The Sunday Opera: Umberto Giordano Double Feature - "Fedora" & "Madame Sans-Gene"

Feb 8, 2018

Costume design from 1919 for Ganna Walska as Fedora by Erte (Romain de Tirtoff)

Two works by Umberto Giordano will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (2/11  3:00 p.m.).  Giordano was on the forefront of the verismo (realism) movement in the world of opera, and we’ll be sampling two of those on this program.  The first is one of his best-known works, “Fedora,” a tragic story of doomed love due to actions taken too quickly and without thought.   Our recording from 1986 features as Eva Marton as Fedora, and her Loris is Jose Carreras.  The second opera was a huge hit when it premiered at the Met in 1915, but by 1918, it had disappeared and is rarely performed today.   “Madame Sans-Gene” is comic opera about a common laundress whose charms win the favor of Napoleon, protects the life of a dear friend, and saves her marriage.  We’ll turn to a live performance from La Scala for this performance, and it features Italian soprano Orianna Santunione, Franco Tagliavini, Renato Capecchi, and Mario Zanasi with Gianandrea Gavazzeni conducting.  The afternoon will end with Monserrat Caballe’s wonderful performance of one of Giordano’s best known arias, La mama morta from “Andrea Chenier.”