The Florentine Straw Hat at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

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Love the music to The Godfather and La Dolce Vita? Bet you didn’t know their composer, Nino Rota, also wrote opera. Now you have the chance to see—and, more importantly, hear—his work, The Florentine Straw Hat, when the UBC Opera Ensemble presents its Canadian premiere from Thursday to Sunday (February 6 to 9) at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. And you may be struck by just how funny, farcical, and irreverent it is. The story is not set in Italy but in 19th-century Paris, where a bridegroom tries to replace a straw hat eaten by his horse—a hat that belonged to a married woman who was fooling around with her lover when she lost it. Leslie Dala, associate conductor and chorus director of Vancouver Opera, is at the podium, with the UBC Symphony Orchestra tackling music that is very much in the tradition of Puccini, Rossini, Donizetti, and Verdi.

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