Great Performances at the Met | Francesca Da Rimini
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Great Performances at the Met | Francesca Da Rimini

Watch Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 2pm on WMHT TV

Piero Faggioni'sproduction, which sets the action in Renaissance Italy, stars Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and Italian tenor Marcello Giordani as Francesca and Paolo, the star-crossed lovers whose doomed romance was immortalized in an episode in Dante's Inferno

Marco Armiliato conducts a cast that also includes the American baritone Mark Delavan as Gianciotto, Francesca's brutal husband, and American tenor Robert Brubaker as the wicked Malatestino.

Riccardo Zandonai's masterpiece Francesca da Rimini, staged by the Met for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, airs on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 2pm on WMHT TV.

Francesca da Rimini had its Met premiere in 1916 with Frances Alda in the title role, Giovanni Martinelli as Paolo, and Pasquale Amato as Gianciotto. The opera quickly gained a reputation among connoisseurs for its unusual blend of musical styles, joining the melodies of Italian verismo with the colorful harmonic influences of Debussy and the orchestral effects of Richard Strauss. The opera returned to the Met’s repertory in 1984, when Faggioni’s production premiered with Renata Scotto, Plácido Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil in the central roles. The production was revived once, in 1986, and has not been seen at the Met until this past season.

American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.