Lisette in La Rondine at Met Opera
April 20, 2024 @ 1:00 pm
Conductor: Speranza Scappucci
Magda: Angel Blue
Ruggero: Jonathan Tetelman
Lisette: Emily Pogorelc
Prunier: Bekhzod Davronov
Puccini’s bittersweet love story makes a rare Met appearance, featuring a young cast portraying the love story of a French courtesan Magda and Ruggero, the 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.
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.