The Hungarian State Opera may be proud of many things. One of these is its Chorus, with amazing artists. We are more than happy to give opportunity for some of them to debute as soloists as well. In the 2014/15 season they will be performing a rare gem in the direction of Nina Dudek: Giordano’s Fedora.
The composer was inspired by a veritable queen of the stage: Sarah Bernhardt. It was for her that Sardou wrote the play Fédora. The plot is an inimitable French romantic tragedy, a true pièce bien faite, with all of the properties of such: (a duel, a letter, a misunderstanding, poison, sweeping emotion), with the twists and turns of a thriller set in tsarist St. Petersbourg and Switzerland.
In Saint Petersburg, Princess Fedora Romanoff arrives for a visit with her fiancé, Count Vladimir Andrejevich, but finds him absent. Shortly afterwards, the grievously wounded count is brought home after being found by his coachman and a diplomat, de Sirieux. The nobleman succumbs to his wounds, and the prime suspect is the young nihilist Count Loris Ipanov.
Fedora had resolved to find her fiancé's murderer and hand him over to the police. Now in Paris, the princess holds a soirée where the assembled guests include Count Ipanov, who declares his love for Fedora and also admits that he was indeed the one who killed Count Andrejevich: accidentally. Despite starting to harbour tender feelings for the man, the princess secretly summons the police. Ipanov reveals the truth to the woman: his wife had been having an affair with Fedora's fiancé, and when Ipanov caught them, Andrejevich opened fire, at which point Ipanov shot his rival in self-defence. The astonished Fedora immediately falls in love and promises to help him escape from the police.
In Fedora's villa in the Swiss Alps, the couple are happily enjoying their life together. Ipanov receives a letter informing him that a tip from a woman in Paris had resulted in his brother being thrown in prison, where he then died. His mother also died shortly thereafter, of grief. Trembling, Fedora admits that she was the same woman in Paris, but begs her lover to forgive her, since at the time she didn't know the truth. Ipanov curses her and torments her. In despair, Fedora swallows poison and dies in Ipanov's arms.