For the first time since 1884, the original one-act version of Puccini’s Le Villi will be presented in a joint collaboration between the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Rara.
Le Villi was written for a competition of one-act operas by the music publisher Sonzogno in 1883. While Puccini’s work did not even earn an honorable mention, his supporters helped fund its first production the following year at Milan’s Teatro Dal Verme. This production won the young composer a contract with Italy’s leading publisher, Ricordi. At Ricordi’s request, Puccini revised the work, creating a two-act version with additional arias for the soprano and tenor. This is the form in which the work has been performed ever since.
On November 21 in Royal Festival Hall, Opera Rara’s Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in both a recording and concert staging of the opera. Returning for her second collaboration with Opera Rara, Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the role of Anna. Armenian tenor Arsen Soghomonyan will make his UK debut as her lover Roberto, and Brian Mulligan sings the role of her father Guglielmo.
For more information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
The brain-child of Patric Schmid and Don White, Opera Rara has been in the business of bringing back forgotten operatic repertoire since its inception in the early 1970s and its extensive back catalogue includes more than 85 recordings. Opera Rara released the first-ever studio recording of the original version of Le Villi in autumn 2019, which is the third disc to be distributed by Warner Classics as part of their new partnership announced earlier this year.
London Philharmonic Orchestra
One of the finest orchestras on the international stage, the London Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1932 by Sir Thomas Beecham. In 2007 Vladimir Jurowski became the Orchestra’s current Principal Conductor. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall since it opened in 1951, becoming Resident Orchestra in 1992. It also has residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, and performs regularly around the UK. The Orchestra frequently tours abroad: highlights of the 2018/19 season include a major tour of Asia including South Korea, Taiwan and China, as well as performances in Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Switzerland and the USA. The Orchestra broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and has recorded soundtracks for numerous films including The Lord of the Rings. In 2005 it began releasing live, studio and archive recordings on its own CD label.