Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) is Mascagni's most famous opera. The libretto, based on a short story by famed Sicilian writer Giovanni Verga, tells of the story a young Sicilian man, Turiddu, who is unfaithful to his fiancée Santuzza, because he is in love with his ex-girlfriend, the now married Lola. When Santuzza discovers Turiddu’s infidelity, she reveals it out of spite to Lola’s husband, Alfio, who provokes a duel with Turiddu and kills him.
Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera I Pagliacci ('The Clowns') refers to a small group of strolling players. It follows their loves and jealousies, which spill over into their stage performance, climaxing in murder. Even though the character knows his wife has betrayed him, the poor clown has to go on stage and continue to make people laugh.
Composer: Cavalleria Rusticana: Mascagni; Pagliacci: Leoncavallo
Director: Giorgio Lalov
Producer: Jenny Kelly Productions