Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius present a unique premiere: this autumn, for the first time in Lithuania, a concert performance of G. Puccini's opera “Le Villi’ with world-renowned tenor Edgaras Montvidas will be performed at the Vilnius Congress Hall.
"Le Villi", the first opera created by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), was written in 1883, but at the time it did not receive the attention it deserved, perhaps because the hastily written manuscript of the opera was almost illegible. However, thanks to the sponsors, the premiere of "Le Villi" saw the light of the stage a year later, in 1884. On the night of the premiere, G. Puccini’s mother received the following telegram: “the theatre is on its knees, what a huge success; expectations exceeded; 18 times called to the stage; the finale of the first act was repeated 3 times ”. The opera stood out for its dramatic power, operatic melody, and important role of the symphony orchestra.
The title of the opera "Le Villi" is a reference to the legend of Slavic peoples about the Wili – creatures of the mystical world, similar to the Greek sirens (this legend also serves as background for the famous ballet "Giselle"). The opera begins with Robert and Anna’s engagement, which is happily celebrated with the young couple surrounded by family and friends. However, after the festivities, Robert is forced to go to Mainz, to handle inheritance matters. Anna is left with a bad feeling that she will never see her beloved again, but Robert reassures her – she can doubt anything but his love. He promises that as soon as he returns, they will definitely get married right away. However, during the journey, Robert is enchanted by a Wilis who makes him forget Anna. Anna waits all summer, fall, and finally dies of heartache in winter. The legend of the Wili is then told: when a woman dies of a broken heart, the Wili force her beloved to dance until death. When Robert returns with repentance, the spirit of Anna appears, surrounded by the Wili. Robert begs for forgiveness, but is cursed as a traitor. The Wili and Anna dance with Robert until he dies of exhaustion at Anna's feet.
Tonight, the concert version of G. Puccini's opera "Le Villi" will be performed by soprano Kamilė Balabonaitė, tenor Edgaras Montvidas, baritone Vytautas Juozapaitis, Kaunas State Choir (dir. Petras Bingelis) and the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius.