When the bewitched, bothered and beleagered Silvana, decides that she may have inherited dark powers from her recently burned at the stake mother in 7th century Ravenna, she confesses her love to her stepson Donello. Gasp! Call Mia.

Ottorino Respighi’s ‘La Fiamma’ is fully ignited with inappropriate relationships and botched spells that are otherwise on operatic fire in AVA’s concert version.
The witch and the stepson, played by soprano Jan Cornelius and tenor Michael Fabiano, don’t merely have a brief stage kiss, this is a cinematic lip lock.

The Flame is the first Respighi that musical director Christofer Macatsoris has mounted at AVA, but if there were any technical flaws it hardly mattered. Fine detailing and robust pacing in the Respighi score, with its relentless forward moving narrative of both text and orchestration.

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