Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: La Rondine

Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: La Rondine

Article excerpt

Puccini                         [DVD] [BR] [G] La rondine  Dinara Alieva sop               Magda de Civry Siobhan Stagg sop                       Yvette Elbenita Kajtazi sop                    Bianca Charles Castronovo ten                 Ruggero Alvaro Zambrano ten                    Prunier Alexandra Hutton sop                   Lisette Stephanie Lauricella mez                  Suzy Stephen Bronk bass-bar                Rambaldo Matthew Newlin ten                       Gobin Noel Bouley bar                      Perichaud Thomas Lehmann bar                   Crebillon Carlton Ford bar                     Rabonnier 

Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin / Roberto Rizzi Brignoli

Stage director Rolando Villazon

Video director Ernestine Bottcher

Delos (F) [DVD] DV7010; (F) [BR] DV7011 (105' * NTSC * 16:9 * DTS-HD MA5.0, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * 0 * S) Recorded live, March 14 & 18,2015

La rondine is often dismissed (not least by me) as one of Puccini's weaker operas, a sort of poor hybrid between La traviata and La boheme. Puccini's publisher, Ricordi, refused the score, dismissing it as 'bad Lehar'. The hit number 'Chi il bel sogno di Doretta' comes desperately early on in the piece, after which we always seem to be on the verge of another great tune that never quite arrives. Composed to challenge (and cash in on) Lehar's domination of the operetta scene, it charts the vacillations of the Parisian courtesan Magda de Civry between her elderly protector Rambaldo and her young beau Ruggero Lastouc. The poet Prunier tells her she is like a swallow ('una rondine') and eventually--to spare besmirching Ruggero's family with the shame of her past--she abandons her young lover to return to Rambaldo.

Tenor Rolando Villazon turns his hand to opera direction in this production, new to the Deutsche Oper Berlin last year. …

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