Cav & Pag: a nostalgia trip for Welsh National Opera

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci ****

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 29th May 2016

Welsh National Opera may have reached the ripe old age of seventy but it’s very much alive and kicking. It celebrates this milestone Janus-like, looking both to the future, with the recent world première of In Parenthesis, and back via verismo twins Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, with which the company started back in 1946. Not that the productions here are seventy years old, but Elijah Moshinsky’s 1996 Cav is so traditional that it could have been been used at the opera’s 1890 Teatro Costanzi première. Moshinsky sets Pagliacci around 1950s post-Mussolini concrete buildings partly inspired by Fellini’s film La strada.

David Kempster (Tonio) and Gwyn Hughes Jones (Canio) © Bill Cooper

David Kempster (Tonio) and Gwyn Hughes Jones (Canio)
© Bill Cooper

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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