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The Sunday Opera: A Donizetti Double Bill "Rosmonda D'Inghliterra" and "Rita, ou Le mari battu"

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The current situation has brought out the best and worst in many families, and we’ll be visiting a family that can surpass the worst of them on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/19 3:00 p.m.) with Gaetano Donizetti’s “Rosmonda D’ Inghilterra.”  The royal family in question was made famous by James Goldman in his play “The Lion in Winter,” but Donizetti’s work meets the family at the beginning of its tumultuous issues.  Henry II was the beginning of the Plantagenet line in Britain, the first of what was considered true English Kings which would be in power for over 320 years until the Tudor line took over after the War of the Roses.  

However, like many in the royal line, he had a roving eye which caused a great deal of consternation to his wife, the fabled Eleanor of Aquitaine.  The unfortunate young lady this time is the fair Rosamond Clifford, and even though she tries to do the right thing, Eleanor’s jealousy gets the better of her with tragic consequences.  Our cast includes Jessica Pratt, Eva Mei, Dario Schmunck, Raffaella Lupinacci, and Nicola Uliveiri, and they’re joined by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Donizetti Festival with Sebastiano Rolli conducting.  We’ll follow with another dysfunctional family in Donizetti’s “Rita, ou Le mari battu” (“Rita, or the Battered Husband”) where two husband’s fight over a wife who is married to both of them, but in this case, they’re fighting not to be married to her any longer.  How does it get resolved?  Tune in to find out.  This cast of three includes Adelina Scarabelli, Pietro Ballo, and Alessandro Corbelli with Federico Amendoia conducting.

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.