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Program Note In 1913, the directors of Vienna’s Karlstheater commissioned Puccini to compose a Viennese-style opera. By the time he finished La Rondine, which he intended to be a more organic version of the popular “comic opera,” it was 1917 and World War I had broken out. As a result, the production debuted in Monte Carlo instead of Vienna. Although it was not one of Puccini’s most celebrated pieces at the time of its premiere, this light-hearted and charming opera has become increasingly popular as time goes on. Magda’s Act I aria, “Che il bel sogno di Doretta” is an audience (and soprano!) favorite with its trademark Puccini melody and glimmering high notes.