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Lovers timid and not so timid this week on The Lyric Stage.

This Sunday (8/26 at 8 pm) we have Nino Rota's one act opera, I due Timidi, the Two Shy Lovers, and the an excerpt from La Boheme, with Rodolfo and Mimi, lovers not so shy.

Nino Rota lived from 1911 to 1979. He was a child prodigy from a distinguished musical family with impeccable contacts. Arturo Toscanini gave him advice, Fritz Reiner taught him at Curtis, and he was a friend of Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky. As a composer his works cross most of the musical genres, including several operas. He is best known in the United States as the composer of many of the finest film scores of the last century, including for Fellini's La Strada and 81/2, Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet, and for The Godfather, for which he won an Oscar. Tonight we have his one act opera, I Due Timidi, written for Italian radio in 1950, and that is the performance we are offering this evening.

The title translates as the two shy or timid lovers. In the opera Raimondo has moved in to a run-down boarding establishment next to his beloved Mariuccia, who plays the piano. But both are too timid to admit their love to each other.

However, in a balcony scene, Raimondo declares his love but something falls and hits his head, and he faints. This causes much confusion, and in the end both lovers in their delirium confess their love to the wrong people, whom they then marry because they still cannot bring themselves to overcome their shyness and declare their love for each other.

The opera premiered on Italian radio in 1950, and that is the performance we have this week on The Lyric Stage.
The cast is headed by Emma Tagani as Mariucci , Amadeo Berdini as Raimondo, and Franco Calagero Calabrese as the narrator. The RAI National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is conducted by Franco Ferrara.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.