Polina Pasztircsák – Magda de Civry
La Rondine or the freedom of Returning
Many years ago, I lived an experience that I have understood only later on, when studying the libretto of La Rondine:
Coming in the garage of my house, I saw a swallow that was flying around at a few centimeters from the ceiling, desperately looking for a way out. Thinking that it had accidentally been locked in, I ran to open the door and let her out. Much to my surprise, instead of flying away, she came back inside, carrying something in her beak. That’s when I discovered her nest which was sheltering eggs that were hardly bigger than chickpeas! I told everyone at home to always leave the garage door open… Shortly after, the young birds were born, and when winter arrived, the family disappeared.
The following year, much to my surprise again, my tenants were back…
Swallows cannot live confined; their need of freedom is such that, in order to regain it, they can go so far as to kill themselves by colliding with whatever imprisons them. But, paradoxically, this claustrophobia, something they carry in their genes, does not hinder them from being faithful to their “home”, because they return every year to the same place, no matter what’s the distance that they have to travel or the time that has passed.
That’s why Rambaldo does not deprive Magda of a freedom that is so vital to her: he knows that his “Rondine” will come back to him, sooner or later. She always has and always will.