Puccini's La Rondine

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kristine Opolais (center) as Magda with Margaret Thompson, Janinah Burnett and Monica Yunus in Puccini's 'La Rondine' Kristine Opolais (center) with Margaret Thompson, Janinah Burnett and Monica Yunus in Puccini's 'La Rondine' (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera revives its 2008 production of La Rondine, Puccini's often-overlooked work that straddles the boundaries between opera and operetta. The production features the house debut of the fast-rising Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais as Magda, a swallow who, in the search for love, realizes she cannot attach herself to anyone and must remain a free woman.

The tenor Giuseppe Filianoti plays Ruggero, returning after his run in the title role of La Clemenza di Tito, and Anna Christy is Lisette. Ion Marin conducts.

Cast:

Conductor: Ion Marin

Magda: Kristine Opolais

Lisette: Anna Christy

Ruggero: Giuseppe Filianoti

Prunier: Marius Brenciu

Rambaldo: Dwayne Croft

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Comments [4]

Les from Miami, Florida

This afternoon's Prunier and Rambaldo are very familiar to me; and they along with Lisette, Ruggero and Magda I consider major talents whose voices blend beautifully together. I look forward to hearing them in any and all future projects. I think this was the last performance of "La Rondine" of the season and I envy those fortunate to have seen it in person. I found the many, many tempo indications that call for a slowing down of tempo followed by a resumption of the main tempo far too exaggerated for my taste. I also felt the spoken dialogue could have been more inflected and emotion-laden: it came off colder than I like to hear it, such as "Ah, creatura, dolce incanto". ("sweet enchantment") and "Ai vostri piedi, tutte le grazie della primavera" ("at your feet, all the graces of spring"). And for all those listening and following with scores and/or libretti, regarding that first act addition of Ruggero's Paris aria and the cut: the aria starts 3 after rehearsal number 42 in the full score with Ruggero's "La prima" then thearia, resuming at 10 before rehearsal number 43 with Rambaldo's "Poeta raffinato, dite un po'" "(Tell me, poet of refinement...". If this meltingly beautiful opera doesn't smite you the first time you hear it, I'll bet it will grow on you with every hearing.

Jan. 26 2013 04:14 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

LA RONDINE is a delight despite its realistic denouement which for both lovers ends unhappily.
The MET OPERA'S longest, most performances maestro, Maestro FAUSTO CLEVA, had in his music room at the Hotel Ansonia the bronze tablet signifying his being awarded the PRIX DE ROMA for his, at that time LP, recording of LA RONDINE, starring RENATA TEBALDI and MARIO DEL MONACO. The recording is a gem, with all concerned at their peak best. I had studied there with maestro CLEVA the dramatic tenor ''rep." Today's performance had verve and the right singers in all the roles. The soubrette nature of of the role of Magda demands the "abandon" quality that CHRISTINE OPOLAIS invested in her well-sung performance. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. My live Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall performances, including my singing of Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan, Siegmund, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Walther von Stolzing, Otello, Eleazar and Florestan. may be downloaded, free, at "Recorded Selections" on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. I am an opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles.

Jan. 26 2013 04:10 PM
Lochlan

Not Hurricane Sandy, the flu, the cold, and today, this very cold day, no water at all in my 110-year old apartment, can stop the hope of La Rondine. Long, long story here, I'll spare you the details and send a stretch gift of $50 on the donate page. Via family, I'm appreciative of music therapy. QXR is so much more than that - as if that were not alreaady enough. With greatest thanks. Lochlan

Jan. 26 2013 01:29 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

I heard the opening night performance. As in the 2008 production, Ruggero's delightful Paris aria is interpolated in Act I. (that's not in the 1917 Sonzogno full score). But there's a cut that follows. I can't remember at what rehearsal number the act resumes and continues until the end of the act, since I was turning pages at the time.

Jan. 26 2013 06:14 AM

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