Daniel Catan Daniel Catán
La hija de Rappaccini
Rappaccini's Daughter is an opera in two acts composed by Daniel Catán with a libretto by Juan Tovar. Based on the play Rappaccini's Daughter by Octavio Paz and the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this dramatic work explores the power of love and science to the backdrop of Dr. Rappaccini's mystical garden.
On the streets of Padua, Italy, Dr. Baglioni argues with Dr. Rappaccini over his scientific research and methods. Nearby, Giovanni, a young medical student, arrives from Naples and rents a room to stay during his studies. Giovanni soon learns of Dr. Rappaccini's mysterious garden, which can be seen from his balcony, and of the doctor's beautiful daughter Beatriz. Dr. Rappaccini, in his garden, sings of the healing and poisonous nature of his plants. Beatriz laments her solitary life.
Time has passed and Dr. Baglioni runs into Giovanni on the street. The doctor sees that Giovanni looks ill and questions if the young man is being used for Dr. Rappaccini's experiments. Giovanni denies any involvement and hurries away. Soon after, a secret entrance to Dr. Rappaccini's garden is revealed to Giovanni. He enters the garden, where Beatriz has been waiting for him. While Beatriz tells of the danger of the plants, Dr. Rappaccini finds them, causing Giovanni to leave. The young man soon learns from Dr. Baglioni that he and Beatriz have been poisoned and that there is an antidote to free Beatriz from her father. Returning to the garden with the antidote, Giovanni tells Beatriz that they must drink it to be cured. Dr. Rappaccini arrives and tells Beatriz not to take it as she has already been cured. Against the wishes of both men, Beatriz takes the antidote from Giovanni, drinks it and dies.
Performed by Gotham Chamber Opera with reduced orchestration
Rappaccini's Daughter performed by the University of Illinois
Rappaccini's Daughter performed by Opera Naples in Florida
Rappaccini's Daughter performed by Gotham Chamber Opera in New York