Passion Plays: Michieletto’s interwoven Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana/ Leoncavallo: Pagliacci ****

The Royal Opera, 3rd December 2015

Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci have been locked together in a fatal embrace since 1893 when they were first paired as a double bill. Dalliances with other partners followed and even the occasional solo outing, but the double act became so familiar, it even has its own “Cav’n’Pag” abbreviation. Franco Zeffirelli’s was the last new production at Royal Opera in 1959, so a new staging was long overdue. Damiano Michieletto doesn’t just set both operas in the same southern Italian village in the 1980s, he allows characters from one opera to drift into the other… with inspired results.

Carmen Giannattasio (Nedda) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore

Carmen Giannattasio (Nedda)
© ROH | Catherine Ashmore

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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