The Oklahoma City University School of Music has mounted a stunningly beautiful production of "La Rondine," a lesser-known and somewhat flawed opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini.
"La Rondine" ("The Swallow') tells the story of Magda, mistress to the wealthy banker Rambaldo. Thanks to her wealthy sponsor, Magda seems to have it all, yet secretly longs for a simpler, bohemian lifestyle, where she might again encounter the face of true love.
Enter Ruggero: young, handsome and pure of heart "? exactly what Magda desires. She introduces herself in disguise to avoid issues of her past and, in spite of her lie, they fall in love. The couple flees Paris and for a time is happy, but she cannot hide from her past forever.
One can usually count on high production values in larger university shows, but "La Rondine" exceeds expectations. The sets are elegant and evocative without being too imposing, often using pieces to infer the whole.
Courtney Longerier as Magda delivers a warm and dynamic performance that manages to pluck at the heartstrings of the audience even during some of the most clich