“Perhaps, like the swallow, you will wander across the sea, to the pure country of dreams, toward the sun, toward love...” is how the symbolic prophecy if the poet Prunier goes in the beginning of La Rondine, Puccini’s sole work to start life as an operetta.
In the smart Paris salon of the banker Rambaldo and his mistress, Magda, the discussion is revolving around the vicissitudes of love and fortune and the choice between pure desires and the possibility of buying happiness. The arrival of a young man brings the debate to a boil. The company helpfully guides him into the night, where in the bustle of a dance club he becomes infatuated with Magda, “disguised” as a coquette. When she is unmasked, love takes them on its wings to the Riviera. Nevertheless, Magda’s previous life seals its fate.
La Rondine is the only late work of Puccini’s in a lighter genre and was commissioned by the director of a Viennese theatre. Composed during World War One, the lyric opera was premiered in the neutral territory of Monte-Carlo in the spring of 1917 and won the approval of the Cote d’Azur audience. Although its atmosphere evokes the world of Viennese operetta, its plot set in Paris and on the Riviera is more reminiscent of La bohème and La Dame aux Camélias. With virtuosic ease he weaves into his remarkably scored symphonic compositional elements of contemporary dance music, including the waltz, tango, polka and foxtrot.
Director: Ferenc Anger
Set and costume designer: Gergely Zöldy Z
Cast: Zsuzsanna Ádám (Magda), Adorján Pataki (Ruggero), Sándor Balla (Rambaldo), Katalin Kolcsár (Lisette), Bardon Tony (Prunier)
Featuring the orchestra and chorus of the Hungarian Opera of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca).
Chorus director: Szabolcs Kulcsár
Conductor: József Horváth
Set designer Gergely Zöldy Z