La Hija de Trappaccini- Modern day Romeo & Juliet

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Welcome to the Garden – not that massive entertainment venue located next to Penn Station- Botanical Garden that is. In the Bronx? No go downtown- way downtown and shoot for the one in Brooklyn. It is a pleasure to introduce you a well crafted Opera created by Daniel Catan titled La Hija de Trappaccini – translated it means Trappaccini’s daughter.

 Well, my friends are you in for a treat because Gotham Chamber Opera came up with a great idea to share the experience with everyone outdoors at this beautiful NYC landmark.

 Yes! I said outside sitting on the grass on blankets enjoying delicious eats from picnic baskets.

 Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the story.

 Though it seems like your typical boy-meets-girl, this parable packs in more punch than a teenage Junior Prom Dance. It is full of unexpected twists and turns and just when you think you have figured it out – the plot thickens.

 OK., let’s start with Giovanni,a young student who just arrived from Naples and he is currently staying at a house and Isabella, the landlady becomes his new friend. Baglioni, his father’s old classmate also comes around the house to periodically check on how Giovanni is adjusting during his stay. Baglioni and Isabella, mention about the locals and one in particular – Rappaccini – the local botanist and doctor.

 Rappaccini has a daughter- Beatriz who he keeps secluded in the poisonous gardens from the world and by the way she is immune to everything because she has been in that garden all her lifetime. Beatriz, has been courted by many but none have sealed the deal to claim her- enter Giovanni.

The two meet, love sparks combust and they are both hot for one another as you would expect. However, the twist comes when Isabella and Baglioni try to calm down his desires and offer alternate distractions away from Beatriz – meanwhile they are the same people who introduced Giovanni to Beatriz; sounds trifling right?

 Giovanni is super attracted to Beatriz and that’s the only person he can dreams of and yearns everyday. So Isabella shows him a secret path to the garden, only to be entered when Trappaccini and everyone is sleeping.

 The two potential lovers meet in the garden and just as everything is going well, the father shows up; I know it’s a nail biting moment. Giovanni, proclaims his undying love for Beatriz and he has an antidote to rid her of the poison and promises to take her back to Naples to live ever after.

 Spoiler alert! Instead of the antidote working the way they all planned, Beatriz falls her to demise next to the tree- her only friend; speechless – I know.

 What is the moral of the story? Fear or courage to face the unknown? This is a great production.  If you are interested in more Gotham Chamber events click here.

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