LIVE IN HD
Puccini’s bittersweet love story arrives in cinemas on April 20, with soprano Angel Blue starring as the French courtesan Magda, opposite tenor Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero, an idealistic young man who offers her an alternative to her life of excess. Maestro Speranza Scappucci conducts Nicolas Joël’s Art Deco–inspired staging, which transports audiences from the heart of Parisian nightlife to a dreamy vision of the French Riviera. Soprano Emily Pogorelc and tenor Bekhzod Davronov complete the sterling cast as Lisette and Prunier. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to movie theaters across the globe.
English StreamText captioning is available for the Met’s transmission of La Rondine here. A transcript of the transmission will also be available to view after the live performance.
Buy tickets for La Rondine live in the opera house here.
A co-production of Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund
Revival a gift of Barbara Augusta Teichert
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World premiere: Grand Théâtre, Monte Carlo, 1917
Initially conceived as an operetta before receiving the full operatic treatment, this bittersweet love story is the least-known work of the mature Giacomo Puccini, largely due to the circumstances of its premiere: Italy and Austria became enemies during World War I, precluding a Vienna premiere, and the opera quietly opened in neutral Monte Carlo, never finding a permanent place in the repertoire. That loss is scandalous, since La Rondine, judged on its own merits rather than compared to other operas with similar themes, is a fascinating work—featuring an abundance of exuberant waltzes, a lightness of tone (particularly in the intoxicating first two acts), and a romantic vision of Paris and the south of France.
Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. Giuseppe Adami (1878–1946) provided Puccini with the libretto for La Rondine and would later work with him on Il Tabarro and Turandot. Viennese author, journalist, and composer Alfred Maria Willner (1859–1929) and his collaborator Heinz Reichert (1877–1940), who wrote operetta libretti for several of the most popular composers of the day, supplied the opera’s outline.
Each of the three acts of La Rondine evokes a different aspect of French life, as well as a different take on the nature of love. Act I is set in Magda’s elegant salon; Act II is set in the raucous Bal Bullier, a famous Latin Quarter dance hall; and Act III is set outside Nice on the French Riviera. The Met’s current, Art Deco–inspired production places the action in the 1920s.
The score of La Rondine is sophisticated and economical—and entirely engrossing. It flows with the sort of melody that could only come from Puccini, including the dreamy dance sequences in Act II and the ensemble in the same scene, “Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso,” as well as the opera’s most famous aria, Act I’s “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta.”