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Opera Pietro Mascagni, "Cavalleria Rusticana". Ruggero Leoncavallo, "Pagliacci"
Moscow theatre "New Opera"

Schedule for Pietro Mascagni, "Cavalleria Rusticana". Ruggero Leoncavallo, "Pagliacci" 2020

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre

Cavalleria Rusticana
Musical drama in one act
Libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci after the novella and the play by Giovanni Verga
Performed in Italian

Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Time and place: any. Early in the morning Turiddu sings about his former beloved, Lola, now the wife of Alfio. As the town stirs, Santuzza, Turiddu’s neglected sweetheart, comes looking for the handsome youth at the tavern of his mother, Lucia. The girl reveals she has been excommunicated, but before she can explain why, Alfio comes by with friends, boasting about his pretty young wife. Santuzza tells Mamma Lucia that Turiddu has taken up with Lola again. When the old woman has gone, Santuzza confronts Turiddu with his betrayal. Lola passes by, and Turiddu follows her into church. Santuzza hurls a curse after him, then, consumed by jealousy, tells Alfio of Lola’s infidelity. Santuzza immediately feels remorse, but the damage is done. Turiddu and the villagers drink wine, after which Alfio insults Turiddu, who accepts a challenge to duel with knives in a nearby orchard. He begs his mother to take care of Santuzza if he does not return. As Mamma Lucia and Santuzza wait anxiously, shouts rise in the distance. A woman stumbles in crying that Turiddu has been killed.


Musical drama in one act
Libretto by the composer
Performed in Italian

Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes

In the prologue the comedian Tonio steps before the audience to say that the author has written about actors, who know the same joys and sorrows as other people.

The story is set in our time. A film crew arrives in a small town, where they are to shoot a comedy. Canio, the leading actor and the owner of the film studio, has to play a cuckolded husband. When somebody jokingly suggests that the cripple Tonio is secretly enamoured of Canio’s young wife Nedda, an actress with the studio, Canio makes it clear that in private life he would never accept any infidelity from his wife.

Tonio confesses to Nedda that he loves her, but she scorns him. Burning with anger, Tonio swears he will take revenge. Nedda in fact does have a lover - Silvio, a sound engineer, who now arrives and persuades her to run away with him at midnight. Tonio, who has seen them, hurries off to inform his employer of the rendezvous. The jealous Canio bursts in on the pair. Silvio manages to escape. Alone, Canio cries that he must play the clown though his heart is breaking.

The filming begins, involving all the participants in the drama. Filled with passion and anger, Canio departs from his role as Pagliaccio and demands that Nedda disclose her lover’s name. It slowly dawns on Nedda and everybody on the film set that the harlequinade is changing to deadly earnestness, but she tries to continue with the play. Maddened by her defiance, Canio draws a knife and stabs her to death. With her dying breath, Nedda reveals her lover’s name. Silvio dashes to help her, but Canio stabs him too and then kills himself. Tonio turns to the audience to say that the comedy is ended - "La commedia e finita".

Schedule for Pietro Mascagni, "Cavalleria Rusticana". Ruggero Leoncavallo, "Pagliacci" 2020

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