August 25, 2006 - Central Park, Naumburg Bandshell

New York Grand Opera
Vincent La Selva, Founder and Artistic Director
Giacomo Puccini's


in the role of La Suora Zelatrice

Photos: Gabriella Győrffy

Éva Látrányi as La Suora Zelatrice

Ms. Látrányi, mezzo-soprano, a native of Hungary, has studied at The Julliard School and made her professional operatic début with New York Grand Opera in Central Park as the Sheperd in Tosca. She has also appeared with the company as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Annina in La Traviata and the Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

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Maestro Vincent La Selva
Conductor, founder of the New York Grand Opera Company (1973)

Since 1974 Mr. La Selva has chosen New York's Central Park
for his productions of grand opera, which have been attended
by more than three million people

The Story of Suor Angelica

The 17th century. A convent outside Siena, Italy. A spring sunset. The nuns are singing in the background. They exit from the chapel. It is their hour of relaxation, the hour when they can freely speak and amuse themselves. They chat, they play, they express their simple wishes, though they are not really allowed to have any. Suor Dolcina loves food; Suor Genovieffa, who used to be a shepherdess, would love to be able to hold in her arms, just one more time, a little lamb. Suor Angelica denies that she has any desires. The nuns whisper excitedly among themselves that she has not told the truth. They know that she desperately desires news of her family. It has been seven years since she arrived at the convent, and she has never heard from them.

A visitor is announced. Suor Angelica is summoned to the parlatory. The visitor is her aunt, a stern, austere aristocrat. Without a word of greeting, she demands that Angelica sign over her inheritance to her younger sister, soon to be married. Angelica begs for new of her son -- the child of sin, and the reason the family closed Angelica in the convent. Almost offhandedly, the Princess informs her that the child died two years ago. All that is left for Angelica is to expiate her sin for the rest of her life. In despair, Angelica signs the paper. The Princess leaves.

Angelica, half crazed with grief, prepares a poison from some herbs and drinks it. Coming back to reality and fearing she will be damned through all eternity, she begs the Madonna to save her. Her prayers are heard. The miracle occurs. Her child appears to her, holding the Madonna's hand, just as Angelica sinks into death.

Source: NYGO Program

After evening prayers the sisters exit from the chapel into the garden

La Suora Zelatrice comes forward to hand out punishments…

…to sisters who were late or laughed in church,
and to one who had roses hidden in her sleeves

Then Zelatrice tells the sisters to enjoy themselves in the hour of recreation

They remember and pray for a sister who passed away a year ago

To the news of a visitor’s arrival, Angelica passionately wishes that the visit is for her

The sisters pray for her desire to come true after
seven long years of waiting for news from her family

Angelica’s aunt is announced

The Princess tells Angelica that her child -- a child of sin, died two years ago

Angelica remains alone crying out for her son whom she’ll never
hold in her arms again in her famous aria "Senza mamma"

Angelica, crazed with grief, prepares a poisonous drink from some herbs…

…and drinks it

A miracle occurs: her child appears to her with the Madonna,
just as Angelica sinks into death

New York Grand Opera

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Éva Látrányi

New York Grand Opera

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