Paris and the Riviera, 1850s. Magda de Civry, mistress of the banker Rambaldo is giving a party in her Paris home. The poet-philosopher Prunier reads Magda's palm and predicts that, like the swallow, she will fly away from Paris, perhaps to find true love. A young man, Ruggero, son of an old friend of Rambaldo's arrives and Lisette, Magda's maid, advises him to spend his first evening in Paris at Bullier's cafe. Magda decides to follow him, in disguise. At Bullier's Ruggero sits alone. When Magda arrives, however, he dances with her (though without recognising her) and the couple are soon drinking a toast to their love. Suddenly Ramboldo storms in and demands that Magda return home. She refuses, saying she has found love. Ruggero and Magda have been living together on the Riviera. He hopes that they may marry and has written to ask for his parents consent. Magda admits her past and feels unfit to marry him. She departs for Paris, since Rambaldo has begged her to return, leaving behind the one love of her life. First performed at the Grand Theatre de Monte Carlo in Monte Carlo on 27 March 1917 Sung in Italian with English surtitles. In association with Classic FMPerformers Anne Sophie Duprels (Magda), Sean Ruane (Ruggero), Dominic Natoli (Prunier), Gail Pearson (Lisette), Nicolas Todorovic (Rambaldo), Timothy Dawkins (Perichaud), William Allenby (Crebilion), David Habbin (Gobin), Chloe Wright (Bianca), Maria Jones (Suzy).
Music Puccini. Company Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Company Holland Park Opera (chorus). Director Nick Ashton. Conductor Jeremy Silver. Design Peter Rice. Choreographer Imogen Claire. Lighting Roger Frith.