With a story line involving passionate love, infidelity, murder, suicide, revenge, deception, a poisonous potion that is not poisonous, a ship set ablaze, a classic ballet minus alligators and hippopotami, and splendid arias “La Gioconda” has all the ingredients for a stirring dramatic opera. Jeffrey Engel will detail the background of Amilcare Ponchielli’s best known work and play recordings of musical highlights.
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