A rare revival of the ravishingly beautiful production of Zandonai’s “Francesca da Rimini” will be streamed to Orcas Center from The Met: Live in HD on Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m.
Riccardo Zandonai’s masterpiece returns to the Met for the first time in more than 25 years. Piero Faggioni’s production, which sets the action in Renaissance Italy, stars Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and Italian tenor Marcello Giordani as Francesca and Paolo, the star-crossed lovers whose doomed romance was inspired by an episode in Dante’s Inferno.
“Francesca da Rimini” was a contemporary of Dante in the late 13th century. As legend has it, she was forced into a political marriage with a brutal, much older man, and in the process fell madly in love with her brother-in-law. Eventually, the husband caught the two in the midst of passion and murdered them both. With a story like that one, immortalized by Dante, it’s easy to see how Francesca’s fate has been evoked by music ranging from Zandonai’s opera and a Tchaikovsky tone poem to a 21st-century pop song.
Marco Armiliato conducts a cast that also includes the American baritone Mark Delavan as Gianciotto, Francesca’s brutal husband, and American tenor Robert Brubaker as the wicked Malatestino. American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky hosts the transmission and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
Tickets for “Francesca da Rimini” are $18, $13 students, $2 off for Orcas Center members, and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office.