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Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci

Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo

Premiere performances: 15 and 17 June 2023 at the State Opera

The State Opera
Premiere production
English subtitles

Choose date

    June 2023

    Thursday 15. 6.

    Booking not started yet

    1. premiere
    Premiere production
    English subtitles

    Friday 23. 6.

    Subscription sale

    Premiere production
    English subtitles

    Wednesday 28. 6.

    Subscription sale

    Premiere production
    English subtitles

    Basic information


    The State Opera


    In Italian, subtitles in Czech, English


    June 15, 2023

    Two operatic gems has been undertaken by Ondřej Havelka, a versatile artist, renowned as a stage director, actor, singer and musician alike.


    • 2022-2023


    Stage director
    Ondřej Havelka
    Set design
    Martin Černý
    Costume design
    Jana Zbořilová
    Chorus master
    Adolf Melichar


    State Opera Chorus
    State Opera Orchestra

    For over 120 years, Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Pagliacci (Clowns), the most famous operas of Italian verismo, a genre that brought to the stage contemporary characters, portraying the life of country folk and low social classes, have been extremely popular among audiences all over the world as magnificent dramatic spectacles featuring impressive chorus scenes, prepossessing arias and ensembles, as well as Mascagni’s beautiful symphonic intermezzo. When, in 1888, the Italian music publisher Edoardo Sonzogno announced a competition for young composers to submit a one-act opera, he could not have had the slightest inkling that the victorious work would become an immortal hit. The 25-year-old Pietro Mascagni sent to the jury his brand-new piece Cavalleria rusticana.  The premiere of the opera, in 1890 in Rome, was a resounding success, which would secure him global fame. Ruggero Leoncavallo, six years older than Mascagni, wrote his debut opera, Pagliacci, in the verismo spirit too. Its premiere, in 1892 in Milan, earned the virtually unknown composer great acclaim. In 1893, Rome saw Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci performed as a double bill, which has ever since been customary worldwide. Pagliacci depicts the tragedy of Canio, an ageing principal of a travelling troupe who, driven out of his mind with jealousy, kills his unfaithful young wife Nedda and her lover on stage during a performance. In Cavalleria rusticana, the frivolous Lola begins an adulterous affair with her former lover Turridu, who, in line with the age-long Sicilian vendetta tradition, is murdered by Lola’s husband. The two operas end identically – with a homicide motivated by jealousy. The new production pairing the two operatic gems has been undertaken by Ondřej Havelka, a versatile artist, renowned as a stage director, actor, singer and musician alike.


    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 September at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of February 2023.

    When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Parking at the State opera

    While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.

    Buffets at the State Opera

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

    Menu (PDF, 70 kB)