La rondine | The Swallow

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February 2025 Next


Opera by Giacomo Puccini

In Italian language with German and English surtitles


In Magda’s salon, the poet Prunier provokes everyone present with his ideas about love. Magda, the socially dependent girlfriend of the wealthy Rambaldo, believes in romantic love. Incognito, she visits a dance hall where she falls in love with the young student Ruggero. Together they spend a carefree time on the Côte d’Azur until one day Ruggero wants to marry her. Under pressure from the poet Prunier, Magda has no choice but to confess her “immoral”past to him and leave Ruggero.



Act one

Paris, around 1860, in Magda's salon

The poet Prunier provokes the guests with his ideas about love. Only Magda believes in romantic love. She tells a story that touches even her unromantic benefactor, the banker Rambaldo. He gives Magda an expensive pearl necklace. Prunier reflects on the contradiction between Magda's belief in true love and her work as a courtesan.

Magda's maid Lisette announces a young man who wants to see Rambaldo. It is Ruggero, the son of one of Rambaldo's old friends. Prunier wants to read Magda's hand. His prophecies are ambiguous. Her life could be as beautiful as that of a swallow in the sun. But there are also dark clouds looming. Young Ruggero wants to know how to spend his first night in Paris. Lisette suggests the Bullier dance club. The guests leave and Magda is left alone. She decides to go to Bullier herself, disguised as a labourer.Lisette and Prunier meet in secret. The writer confesses his love for the simple girl. Nonetheless he is forcing her to completely change her wardrobe by "borrowing" clothes from her mistress before he wants to appear in public with her.


Act two

At the Bullier dance club

Young men and women seduce each other. Ruggero sits shyly at a small table. Magda, in disguise, enters. She is immediately besieged by students who ask her to dance. Magda rejects them by pretending she has a date with Ruggero. The two dance, talk and kiss. Lisette and Prunier enter the pub and mingle with the dancers. Lisette recognises Magda. They play a game of deception with each other. This is followed by a love quartet between the two couples. Ruggero is fascinated by this mysterious woman. / Magda is torn between love and remorse. / Lisette adores the poet. / Prunier creates his own muse. Then the jealous Rambaldo enters the dance hall. Prunier tries to save the situation.

Magda declares that everything is over between her and Rambaldo. A voice announces the dawn and warns: Don't trust in love! Magda tells Ruggero about her fears for their future. Ruggero takes her in his arms and they leave together.


Act three

On the Côte d'Azur

A few months later, Magda and Ruggero are staying in a quiet hotel by the sea. Ruggero is overwhelmed by his happiness. Magda hides her doubts. Ruggero writes to his parents and asks them for money and their consent to marry Magda. Magda realises that she can no longer hide her past. Prunier and Lisette have discovered the hotel. Lisette has had a disastrous debut as a theatre actress and wants to work for Magda again as a maid. On behalf of Rambaldo, Prunier tells Magda that she can no longer live a lie. She must return to her old life in Paris, just as Lisette returns to her life as a maid. Ruggero storms in with a letter from his mother. She agrees to the marriage as long as the bride is a decent person. Magda cannot accept his proposal. She reveals her past to him. Ruggero doesn't want to hear it. He is overcome with grief. Magda bids farewell to her one true love and departs for an unknown destination.

Program and cast

Stage direction: Lotte de Beer

Co-Regie / Choreographie: Florian Hurler

Set design: Christof Hetzer

Costume design Jorine van Beek

Lighting design: Alex Brok

Lighting design: Georg Veit

Choir director: Roger Díaz-Cajamarca

Photo gallery
Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
© Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
Rândunica 2
Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
© Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
Rândunica 3
Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
© Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
Rândunica 4
Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
© Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien

Volksoper Vienna

Public transport:

Underground line U6
Trams 40, 41, 42
Bus 40A
Stop "Währinger Straße / Volksoper"

A taxi stand is located at Währinger Gürtel.
Parking garages in WIFI and AKH


The Volksoper is Vienna’s main stage for operetta, opera, musicals and ballet, offering sophisticated musical entertainment. Colourful, eclectic and full of vitality, it is the only theatre dedicated to the genre of operetta.

Operetta belongs to Vienna and Vienna installed it at the home of operetta, Volksopera Vienna, which thereupon became the leading operetta house in the world. First class singers, actors and dancers together with a versatile orchestra cunjure up a musical firework display every evening.

Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán wrote their world famous beloved melodies for operettas such as “The Fledermaus”, “The Merry Widow” and “The Csárdás Princess”. A visit to at least one of these operettas at the Volksopera Vienna is a must for every visitor to Vienna!

Also performed are operas from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as classic musicals and ballet. In addition, the Volksoper has a fifth longstanding and proven speciality: it stages soirées, cabaret and burlesque performances under the name of “Volksoper Spezial”.

In the repertory theatre, which seats 1,337 persons, some 300 performances of around 35 different productions are staged every year between September and June.

Volksoper Viena
By Bwag - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
© Barbara Pálffy/Volksoper Wien
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