Opera Tickets Italy

    Le Villi / Edgar, G. Puccini

    Le Villi / Edgar, G. Puccini

    The Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago is staged at the open-air Gran Teatro all’Aperto Giacomo Puccini and will feature a double bill containing two much-loved operatic compositions by the great maestro. The spacious, uncovered theatre will stage Le Villi, a two-act work originally conceived as an opera-ballet, his first operatic work. This will be followed by Edgar, Puccini's second opera, based on a play called La Coupe et les Lèvres by the French writer, Alfred de Musset. Making for a spectacular combined performance, each work is sure to be a highlight of the annual summer festival that is devoted to Puccini's mastery of narrative and music.

    Le Villi was written in 1883 after Puccini decided to enter a publisher's competition seeking one-act operas. Based on a libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, the work was not initially well received. However, Puccini was encouraged by some of his musical associates to expand the scope of the music and, in the end, the opera was staged. The premier of Le Villi took place at the Teatro dal Verme in Milan in May, 1884. Further musical changes, including the addition of a second act, were made and the version that is now most commonly performed is Puccini's 1889 score.

    The first rendition of Edgar occurred at the Teatro alla Scala, also in Milan. This took place in April 1889 but was not a critical or commercial success. As with Le Villi, Puccini did not give up on his opera and kept making revisions to it until 1905 when a more settled version was staged in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Edgar is set in the 1300s in Flanders and includes some notable arias, such as 'Orgia, chimera dall'occhio vitreo', which is sung by the title role, and 'Già il mandorlo vicino', a song that is scored for the opera's principal female character, the pure-hearted Fidelia. Later in life, Puccini would refer to Edgar as a blunder in his career. That said, some of the music he edited from it during its revisions would be reinterpreted in Tosca, one of the composer's best-known hits.

    Providing an intriguing insight into Puccini's earlier career, this double bill is sure to go down well with Puccini scholars and opera fans alike. Given the stunning setting and excitement that the Puccini Festival brings about each year in Torre del Lago, this twin production is a performance not to be missed.

    image Gran Teatro all'Aperto Giacomo Puccini / Puccini Festival / Foto by Cespa