Great Performances at the Met "La Sonnambula"

Sun, 07/12/2009 - 2:00pm
Pictured: Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay
Credit: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera
“Something that has not been said about the moon?” replied Spanish writer Ramon Gomez de la Serna. “That it gives manicures to women sleepwalkers.” Natalie Dessay’s moon-kissed fingernails are all aglow as she “walks the walk” of Vincenzo Bellini’s quintessential character Amina, perhaps the most renowned woman sleepwalker in opera history, in Zimmerman’s production of the 1831 classic La Sonnambula, Latin for “The Somnambulist.” Great Performances at the Met presents La Sonnambula, airing Sunday July 12 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/ cable 1011/ cable 11).
The sixth of Bellini’s professional operas, La Sonnambula is set in a tiny village on the Swiss Alps. Mary Zimmerman’s present-day version, however, is set in a rehearsal space where the actors are staging a production of La Sonnambula set in the Swiss Alps.  The story begins as the village is preparing for the wedding of Amina, played by Dessay, and Elvino, played by Juan Diego Flórez (Dessay and Florez just returned from their sensational run together in La Fille du Régiment at opera houses around the world). Themes of jealousy, mistaken identity, and innocence prevail, as Felice Romani puts Bellini’s sleepwalking beauty to the ultimate test to prove her undying love for her betrothed to the hauntingly mysterious music of Bellini and libretto. Great Performances At the Met: La Sonnambula is the eighth of 11 productions airing this season on the series. The performance is sung in Italian with English subtitles.