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Opera The State Opera

Cavalleria rusticana, I pagliacci

Pietro Mascagni, Ruggiero Leoncavallo, stage director Inga Levant, Inga Levant

Information

Cavalleria rusticana

Libretto: Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, Quido Menasci
Musical preparation: Hilary Griffiths
Conductor: Hilary Griffiths
Stage director: Inga Levant
Sets: Friedrich Eggert
Costumes: Friedrich Eggert
Chorus master: Tvrtko Karlovič, Adolf Melichar

I Pagliacci

Libretto: Ruggiero Leoncavallo
Musical preparation: Hilary Griffiths
Conductor: Hilary Griffiths
Stage director: Inga Levant
Sets: Friedrich Eggert
Costumes: Friedrich Eggert
Chorus master: Tvrtko Karlovič, Adolf Melichar



State Opera Orchestra

State Opera Chorus

Premiere: June 14 and 17, 2012

Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, a one-act opera set in the Sicilian countryside, is considered the founding work of Italian verismo, which introduced to the stage characters from contemporary life, common and lower-class people. Following the premiere on 17 May 1890 at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi, the audience responded with endless curtain calls, and Cavalleria rusticana duly set out to conquer the world. The opera’s tremendous success encouraged the then virtually unknown Ruggiero Leoncavallo to compose an opera in the same style. Pagliacci, premiered on 21 May 1892 at Milan’s Teatro dal Verme, brought him immediate success. The two titles are connected by the theme of passionate love and lethal jealousy, ending in murder.

In Cavalleria rusticana, the easy-going Lola does not want to give up her former lover Turridu, betrothed to Santuzza. Lola’s husband Alfio challenges Turiddu to a duel, in which he kills him. Pagliacci has a no less tragic denouement: the ageing actor Cania, who finds out about the infidelity of his young wife Nedda, murders both her and his rival in an act of revenge. It comes as no surprise that the two operas soon began to be performed in a double-bill – for the first time in 1893 at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi – although they have also been put together with other works in various, sometimes bizarre combinations. The stage director has set the action of Cavalleria rusticana in the Cinecitta film studio in Mussolini’s Italy, where a beautiful historical blockbuster with an Easter theme is being shot. In Inga Levant’s conception, Pagliacci takes place in the same film studio at the present time.

Orchestra and Chorus of the State Opera

The opera is staged in Italian original version and Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.

Photo: Hana Smejkalová

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 45 minutes, 1 intermission

Next
performance

This production is not performed at the present time.