'The Italian Straw Hat' Clive Barda


The Italian Straw Hat

Every Tue., Thu., and Sat. from Jan. 26-31
7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2
8 p.m.
Feb. 3
2 p.m.
Opera, Theater

You know Nino Rota’s music. You’ve hummed it. The Italian prodigy, born in 1911, saw his first professional work produced before the age of 11, and found a fan in the great Arturo Toscanini. His greatest acclaim would come much later when he became one of cinema’s most prolific composers, collaborating often with Federico Fellini and creating the unforgettable music for the first two Godfather movies. The indefatigable Rota continued to write orchestral and chamber music as well as operas, the most notable of which is 1955’s The Italian Straw Hat, a joint effort with his madre, Ernesta Rota, who penned the libretto. This jaunty farce about a groom who must scour the streets of Paris on his wedding day to replace a beloved straw hat eaten by his horse is an ideal showcase for Rota’s lively melodicism. This production, conducted by Jonathan Brandani and directed by Andrea Cigni, features Andrew Stenson as the groom Fadinard and Lisa Marie Rogali as his bride, Elena.