In the middle of his career, Giacomo Puccini had three hits back-to-back. They were La Boheme, Tosca and Madame Butterfly, and their popularity has never faltered. That kind of success can be a mixed blessing. For Puccini, it only heightened his desire to be original by continuing to create his own brand of opera.
But how should his new ideas take shape? And what about the fact that Puccini had trouble making decisions, was easily distracted and was often busy traveling to promote the operas he'd already composed?
That brings us to Minnesota Opera's first production of the season, Puccini's La Rondine. It's about a young woman whose past gets in the way of her search for true love. While the story might sound familiar, much of the music will be new to most listeners and Puccini does not disappoint!
Minnesota Opera's production runs through Oct. 14 at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. The cast includes Irish soprano Celine Byrne, making her U.S. operatic debut.
Join Melissa Ousley at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for Classical MPR's live broadcast of Puccini's rarely staged gem.