Met Opera presents Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’ Live in HD

Angel Blue as Magda and Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’
Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

An international audience has a chance to see the Metropolitan Opera’s presentation of Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine (The Swallow) in a live performance streamed from the stage at Lincoln Center, New York.

This performance – a co-production of the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden – stars soprano Angel Blue in her role debut as the courtesan Magda, and tenor Jonathan Tetelman as the idealistic young man who offers her an alternative to her lifestyle. The poet Prunier is sung by tenor Bekhzod Davronov and soprano Emily Pogorelc takes the role of Magda’s maid, Lisette. Nicolas Joël’s 1920s Art Deco-inspired staging of this production is led by conductor Speranza Scappucci.

Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero, Angel Blue as Magda, and Alfred Walker as Rambaldo in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’ Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

The action of this three-act opera takes place firstly in Magda’s elegant salon in high society Paris, where she is the mistress of Rambaldo, a wealthy man. It then moves to the Bal Bullier – a famous Latin Quarter dance hall – and finally a location near Nice on the French Riviera. Magda dreams of true love, but Prunier, having read her palm, predicts that – like the swallow – she will travel south in her search for happiness.

Angel Blue as Magda and Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’
Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

Puccini wrote La Rondine in 1916, and set it to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami, later to work on Il Tabarro and Turandot with Puccini. The libretto was based on an outline by Viennese author, journalist and composer Alfred Maria Willner and Heinz Reichert who was the librettist for several operettas for popular composers of the day. The opera premiered at the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo in Monaco, on March 27th, 1917.

Two-time Grammy Award winner, 2020 Beverly Sills Award recipient, and the 2022 Richard Tucker Award winner, Angel Blue is internationally acclaimed. The Financial Times writes that her ”…. luscious soprano is remarkable for its sheer beauty of tone ….”, and Gramophone says: “This is a voice of youthful refulgence and versatility”.

Emily Pogorelc as Lisette, Bekhzod Davronov as Prunier, Jonathan Tetelman as Ruggero, and Angel Blue as Magda in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’ Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

One of Ms Blue’s first appearances in the current season was her performance of Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore at San Francisco Opera, followed by the title role in Puccini’s Tosca at the Vienna State Opera, an appearance in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, a soloist in the Celebrating Maria Callas Concert at Carnegie Hall, and she returns to the Met following her highly successful portrayal of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen earlier this season. Forthcoming performances include the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Orchestre de Paris, the title role in Tosca at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and an appearance at the Festival de Lanaudière, Canada, in Aida: The Season’s Final Bow.

Tenor Jonathan Tetelman, making his Met debut as Ruggero, was honored as Opus Klassik Award’s 2023 Break-Out Artist of the Year. The New York Times hails him as a “… total star”and Opera News writes that he has been “confirmed a major talent”.

Sun-Ly Pierce as Suzy, Angel Blue as Magda, Amanda Batista as Bianca, Magdalena Kuźma as Yvette in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’ Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

Among his debuts last season are those with San Francisco Opera as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata, with Houston Grand Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca, and with the Salzburger Festspiele as MacDuff in Verdi’s Macbeth. Mr Tetelman has also sung the role of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème for Semperoper Dresden, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Paolo in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at Deutsche Oper Berlin. His performance in La Rondine follows his recent appearance as Pinkerton in the Met’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly which he will sing at Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Festival Aix-en-Provence and Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he also makes his debut as Luigi in Puccini’s Il Tabarro.  Further operatic highlights of his season include a return to the title role of Massenet’s Werther for the Festspielhaus in Baden-Badenand an exclusive one-night-only performance of Rodolfo in La bohème at Theater Dortmund.

Amanda Batista as Bianca, Sun-Ly Pierce as Suzy, Magdalena Kuźma as Yvette, Christopher Job as Périchaud, Angel Blue as Magda, Scott Scully as Gobin, Paul Corona as Crébillon, and Alfred Walker as Rambaldo in Puccini’s ‘La Rondine’ Photo: Karen Almond / Met Opera

Also in the cast, and making their Met debuts, are soprano Emily Pogorelc as Lisette and tenor Bekhzod Davronov as Prunier. Both have been praised by critics, with Pogorelc being described by The New York Times as an “incisive, lively soprano”, and Davronov by The Guardian as “a fantastic voice … wonderfully elegant, and easy in its upper registers”.

Maestro Scappucci made history as the first-ever Italian woman to conduct at La Scala and debuted at the Met last season. She leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this Live in HD production on Saturday 20th April at 12.55 pm ET. Further information is available on the Metropolitan Opera website, and details on how to find your local cinema performance are available on this link.

Information sourced from:

Metropolitan Opera program notes

Artists’ websites

ArtsPreview home page

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