Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci | Welsh National Opera

Important Message

Just to let you know that this page is no longer being updated as this event is now in the past.

See all Archive Performances

SummaryBack to top

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer 2016

Marking 70 years of WNO is a time to reflect. What better way to do this than with the double bill that started it all? This perfect pairing of tragedies was our first performance in 1946. Cav & Pag (as they are affectionately known) are as full-on and intense as Italian opera gets.

Each opera packs in much high drama and powerful music in just over an hour. Cavalleria rusticana’s highlights include the glorious Easter Hymn and Intermezzo. Pagliacci features one of the greatest of all tenor arias, ‘Vesti la giubba’, in which the clown Canio has just learnt that his wife is having an affair. He pitifully dwells on his situation while getting ready to take to the stage. He must act the fool on stage while dying inside.

The sumptuous period-set production features a recreation of a Sicilian village square. It is only fitting that the cast for these birthday performances includes some of Wales’s greatest opera talent. Everyone who enjoys the elegance and pageantry of opera will want to embrace Cav & Pag.

• Performances start at 7.15pm, except Cardiff on Sunday 29 May at 4pm

• Running time for Cavalleria rusticana approximately one hour and 10 minutes and Pagliacci approximately one hour 15 minutes, with one interval in between

• Sung in Italian with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff)

 Supported by the WNO Idloes Owen Society


Cast & CreativeBack to top

Conductor Carlo Rizzi
Director Elijah Moshinsky
Designer Michael Yeargan
Lighting Designer Howard Harrison

Cavalleria rusticana cast
Turiddu Gwyn Hughes Jones
Alfio David Kempster
Santuzza Camilla Roberts
Mamma Lucia Anne-Marie Owens
Lola Rebecca Afonwy-Jones

Pagliacci cast
Canio Gwyn Hughes Jones
Tonio David Kempster
Nedda Meeta Raval
Silvio Gyula Nagy
Beppe Trystan Llŷr Griffiths

Plot SummaryBack to top

Cavalleria rusticana
Passions are running high in a Sicilian village on Easter Morning. Animal herder Alfio is inflamed with jealousy when he learns of his wife’s
affair with the young gallant, Turiddu. The two men resort to a duel with knives, and, despite the protestations of Turridu’s mother and his heartbroken lover, Santuzza, the day ends in bloodshed.

A touring troupe of actors arrives at a village in southern Italy, to perform their play, ‘The Clown and Columbine’, which tells the story of an unfaithful woman, played by real-life adulterer, Nedda. For Canio, her jealous husband in life and on stage, the irony is too much to bear, and the performance comes to a tragic end.

Audio DescriptionBack to top

Listen to our Audio Description of Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci here