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"Goes right for the tear ducts" – GT/Expressen

Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

Bloody revenge in Sicily.

Cavalleria rusticana

A one-act opera by Pietro Mascagni (1863–1945). Libretto Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, based on Giovanni Verga’s novel.


A one-act opera by Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857–1919). Libretto by the composer.

Co-production with the Royal Opera House, Opera Australia and La Monnaie.

Performed in Italian with Swedish and English surtitles.
The premiere will be broadcast live on Swedish National Radio.

”Feverish Italian orchestral brilliance at the Göteborg Opera”SR Kulturnytt
”A real achievement!”Dagens Nyheter
”Seductive opera”Göteborgs-Posten
”Goes right for the tear-ducts”GT/Expressen
”Opera at its best”Borås Tidning
Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci overflow with passion and the heat of the south, before each opera is halted by murderous jealousy. There is no place here for intellectual drama, simply pure emotions and the primordial power of music. These two one-act operas marked the dawn of verismo, Italian for “realism”, a style of opera in which the weaknesses and desires of ordinary people are examined in microscopic detail and told as realistically as possible.

They were not originally intended to be performed together, but since the early 20th century they have been constantly performed together, as is the case in this successful production from director Damiano Michieletto. His strong staging, which won the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production at its premiere in London in 2015, shows how a small village suffers two catastrophic tragedies: revenge with a fatal outcome, and the murder of a wife by her husband in a fit of rage. Both to tender, scintillating music.

Italian maestro Pier Giorgo Morandi, an expert in this type of musical drama, makes a welcome return to the conductor’s podium. In the role of Canio, Tomas Lind performs one of the most demanding Italian tenor roles, with the famous aria Vesti la giubba. The role of his young wife Nedda will be shared by Ida Falk Winland and Carolina Sandgren, while Cavaliera Rusticana’s former lovers Santuzza and Turiddu, portrayed by Joachim Bäckström and Annalena Persson/ Katarina Karnéuspour out their frustrations and desire.

Watch a film clip from rehearsals

Listen to ”When social norms break down” — a panel discussion about Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

Panel: Rodula Gaitanou (director), Pier Giorgio Morandi (conductor), Åke Zetterström (Alfio), Annalena Persson (Santuzza) and David Benelbaz (psychologist). Chairing the panel is The Göteborg Opera's dramaturgist, Göran Gademan. Musical interludes, with Karin Holm accompanying on the piano.

The discussion is in English, and was recorded 31 January 2019 on the Small Stage.

A preview of the music, as performed at Gothenburg’s Culture Festival 2018


Take the opportunity to learn more about the performance and get insight into the story and the background. Introductions take place either on our Small Stage or in the Opera Bar an hour before opera and dance performances (but are not held before premieres, guest performances or dance performances which have a physical introduction).

Introductions do not cost anything extra, use your performance ticket to enter. Introduction take about 20 minutes and are presented in Swedish. They are popular, so come early to make sure you get a seat!


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