City of London Sinfonia and the Opera Holland Park Chorus opens the season with the classic double bill of 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'I Pagliacci'. The pair of works completely changed the landscape of Italian opera and paved the way for the operas of Giacomo Puccini. Pietro Mascagni's 1890 work, which he wrote as a despairing entry in a competition for one-act operas while working as a teacher in a southern Italian backwater, is a vivid, bloody tragedy about the brutal and passionate lives of Sicilian peasants. The second part of the double bill was written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892 after he had analysed the success of Mascagni's earlier opera. A troupe of travelling players (pagliacci or clowns) arrives in a Calabrian town. Nedda, wife of Canio, the leader of the players, rejects the advances of the hunchback Tonio, and arranges with her lover Silvio to elope after that evening's performance.
- Mascagni, Leoncavallo
- Featured Artist:
- Gweneth-Ann Jeffers, Peter Auty, Stephen Gadd, Julia Sporsén
The Holland Park Theatre
Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 6LU