An old order crumbles, a new one arises, and what is the moral? If we want everything to stay as it is, everything has to change. In the author’s lifetime, The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s melancholy saga of Sicily under the onslaught of Garibaldi, was rejected as “unpublishable” by Italy’s two leading houses. The year after his death, it created an international sensation. The top-selling Italian novel of all time, The Leopard took its place as one of the towering literary achievements of the 20th century even as it revived the great tradition of historic fiction from the 19th. Luchino Visconti’s costume epic (with its 45-minute ball scene) remains a classic for movie fans everywhere. Now the story comes to the opera house, adapted by J. D. McClatchy, poet and master librettist, and scored by Michael Dellaira. The fact that this premiere is the production of an academic opera department is noteworthy but not unprecedented; for parallels, check out the performance history of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. —M.G.
Frost Opera Theater—University of Miami 10950 SW 211 StCutler Bay, FL 33189 Get Directions »