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La Colombe, a one act comic opera, was the next opera Charles Gounod wrote after Faust.

A great sacrifice in the name of love on Sounds Choral this Sunday (4/21 at 8 pm).

In 1860, a year after writing Faust, Charles Gounod and his librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carrier wrote the comic opera La Colombe, a big change of pace. There are no heavenly angels and Satanic demons in La Colombe.

A gifted dove belongs to Horace, who with his godson Mazet has abandoned Florentine life after failing to woo Countess Sylvie. But Horace is still hopeful for Sylvie's love and he invites her to dinner. Mazet desperately searches the garden for something suitable to cook. Since all of the chickens are eaten, Horace asks Mazet to serve the pet dove. After dinner Horace confesses to Sylvie that as a token of his love he has sacrificed his cherished pet dove. But it's a happy ending when Sylvie agrees to marry him only for Mazet to admit it was not the dove he served up but a neighbour’s parrot.

Soprano Erin Morley sings Sylvie, tenor Javier Camarena Horace, mezzo soprano Michelle Losier sings the trouser role of Mazet, and baritione Laurent Naouri the Major Domo to Sylvie. Mark Elder conducts the Halle orchestra.

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