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The Ohio State Opera and Lyric Theatre will perform "La rodine" at Mershon Auditorium on March 31 and April 2. Credit: Courtesy of A. Scott Parry

School of Music to perform light-hearted comedic opera, “La rondine”

A rarely performed and light-hearted opera, “La rondine,” is coming to Ohio State this weekend.

OSU’s School of Music is presenting “La rondine,” one of Giacomo Puccini’s lesser-known operas, at the Mershon Auditorium on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Scott Parry, director of opera and lyric theatre as well as the director of “La rondine,” said that Puccini described the opera as lyric comedy, and it is much lighter than the composer’s better-known works, such as “Madama Butterfly” and “La bohème.”

“If his other operas are intense and something like a shot of whisky, this would sort of be like a glass of champagne,” Parry said.

“La rondine,” or “the swallow,” symbolizes someone who returns home, Parry said.

The opera is set in 1930s Paris and follows well-to-do courtesan Magda de Civry. She decides to leave her supervisors, and disguises herself for a night of adventure, during which she falls in love with a man at a bar.

“It’s basically a story of love found and of love lost over three acts,” Parry said.

Between the members of the cast and the members of the orchestra, there are about 80 students from the School of Music involved with the show.

Parry said the show is being performed on the 100th anniversary of the opera to the day, and he is excited to direct such a rarely seen show on such a significant date.

Kimberly Monzón, a doctoral student in musical arts, is playing the role of Magda, and said she is excited for the audience to experience the live emotion during the show.

“Magda wants what everybody wants: She just wants love, or a taste of true love,” Monzón said.

Daniel Stein, a doctoral student in musical arts, is playing the principal tenor role of Ruggero Lastouc, a young man on a trip to Paris to sow his wild oats. In Paris, Magda ends up falling in love with him.

Stein said this is his first time performing a Puccini opera with an orchestra, and he is excited to perform the artist’s work in its full scale.

“It’s really just lush, beautiful music and I think it’ll just be fun,” Stein said.

Tickets for the show are available online at wexarts.org or in person at the Wexner Center for the Arts Patron Services Desk. Tickets are $20 for general public and $10 for senior citizens, Alumni Association members, OSU faculty and staff, students and children. The running time of the show is expected to be under two hours.

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