The Sarasota Opera wraps up its first Verdi-less season since the 1980s with an Italian opera that’s not often staged these days.
“The Love of Three Kings,” the best-known work of Italo Montemezzi, premiered just over a century ago. It soon became an international success and was especially popular in the United States in the pre-World War II era. It fell out of popularity, and according to some sources it wasn’t performed in this country for about 30 years. It’s not one that is often seen by audiences in mid-sized cities such as ours.
The story has to do with a princess named Fiora, who is in love with a man named Avito, but is being forced to marry Manfredo, the son of the man who conquered her country. Fiora and Avito continue to meet secretly, but they’re in danger because the blind Germanic King Archibaldo (who is highly unpopular in the Italian kingdom that is the setting for the story) is suspicious.
The music has been described as “lush” and has been compared to Debussy.
It’s performed in Italian with the English translation in supertitles.
The Sarasota Opera has been largely concentrating on Verdi operas for nearly 30 years, producing at least one Verdi work each year until last season, when the company had performed every note that he wrote for performance.
Details: Through March 26 (in rotation), Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. March 11, 14, 16, and 22, 1:30 p.m. March 19 and 26. $19-$135. 941-328-1300, sarasotaopera.org.