The first performance took place at the Teatro Carcano in Milan on 6 March 1831.
The role of Amina was originally written for the mezzo-soprano Giuditta Pasta, and during Bellini's lifetime, another mezzo-soprano, Maria Malibran, was a notable exponent of the role. The majority of twentieth-century recordings have been made with a soprano cast as Amina, most with "added top-notes and [other] substantial changes". The first mezzo-soprano to record the role was Cecilia Bartoli.
The phrase "Ah! non credea mirarti / Sì presto estinto, o fiore" from Amina's final aria is inscribed on Bellini's tomb in the Catania Cathedral on Sicily.
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