Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of La rondine. It was last on stage 5–21 July 2013 as part of the Summer 2012/13 season.
When Magda, the elegant mistress of the elderly Rambaldo, meets the young, naive Ruggero, she is smitten and dreams of building a life with him. But can she escape her chequered past?
La rondine was commissioned by the Karltheater, Vienna in 1913, but its 1917 premiere was moved to neutral Monte Carlo after the outbreak of World War I. Although an initial success, La rondine was denounced as an ‘enemy opera’ by the French press and declined in popularity. Only recently has the opera been performed regularly in opera houses worldwide.
Nicolas Joël’s production draws on the glamour and glitter of 1920s France. In the chic surroundings of her Parisian salon, Magda celebrates passionate love in the memorable song ‘Doretta’s Dream’ and in an Art Nouveau-inspired café, the lovers chat to a leisurely foxtrot. Giacomo Puccini’s score is influenced by Viennese operetta and infused with popular dance rhythms, from two interwoven waltz themes in Act II to lively polkas and tangos. The final act moves to a hotel on the French Riviera where the lovers bid a heart-breaking farewell in soaring melodies, before Magda – the ‘swallow’ of the title – flies away.
News and features
4 June 2015
The Italian composer created some of opera’s most enchanting romances.
13 May 2015
Composers have been inspired by everything about the French capital – from its seediness to its troubled political history – but most of all by its air of romance.
30 August 2013
Seven Royal Opera performances starring Simon Keenlyside, Karita Mattila, Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann and others.
12 July 2013
A selection of your tweets from the live outdoor screening of Puccini's tender romance.
10 July 2013
Angela Gheorghiu and Charles Castronovo star in Puccini's tender opera.
6 July 2013
A selection of audience tweets from the first night of Nicolas Joël’s production of Puccini's tender opera.
La rondine (The Swallow) is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami, based on a libretto by Alfred Maria Willner and Heinz Reichert. It was first performed at the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo (or the Théâtre du Casino) in Monte Carlo on 27 March 1917.