Carcano Theatre, Milan, March 6, 1831. Set in the early 19th Century, in  village in Switzerland, the story of "Sonnambula" is simple and thoroughly intelligible - La Sonnambula is the tale of an Alpine maiden (Amina) whose sleepwalking takes her into the bedroom of the lord of the local castle, Count Rodolfo. Unlike most of his operatic counterparts, Rodolfo opts to protect Amina’s good reputation and repair the damage to her relationship with her furious fiancé Elvino. The Count convinces Elvino to observe Amina’s nightly wanderings, and when she survives a somnambulistic stroll across a treacherous bridge, Elvino joyfully awakens her.

The mainspring of the action is the interesting psycho-physical manifestation of somnambulism. This is effectively worked out. The crossing of the bridge in the last scene is a tense moment in the simple story. It calls for an interesting stage "property" -- the plank that breaks without precipitating Amina, the heroine, who sometimes may have more embonpoint than voice, into the mill-race. All these elements contribute to the success of "La Sonnambula," which still is a good evening’s entertainment.



Of Vincenzo Bellini Senior’s paternal house

in Torricella Peligna existing at the Catasto Onciario

of this Comune in 1743


 Sheet number 194.

ROSARIO BELLINI, agricultural labourer aged 30 years;
Francesca Mancini, wife aged 26 years;
Annamaria, daughter aged 2 years;
D. Carlo, brother, priest aged 41 years;
Falco, brother, clergyman, living in Sulmona, aged 26 years;
Anna Pacifica, widow, mother, aged 70 years.

Head: one ducat
Industry: twelve ounces

 He lives in the family house of D. Carlo, his brother and dependant on this house there is a ruined little country house near S. Rocco, which house has 3 rooms, two above and one below; the said ruined little country house borders with (property of) Andrea Porreca and Carlo Ficca.

 In the hamlet Coste del Mulino he owns 1 tomolo[17] of territory with vines and soft fruit trees, which render to the Università; it borders with property of the Università and the above-mentioned D. Carlo.
 Revenue assessed, with deduction of expenses for the year, six Carlini.

Makes two ounces.

                       14 Ounces

Weights two ounces. Remainder for personal industry 12 ounces.

[17] tomolo – an ancient unit of measure … units for area still survive in current language, especially for old people, (even though the antique measures for capacity vanished tens of years ago).

Measures of area were the tomolo or tomolata, the picciolata and the stoppellata.
The tomolata was equivalent to 63 aras (more precisely 62.57 aras); 
the picciolata was half a tomolata, thus 31.28 aras;
the stoppellata was 1/8 of a tomolata, thus 7.8 aras.
(1 ara = 100 square metres) 

V. Bellini,Sr.