Magda de Civry

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(Puccini: La rondine). Sop. In her Paris salon Magda, mistress of Rambaldo, is entertaining guests including the poet Prunier. Despite all her lover's gifts and pleas, she will not marry him, and explains how once, when she was young and innocent, she had danced at Bullier's nightclub with a young man whose name she did not know. But she had gazed into his eyes and known that this was the sort of love she must find before agreeing to marriage. A young man, Ruggero, son of an old friend of Rambaldo, arrives to see him. As it is Ruggero's first night in Paris, it is decided he should go to Bullier's nightclub. When all her guests have left, Magda decides to go there too, but in disguise. She meets and dances with Ruggero and the two fall in love. She tells Rambaldo that she will not go home with him now or ever and she and Ruggero leave together and settle in a cottage in Nice. They are very happy together, but Magda worries about Ruggero's reaction when he learns about her past life when she sold herself for money. He tells her he has written to his parents asking permission to marry her and is sure they will welcome her as a daughter, but Magda knows differently. Her maid Lisette, having failed in her attempts to make a career on the stage, asks for her job back. Magda tells Ruggero that she has been living a lie and can never marry him. Heartbroken, she leaves the only man she has ever truly loved, and with Lisette she returns to her former existence in Paris. Aria: Forse come la rondine (‘Perhaps, like a swallow’); duets (with Prunier): Chi il bel sogno di Doretta poté indovinar? (‘Who can interpret Doretta's beautiful dream?); (with Ruggero): Ma come puoi lasciarmi? (‘But how can you leave me?’). Created (1917) by Gilda Dalla Rizza.

Subjects: Opera.

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