Conductor: Christofer Macatsoris
Performed in concert with the AVA Opera Orchestra
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
January 23 – February 2, 2016
WRTI Broadcast – 3PM Sunday, February 7. Click here to listen online.
Philadelphia Inquirer/philly.com: Academy of Vocal Arts’ ‘Love of Three Kings’: Rare opera, rare treat
King Archibaldo’s plan to reveal his daughter-in-law’s infidelity spins wildly out of his control.
This lost treasure debuted in 1913 and premiered in Philadelphia under the baton of Arturo Toscanini in 1915. Not heard at The Met since 1949 and not professionally produced in Philadelphia since 1960, it has featured Philadelphia performances by Enrico Caruso, Licia Albanese and Beverly Sills.
1913 – Italo Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re debuts at La Scala in Milan
1915 – Arturo Toscanini conducts the Philadelphia debut with The Metropolitan Opera at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House with soprano Lucrezia Bori singing the role of the King’s daughter-in-law, Fiora.
“Ms. Bori’s Fiora was one of her signature roles on stage, along with Manon, Mélisande and Mimì in La bohème.”
1918 – Famed tenor Enrico Caruso sings Fiora’s lover Avito with The Metropolitan Opera at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House
1948 – Philadelphia baritone (and sometime AVA competition judge) Frank Guarrera sings Manfredo in L’AMORE DEI TRE RE during his debut season at Milan’s La Scala.
1956 – The incomparable Beverly Sills sings Fiora with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company at the Academy of Music; the production also featured AVAlumnae Beverly Wolff (’53) and Dorothy di Scala (’54).
1960 – soprano Licia Albanese sings Fiora with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company at the Academy of Music in the most recent professional production of L’amore dei tre re in Philadelphia.
1977 – soprano and Wayne native Anna Moffo and tenor Plàcido Domingo sing on the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of L’amore dei tre re.
1982 – New York City Opera gives the first professional New York performance of L’amore dei tre re since 1949.
2016 – “In concert” at the Perelman Theater with the AVA Opera Orchestra conducted by Maestro Christofer Macatsoris; featuring the AVA Resident Artists including 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions National Winner Marina Costa-Jackson.
This is the first AVA production of L’amore dei tre re.
Archibaldo, the blind king, conquered the kingdom of Altura forty years before the opera begins.
After forty years, the Alturan people openly object to the reign of the Germanic Archibaldo. The story unfolds as we learn that Archibaldo’s son Manfredo has been married to the native Alturan princess Fiora.
But Fiora is having an affair with another Alturan prince, Avito. Although Archibaldo suspects Fiora of infidelity, he falls short of proof, since he is blind, and his own Alturan servants do not cooperate with him in uncovering the affair. There are two love duets between Avito and Fiora, and a scene in which Manfredo pours out his love for Fiora and begs her to show him affection.
All of these are interspersed with scenes in which Archibaldo questions Fiora. Finally, enraged, Archibaldo strangles her at the end of the second act.
In the final act, Fiora’s body is laid in a crypt, and the people of Altura mourn for her. Archibaldo has secretly poisoned Fiora’s lips, so that her lover will die. Avito kisses Fiora’s lips. As he dies from the poison, Avito reveals to Manfredo that he was Fiora’s lover, and that Archibaldo has laid the poison. Stricken with grief at the loss of the woman he loved, Manfredo also kisses Fiora’s lips. Finally, Archibaldo enters to see if his trap has caught Fiora’s lover, and despairs as he hears the voice of his dying son.