Some enchanted evening: Puccini’s La rondine at Iford

From the opening party at Magda’s house, all fairylights and champagne, to the sultry Paris dive where students are later discovered toasting new-found love in absinthe, La rondine is no “poor cousin” Puccini: it is a symphony of self-deception and conscious seduction, in very modern mode. The opera’s compromised, yet nostalgic moral outlook fits our time; the…