Sunday, June 28, 2009

"La Rondine"

Set in the Paris, Mid-19th century, "La Rondine" is a beautiful three-act opera by Giacomo Puccini. It was performed at the Metropolitan Opera on December 31st, 2008, and I had the awesome chance to catch it today on KOCE TV. The NY Times was somewhat critical of the performance, but since I'm no opera expert, it seemed beautifully done to me. To my untrained eye, this operetta was poignant in every scene; I didn't catch any of the staccato sounds in their voices, that Anthony Tommasini from the New York Times did.

This is the story of how love is not always enough. Magda is Rambaldo's mistress, he's an older man and she doesn't love him, though she seems thoroughly happy on the first act. On the second act Magda meets Ruggero, who is somehow acquainted to Rambaldo. They fall in love. Magda tells Rambaldo that she has fallen in love and she's leaving. By the end of the second scene, Magda and Ruggero confess their love to each other. At the beginning of act 3, Magda and Ruggero are living in a cottage by the sea. Their bills are mounting and they don't know how they will pay them. Ruggero has written to his parents asking for permission to marry Magda, and they accept, thinking he's marrying a chaste, virtuous woman. Magda knows she couldn't possibly marry Ruggero because of her past and after finding out Rambaldo wants her back, she tells Ruggero the truth of who she is and goes back to Rambaldo, breaking Ruggero's heart in that final emotional scene.

Beautiful opera, I only hope to be able to be part of the live audience one day.

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