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The Sunday Opera: "Dejanice" by Alfredo Catalani

It’s always interesting to see how different composers treat the same source material, and we’ll see an example of this on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/28 3:00 p.m.) with a recording of Alfredo Catalani’s “Dejanice” which premiered in 1883.   The libretto by Angelo Zanardini based on a novel by Victor Hugo, “Angelo, the Tyrant of Padua” as is Amilcare Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda.”  Here, it’s set in Ancient Greece with Dejanice who was once a patrician but is now a high-class prostitute who is in love with a Tuscan adventurer named Admeto who is, in turn, in love with Argelia against her father’s wishes.  As in all good operas, a love triangle can only end in tragedy for someone.  

The cast includes Carla Basto, Maria Luisa Garbato, Ottavio Garaventa, Rene Massis, and Carlo Zardo with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro del Giglio di Lucca.  Jan Latham-Koenig is the conductor.  After the opera, join Michael Kownacky for more music by Catalani including his mass that he wrote when he was eighteen, his String Quartet in A, and a “Romantic Symphony” entitled “Il Mattino.”

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.