There are no performances of Edgar listed on Bachtrack.com (the world’s best way to find live classical performance) either.
Me, being the inquisitive creature I am, set out to find out why.
It may not be Puccini’s finest work; however, it’s more likely the opera has languished because the opera world just doesn’t need another Carmen.
Similarities to Bizet‘s Carmen abound. Both works feature a confused and then tortured young man (tenor: Edgar, Don José) struggling to choose between the pure home town girl (soprano: Fidelia, Micaëla) and the exotic gypsy (mezzo-soprano: Tigrana, Carmen).
Interestingly, I have found a good film adaptation for you on YouTube and you can watch the entire opera if you have time.
If you love Scarpia’s dramatic entrance music in Tosca, you will also appreciate Tigrana’s entrance music only minutes into the opera.
The production you are about to see features the following performers in the lead roles:
Teatro Regio di Torino 07.2008
What do you think? Puccini lovers will be happy to know it is very Pucciniesque–not like a composer taking on something and not sounding at all like himself. One critic said that Puccini “jumped across an abyss from Edgar to Manon Lescaut,” Puccini’s third opera and first great success. “Edgar was a necessary, prepatory step full of redundancies flashes and hints, while Manon is the work of a self-confident genius” (The Autumn of Italian Opera).
However, is Edgar worth presenting more frequently than it is? Is is instructive to see works that illustrate an artist’s or composer’s growth?