Francesca da Rimini, Riccardo Zandonai's dramatic verismo rarity, returns to the Met for the first time since the mid 1980s. Based on a Gabriele d'Annunzio play inspired by an episode in Dante's Inferno, the story is full of lurid and dramatic turns.
Beautiful Francesca (the soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek) is tricked into marrying the ugly Gianciotto (baritone Mark Delavan) through a ruse involving his handsome brother, Paolo (tenor Marcello Giordani). Francesca actually falls in love with Paolo, and they begin a passionate extramarital affair.
Malatestino, an evil third brother (played by tenor Robert Brubaker), also lusts after Francesca. He discovers the affair and reveals it to Gianciotto. The story doesn't end happily for the two lovers.
Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Francesca: Eva-Maria Westbroek
Paolo il Bello: Marcello Giordani
Malatestino: Robert Brubaker
Gianciotto: Mark Delavan