by Mike Telin
Opera is fun! Even if in the end all parties do not live happily ever after. Still, when everything works during a performance, when it all comes together, one would be hard pressed to find a more entertaining way to spend three hours than at the opera.
On Friday, March 28 and Sunday, March 30 in Cleveland Public Theatre’s Gordon Square Theatre, Opera Per Tutti presented a magnificent production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine. I attended Sunday’s performance and indeed, it all worked.
La Rondine (the Swallow) is one of Puccini’s lesser-known operas and in fact it is the composer’s sole experiment in writing operetta. Although it has never been produced as often as some of his more popular works, with this vocally splendid cast combined with brilliant staging by Scott Skiba and deft coordination between the pit and stage by conductor Domenico Boyagian, Opera Per Tutti certainly made a case for La Rondine to get more face time with audiences. Theatrically speaking, the plot is lively with a nice mix of comedy and drama without ever becoming tragic. But above all, Puccini’s score is gorgeous.