This duet came about at the suggestion of conductor/composer/singer/producer and impresario, Flavio Colusso. He concevied of an evening of new vocal works each based upon a contemporary reinterpretation of a given operatic work. The work he assigned me was from Puccini's La Rondine. In the first act, set in Magda's Parisian salon ca. 1860, Prunier, the poet and good friend of Magda, performs a new song which he has written about Doretta - a young, charming girl who refuses the advances and the wealth of a king because "gold can not buy happiness." Prunier's song pleases Magda, but he is forced to interrupt his performance since, as he explains, he does not yet know how to finish it. Magda, instead, has been so moved by the song's vision of the purity of love, that she improvises a new aria on the spot, "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta." This aria extolls the excitement of love's awakening and recalls her own experience, many years earlier, of a pure, innocent and lost love. This uncharacteristic effusion reveals a passionate, romantic side of Magda's character which was unexpected by Prunier, by Magda's friends gathered in her salon or by Rambaldo Fernandez, Magda's lover and benefactor who, in fact, shortly thereafter gives an expensive necklace to Magda.
In my vision of this scene, I imagined it on the present day Broadway (or West End) musical stage and sung in English. In reaction to Prunier’s overly sentimentalized ballad idealizing Doretta, Magda responds expressing her own disenchantment with love – all of her dreams, in fact, have come to nothing. They were only illusions. Prunier responds listing the joys of passion and urging Magda to retake her search for love, her search for the “meaning beyond desire.” The duet concludes with both characters singing the praises of love – “that fortune which is told by time.”
Duet: Act 1 Magda and PrunierMagda (spoken): Ma Poeta, l’amore non e’ una fiaba!Magda:Love’s a lie.It only lives so thatit will die.It only gives till itFades away in the morning sunlight of reality,of normality.Prunier:You know Passion’s real.You know you’re alive when that’swhat you feel.And love will thrive while thepulse of life becomes breathless momentsOf ecstasy...Magda:Of fantasy that dissolves...Prunier:Delicious fusion...Magda:It’s all illusion...Prunier:A world enchanted...Magda:A world that never can survive!The flame is far too bright.It burns the love within its sight,Consumes the fiery heart, leaving embers andcharcoal memories of the past.Prunier:The flame is always bright.Admit you’re longing for the nightwhen all is passion,all is ecstasy again.Magda:All of my lifeI’ve searched for a love,a feeling as bright as fire.Prunier:All of my lifeI’ve searched for a love,Prunier and Magda:A meaning beyond desire.A feeling as bright as fire,A meaning beyond desire.Boundless, eternalMoment to be,Love is a shelterflying free.Burning, consumingFirelight sublime,Love is a fortunetold by time.
Doretta's Dream - Duet: Prunier and Magda Mp3 (complete) Margherita Pace, soprano, Luigi Petroni, Tenor, Alberto Galletti, piano