La Rondine


Writers: Giacomo Puccini Giuseppe Adami


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Romance
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Paris, France, Early 20th Century, French Riviera
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Opera
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult characters


Magda de Civry has always dreamed of romance. As a young girl, she was swept off her feet one evening by a man who promised her everything, and she ran away from a safe, respectable life in the name of love. After living for years as a courtesan in Paris, Magda still dreams of feeling like that young girl again.

When the young and handsome Ruggero pays a visit to her guardian, Magda is immediately intrigued. There is something different about Ruggero from all the other men she knows. It is his first night in Paris, so they all recommend he goes to Bulliers. Later that evening, on a whim, Magda disguises herself and goes to Bulliers as well, where she finds Ruggero. Putting on the character of the graceful and reserved Paulette, Magda has fun reenacting the romantic scenario she fell for when she was younger. Ruggero falls in love with Paulette almost immediately, and by the end of the evening, the two of them plan to elope together.

Alone in the French Riviera, Magda’s disguise as Paulette begins to wane. The excitement of romance that she felt at first was not enough to sustain her, and now Ruggero is planning a life together for him and ‘Paulette’. Magda has to tell him the truth; it was all a pretense. Like the swallow that leaves for a short time, she wants only to return to her home in Paris.

Set in the working class society of Paris in the early 20th century, Puccini’s La Rondine is a true gem of verismo opera.

Lead Characters

La Rondine guide sections