Kristine Oplais makes her debut in the title role of La Rondine with Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti in the role of Ruggero
The production of La Rondine premiered in January 2009. The directing task went to Nicolas Joel whose production had premiered prior to the Met in London at the Royal Opera House. However during the premiere run Joel did not oversee the production because he suffered a stroke and Stephen Barlow took over the task. The production, set in the 1920's features Ezio Frigerio's Art decos quare colums, furniture out of an Astaire-Rogers musical and wallpaper alive with intricate images. The pavilion on the Riviera to which Magda flees with Ruggero in Act III is a sunny room with aquamarine stained-glass walls and ceiling. When the product premiered critics called it "stunning."
Kristine Opolais makes her Met debut as Magda in La Rondine. Opolais has long been a fixation in Europe as one of the most passionate and intense singers of her generations. Opolais was supposed to have made her Met debut a few seasons ago as Mussetta but withdrew. Opolais has made her name in Europe as an expert in Puccini and in Dvorak's Rusalka. Critics have raved for her power and colour of her voice and the way it never fails to bloom and surmount the crest of Puccini’s orchestral climaxes. Critic's also praised her voice stating that Opolais' "voice is both beautiful and even and carries over Puccini’s colossal orchestration without the slightest hint of strain. Opolais has also been called an incredible actress as critics have stated that "her acting is subtly nuanced." Without a doubt Kristine Oplais' debut is one of the most anticipated debuts of the season.
Guiseppe Filianoti returns to the Met after a critically acclaimed turn in "La Clemenza di Tito" last fall. Critics called his performance "solid" and stated that his voice "sounded comfortable" Mr. Filianoti has made a come back in last few years after suffering from Cancer and then having to retrain his voice. Filianoti made his debut in Lucia di Lammermoor in 2005. In 2009 he joined Angela Gheorghiu in La Rondine where he garnered great reviews. His performance was moving and created great chemistry with the Diva. His return to form was marked when he sang L'Contes d'Hoffman where critics praised him for singing with "fervor" and stated that his voice was"warm and powerful." If Filianoti continues his come back this year's Rondine could even better and more mature than his last take in 2009.
Ion Marin returns to the Met after a long absence. Having made his debut in 1992 conducting Semiramide, Marin last conducted at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1993 in Zauberflaute. He later conducted the Met Orchestra in 2008 for a special concert in Prospect Park with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna. Born in Romania, Marin has made one of the most distinguished careers of the past two decades winning numerous awards and conducting in the greatest theaters. He also initiated the Cantus Mundi and the Symphonia Mundi projects in Romania dedicated to musical education and social integration through music for the country's disadvantaged children. The return of Marin will be a special occasion and this alone may be worth the ticket.