Night Flight – Dallapiccola

Dallapiccola’s one act opera, Volo di notte, is based on the novella Vol de Nuit by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; the writer’s fame is based on another novella – Le Petit Prince.

The translation was commissioned and performed by Long Beach Opera,  California (in a double-bill with Puccini’s Il tabarro, also in the AH translation) in 2000;  it was directed by Julian Webber and conducted by Andreas Mitisek: the cast included Susan Bullock – as Giorgetta in Il tabarro and – as the wife of the pilot Fabien in Night Flight.


from Scene 4…

MRS FABIEN   That man, whom the dark night has cruelly taken from me, that man, whom I married, with me could have been happy. Should not your first priority be this… to protect the happiness of those you employ?  What privilege allows you to defy this and steal away all our pleasure and joy? Do you have some special right? Have you a sense of justice?

RIVIÈRE   Yes, I have the right. I am telling you, I, Rivière. Justice, injustice, these are merely words that have no meaning for me. I employ men and cast them beyond their own expectations, out into a life that’s a tough life, with all of its pleasure, with all its pain and sorrow, it’s the only life that is worth living.