To all the South Beach sugar babies feeling unfulfilled despite their mountains of Prada bags, stacks of Cavalli sunglasses, and streams of spa appointments: Your story is far from new. In fact, Giacomo Puccini composed an opera about this same situation in 1913. Opening at the Arsht Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House Saturday, La Rondine, Italian for "the swallow," is the tale of Magda, a kept woman who leaves her "daddy" in pursuit of true love.
The opera is one of Puccini's least popular in box office terms, though audiences and critics have generally agreed it holds high artistic value. Even after its premiere, the composer struggled to find satisfaction with the work, drafting two alternate endings and never reaching a final decision on which to use before his death in 1924. The version opening in Miami premiered with the New York City Opera in 1984.
Presented by Florida Grand Opera, the Miami production will star Cuban-born, Miami-raised soprano Elizabeth Caballero in the role of Magda, and Portuguese tenor Bruno Ribeiro as Ruggero, Magda's inappropriate love object. The show is sung in Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles.
Sat., Jan. 21, 7 p.m.; Tue., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 29, 2 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 1, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 4, 8 p.m., 2012