La Rondine, New York City Opera
By Martin Bernheimer
Published: September 27 2004 03:00 | Last updated: September 27 2004 03:00
La Rondine certainly isn't Puccini's easiest or most successful opera. Completed in 1917, it flutters - sometimes elegantly, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes passionately - from verismo platitudes to hand-me-down diversions to kitsch indulgences.
Inspired by Viennese operetta, the intimate extravaganza plays in France yet sings unabashed Italian. It borrows a bit of Léhar sentiment here and recycles a lot of the Traviata plot there. There's even a fleeting hint of Fledermaus, with a saucy maid borrowing her mistress's gown for a party.
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A synopsis of this opera is here.