The first OperaWednesday was dedicated to a rarely performed opera by Puccini. The semi-staged version of the highlights from Edgar was streamed live on 23 September 2020 at 8 p.m. on the Facebook page of the Opera as well as on Origo.
Edgar is Puccini’s most rarely performed opera composed after the success of Le Villi. It is valued mostly for the musical shaping, which is rich in dramatic effects, lavishing praise especially on the requiem. Set in 14th-century Flanders, the story’s characters bear revealing names. Edgar (wealth), the “anti-hero” destined for victory and loved by two woman who want him for themselves, abandons the embodiment of pure love, Fidelia (faithfulness) for the demonic courtesan Tigrana (the tigress). This leads to all the complications and the moral questions they raise: the burning down of the home, the protagonist enlisting as a soldier to escape from a lover he is now tired of and having himself declared dead, later taking part in his own funeral in disguise, being shamed as a traitor, the bribery of Tigrana, and finally, the murder.
The production by Ádám Tulassay was first staged at the first test run period of the Eiffel Art Studios during the Puccini Festival of the Hungarian State Opera in 2019. The title role was sung by Hector Lopez Mendoza, who returned this season with Gabriella Balga as Tigrana, Anikó Bakonyi as Fidelia, Zsolt Haja as Frank, and István Kovács as Gualtiero. The highlights were staged by Mária Harangi with sets by Balázs Cziegler and costumes by Móni Szelei. The stream was narrated by general director Szilveszter Ókovács, featured on the piano was Kálmán Szennai.
Photo by Valter Berecz