Some enchanted evening: Puccini’s La rondine at Iford

From the opening party at Magda’s house, all fairylights and champagne, to the sultry Paris dive where students are later discovered toasting new-found love in absinthe, La rondine is no “poor cousin” Puccini: it is a symphony of self-deception and conscious seduction, in very modern mode. The opera’s compromised, yet nostalgic moral outlook fits our time; the plot, misunderstood for many years and a source of agony to Puccini, who revised it repeatedly, works today. Director Ben Occhipinti presides over this Venn diagram of inclination, need and lust with intelligence and precision at Iford, in which Ilona Domnich gives an unforgettable performance as Magda.

Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack

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