This elegant romance is the least-known work of the mature Giacomo Puccini . The story concerns a kept woman who defies convention to chase a dream of romantic love with an earnest, if naïve, young man. This Met Opera production features the dynamic soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Frenchborn tenor Roberto Alagna performing the roles of Magda and Ruggero, it blooms into its rightful place in the glorious Puccini canon. La Rondine (The Swallow) was commissioned by Vienna s Carltheater in 1913. Due to the impending outbreak of World War I, premiered in 1917, at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo with Gilda Dalla Rizza and Tito Schipa. Set in a Parisian salon, it is the story of Magda, the glamorous mistress of wealthy banker Rambaldo. Her yearning for romantic love compels her into the arms of the ardent and adoring young Ruggero.