Our Blog - La Rondine (the Puccini Opera)

One of the criteria that we used when looking for "where" to live in France was that we wanted to have plenty of events to attend. While we are not huge Opera fans, we have gone to a few over the years and so having an Opera is a plus. The Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse is right in the center of the city, on the main Place du Capitole and shares the building with the Mairie (city hall) as well as the ballet and symphony. The first performance space was created in 1736 by Guillaume Cammas but the current space only dates back to 1818. The theatre suffered fire damage in 1917, but was restored in 1923. The front of house areas were modernized in 1996.

Here you can see the interior, which while it may look like carved wood, almost everything is purely painted decoration. It is fairly small, so there weren't that many bad seats. You can see the yellow text at the top of the stage ... they had subtitles (although above the stage, not below it) which were in French. Mind you, it was a bit odd trying to look up to read the words and then looking down to see what was going on down at the stage, while still trying to enjoy the singing.

The opera that we went to was called "La Rondine" by Giacomo Puccini. It took 2 years to complete, being finished in 1916. The opening was delayed by World War I, and it finally premiered in Monte Carlo in 1917. It takes place in France (Paris and the French Riviera) in the mid 19th century. It is a tale of love between Magda and Ruggero and love lost (when Magda leaves Ruggero, who is devastated, because she doesn't believe she is "good enough" to be his wife).

No pictures during the opera itself, but a few of the cast taking their bows. You can see the scenery used at the end of the opera, in Scene III.