Opera’s golden couple, Angela Gheorghiu and husband Roberto Alagna, offer viewers a rare chance to experience Giacomo Puccini’s attempt to meld Italianate opera with the bittersweet Viennese operetta formula Sunday, April 26 at noon (ET) for Thirteen’s SundayArts showcase. Last seen at the Met in 1936, La Rondine (The Swallow) is the tale of an unhappy kept woman who opts for one last fling with an idealistic young man, then returns – like the swallow – to her rich benefactor, sadder and more worldly wiser. Watch a preview here.
Soprano Gheorghiu and tenor Alagna (“singing with ravishing, tender voices and onstage intimacy,” wrote AP) are the lovers Magda and Ruggero, with tenor Marius Brenciu as Magda’s friend Prunier and veteran Met bass Samuel Ramey as her keeper, the banker Rambaldo. Marco Armiliato conducts.
The glittering new Art Deco production is by Nicolas Joël, with sets by Ezio Frigerio, costumes by Franca Squarciapino and lighting by Duane Schuler. “A beguiling production,” raved The New York Times, “sophisticated, charming and poignant.”