All in Royal Festival Hall

Le Villi (or Les Willis or The Fairies) – Puccini – Royal Festival Hall

Giacomo Puccini’s first staged work was the one act opera ‘Les Willis’ based on a short story by Jean Baptiste-Karr.  The story tells the tale of the love between Anna and Roberto.  Roberto is enchanted away from Anna by another and Anna dies of a broken heart.  Her father calls upon the ‘Villi’ to take vengeance and the Fairies make Roberto dance until he dies of exhaustion.  This one act opera was written for a competition, but politics played and it did not get even an honourable mention.  However, Puccini’s work was heard by Ricordi, who immediately recognised its outstanding qualities and he published the work.