With music by Vicente Martín y Soler and a libretto by frequent Mozart collaborator Lorenzo da Ponte, the opera Una Cosa Rara (translated as "something special" or "a rare treasure") was a box-office success in its day. But due to the vagaries of taste and time, and the overshadowing popularity of contemporary works by the aforementioned Mozart, it's an opera that has faded into almost-obscurity. Fortunate we are that Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has chosen to revive Una Cosa Rara as its third show of the season. Da Ponte's tale of the gorgeous peasant girl Lilla who rejects the advances of three noble suitors in favor of her true love, fellow peasant Lubino, is wreathed in Soler's beautiful Spanish melodies and further enlivened with a lighthearted sense of fun. It's perfect summer fare, and it's sung in English at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves; 314-961-0644 or www.experienceopera.org). Tickets are $25 to $110.
Sun., June 8; Thu., June 12; Sat., June 14; Wed., June 18; Fri., June 20, 2008