A Nose for Romance

In a 1897 play, French poet and dramatist Edmond Rostand introduced us to Cyrano de Bergerac. Since then, we’ve seen many incarnations of the romantic, big-nosed nobleman in film and theater. (Steve Martin’s version in the 1987 comedy Roxanne is probably the most famous.) As the story goes, Cyrano is in love with the beautiful Roxane, but the self-doubt over his large schnoz discourages him from expressing his feelings. So he agrees to help his handsome but romantically challenged rival win her heart. A tale that features such amour, lust, longing, and sword duels, however, is better suited to the opera than any Hollywood rom-com or straight-up play. Luckily, composer David DiChiera’s sprawling epic Cyrano will make its Florida Grand Opera debut this week at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House. DiChiera’s opera —with the French libretto by Bernard Uzan — is in three acts and features the original Michigan Opera Theatre cast of baritone Marian Pop as Cyrano and soprano Leah Partridge as Roxane. Conductor Mark Flint will make his FGO debut.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 26. Continues through May 7, 2011
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Chris Joseph