EVENING SHOWS June 23 | July 3 | July 6 | July 14
SUNDAY MATINEES July 1
by Giacomo Puccini
A Commedia lirica in three acts
Text by Giuseppe Adami after a libretto by A.M. Willner and Heinz Reichert
First performance: Monte Carlo; Théâtre de l’Opéra, March 27, 1917
Performed in Italian with English supertitles above the stage
Puccini pays tribute to the glittering world of operetta with this beautiful score. The sparkle and glamour of Paris's Banquet Years provide the glorious backdrop for this romantic tale of love won and lost. Fans of last season’s La Bohème won’t want to miss this rarely-performed operatic jewel. In 1973, early critics from the national press compared our fledgling company to the flight of the Swallow (La Rondine) of the title and since then, this particular opera holds very special meaning to Des Moines Metro Opera, making it a natural part of our 40th Anniversary season.
Magda de CivryLisette, her maidRuggero LastoucPrunier, a poetRambaldo FernandezPérichaudGobinCrébillonYvetteBiancaSuzyA SingerA Steward
Members of the bourgeoisie, students, painters, elegantly dressed ladies and gentleman, grisettes, flower-girls and dancing girls, waiters.
Conductor:Stage Director:Associate Conductor:Assistant Stage Director & Choreographer:Production Assistant:Dan JacobsenChorus Master:Musical Preparation:Set Designer:Costume Supervisor:Lighting Designer:Make-Up/Hair Designer:Costumes:Santa Fe Opera
Seattle Opera Costume Shop
Cast, production and opera are subject to change without notice.
SETTING: France during the Belle Epoque
Act I - An elegant salon in Magda’s house in Paris
Magda de Cirvy entertains in her elegant house in Paris. It is late afternoon. Her guests include the wealthy banker Rambaldo Fernandez, who is maintaining these surroundings, other gentlemen with their ladies, and the poet Prunier, a favorite in the salons of the city. Prunier sings his latest ballad which is given a very special ending by Magda. The poet also tells how romantic love is blossoming in Paris and that the sentimental passion could even find its way to those in the room. His attempts at telling fortunes are interrupted by the maid, Lisette, who announces a visitor, Ruggero Lastouc, a friend of Rambaldo’s family.
The young Ruggero wishes to know how he should spend his first night in Paris. The girls suggest cafés and night spots. Lisette, however, insists on the Bal Bullier as being the best. The guests depart and Magda, left alone, determines to disguise herself as a grisette and try to recapture the innocent passion of her youth at the Bal Bullier.
Act II – The Bal Bullier
Ruggero sits at the Bal Bullier a few hours later surrounded by beautiful and inquisitive girls. He remains aloof. Magda enters and is pursued by students. She tells them someone waits for her and they escort her to Ruggero’s table. He does not recognize her, understands her predicament and asks her to join him. Magda’s memory of a youthful romance is reiterated and they fall in love. Later Lisette and Prunier join them. When Rambaldo is seen entering, Lisette takes Ruggero away for a moment. Magda and Rambaldo have words and she tells him that she is in love and that their affair is over. Rambaldo departs along with the other guests. In the pale light of dawn the lovers sing of their happiness.
Act III – A summer house on the French Riviera
For one month the lovers have lived a blissful existence on a hilltop that overlooks the ocean. At afternoon tea Ruggero surprises Magda by telling her that he has written for the consent of his parents that they might be married. Magda is incredulous. When left alone, she determines to leave him. Lisette and Prunier arrive from Nice where Lisette has made an unsuccessful theatrical debut. Prunier insists that Magda return to Paris and says that Rambaldo still waits for her. Ruggero receives the letter of permission, but Magda reveals her past to him and says that his mother must never know her. She tells him that he was the only man she ever loved and bids him farewell, leaving Ruggero alone and lost.