Post Cards from the Edge GIACOMO PUCCINI’S LA RONDINE - January 21, 2012, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera | Welcome to Fred’s Home Page

GIACOMO PUCCINI’S LA RONDINE - January 21, 2012, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera 

This seldom performed opera has been described as a cross between operetta and opera.  There are no spoken parts in the entire production.  Because of the potential outbreak of World War I (July 1917) , it had its opening in Monte Carlo on March 27, 1917. This was the Florida Grand Opera premiere production. 

The story centers on Magda, whose past eventually prevents her from marrying Ruggero.  It has a saucy maid (Lisette), Magda’s patron (Rambaldo), and has three set changes.  Ruggero has come to Paris for the first time in his life seeking an introduction to Paris with Rambaldo.  Magda’s salon visitors suggest he needs to go to Bullier’s for the evening - for love and and good time.  Eventually, Lissette, Prunier the poet, and Magda end up there as well where Magda and Ruggero fall in love.  Her patron Rambaldo discovers them and she confesses her love for Ruggero.

Of course, it has an unhappy ending with Magda confessing to Ruggero her past and that she cannot marry him.

FGO did a pretty good job with set design and scene changes.  There was none of the noticeable banging, clomping, and smashing usually notable.

Elizabeth Caballero showed her great voice.  This is a role in which she excelled.  Bruno Ribeiro matched her quality and some of the duets were the best I’ve heard in a long time.  Daniel Shirley and Corinne Winters were also excellent.  Unfortunately, some of the cast were overwhelmed by the size of the hall and could not project well enough to be heard. 

It was an interesting opera/operetta with two intermissions with fairly short acts.  It didn’t drag at any point but some of the stage direction seemed stilted. 

Image from FGO website.

© Fred Searcy 2017