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© Judith Schlosser

Leoncavallo - Mascagni I Pagliacci - Cavalleria Rusticana

The 30 January 2022
Opernhaus - Zurich
Program

Leoncavallo : I Pagliacci

Mascagni : Cavalleria Rusticana

Cast
  • Conductor
    Paolo Carignani
  • Director
    Grischa Asagaroff
  • Performers
    Santuzza: Oksana Volkova
    Turiddu: Marcelo Álvarez
    Alfio: George Petean
    Nedda: Ekaterina Bakanova
    Canio: Marcelo Álvarez
    Tonio: George Petean
    Silvio: Xiaomeng Zhang

We can never say it enough, the Opernhaus in Zürich is one of the stages that are most important at international level. The human scale stage has welcomed many of today´s superstars before they established themselves as such. This is where Thomas Hampson and Matthias Goerne got their first international recognition as well as a certain Jonas Kaufmann who was a regular at the Opernhaus in his early days.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opernhaus - Zurich Location Falkenstrasse 1 - 8008 Zurich Suisse

  • Venue's Capacity: 1200

The Zurich Opera House is famous the world over for both opera and dance. It is among the most important European theatres and plays host to leading conductors. The original theatre built in 1833 was replaced by the present building which was opened in 1891. It was the venue for the first performance of Parsifal outside Germany.

The history of the Opernhaus has indeed been punctuated by numerous premieres: Turandot by Busoni in 1917, Lulu in 1937, Mathis der Mahler and Cardillac by Hindemith (1938 and 1952) and Moses und Aron by Schönberg in 1957. Several major conductors such as Otto Ackerman, Hans Knappertsbuch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted a varied repertoire always with the greatest singers (Lisa della Casa was for instance a member of the Opernhaus company).

It was at the Studiobühne too that the young singers Gwyneth Jones and Edith Mathis perfected their craft. One of the most outstanding events of its history was the “re-staging” for the first time of the operas of Monteverdi and Mozart performed on period instruments at the instigation of the pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt supported by the legendary stage settings of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. These productions contributed to the renaissance of Baroque opera and the rediscovery of a vast repertoire.

Today the Opernhaus is one of the few theatres that can pride itself on presenting the greatest stars of the opera world in one and the same season. With its well-thought out and varied programming, the audience has every reason to be satisfied.

Opernhaus

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

I Pagliacci

PAGGLIACI, A ROMANTIC ITALIAN OPERA

This Italian opera is composed of two acts and features music by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It is the only Leoncavallo opera that is still performed widely today. It premiered in Milan in 1892 and later that year it was first performed in the United Kingdom in London.

Leoncavallo claims that the plot of the opera is based on an incident that occurred during his own childhood, when one of the family servants was murdered in 1865. This murder was the result of a series of romantic entanglements involving a girl that two brothers were both infatuated with. When it was first written there were several allegations that the opera resembled other plays. However, it soon gained popularity.

The plot is a series of romantic entanglements, accusations, declarations and secrecy. It is both a comedy and a tragedy. Paggliaci became the first opera to be fully recorded in 1907. Later, in 1931, it also became the first opera to be completely filmed with sound.

It has been performed around the world and continues to be enjoyed today.

HISTORY

The opera is set in Calabria, near Montalto in southern Italy, on the Feast of the Assumption. It takes place between 1865 and 1870.

Act 1

The commedia troupe enter the village at 3pm and are met by cheering villagers who await the play. Canio says the play will begin an hour before sunset. Nedda steps from the cart and Tonio offers his hand but Canio pushes it away to help his wife down himself. Cannio and Beppe have a drink with the villagers who tease Canio that Tonio is planning an affair with his wife. Tonio declares his love for Nedda who then drives him away. Silvio and Nedda decide to elope, but Tonio tells Canio who arrives and chases Silvio. Nedda shouts after her lover 'I will always be yours' but refuses to reveal his name.

Act 2

The play begins and the plot mirrors the love triangle and affairs. Canio hears Nedda's character say 'I will always be yours' and demands she tell him her lover's name. Nedda tries to keep in character and the audience initially think it's all part of the performance. Nedda refuses to reveal the name of her lover and Canio stabs her. As she cries out Silvio's name, Canio stabs him too.

The final line of the opera is 'La Commedie e finita! - The comedy is ended!'

MAIN ROLES

Canio, head of the troupe, tenor
Nedda, Canio's wife who is in love with Silvio, soprano
Tonio, the fool, baritone
Beppe, actor, tenor
Silvio, Nedda's lover, baritone

Cavalleria Rusticana

CAVALLERIA RUSTICINA, A HEARTFELT LOVE STORY

Cavalleria Rusticina is an opera played in one act written by Pietro Mascagni. It is an award winning love poetic story that was composed in 1890. It is a heartfelt love story about a love affair that goes sour leaving the audience overwhelmed with sadness. The performance is spectacular with a perfectly set design and attractive costumes. The story is engaging, easy to follow and very interesting. The actors are well poised and have wonderful voices and perform their roles with much passion.  Cavalleria Rusticina has a lot of entertaining melodies and hymns.

HISTORY


Cavalleria Rusticinawas composed in the late 19th century and has gone on to become one of the worlds' most popular and loved plays ever performed. It's about two lovers who are separated by distance but brought together by fate. Although they both have different partners, they have an affair which ends up destroying both their lives and their partners'. It also results to the death of one of the characters, Turiddu.

Act 1

The play starts with Turiddu who is the main character swiftly singing about his former fiancée who is now Alfio's wife. He has returned from military service only to find his fiancée Lola married to someone else. This really breaks his heart and he decides to take revenge by seducing a young peasant village girl named Santuzza. As the Opera continues, Lola gets jealous of Santuzza and begins having an affair with Turiddu. They have to keep hiding their relationship from both their partners and the villagers.

On the feast of Easter, Turiddu's singing is heard from one corner of the church a few meters from his mothers' wine shop. As some villagers move around the village while singing others enter the church as they hymn to the blessed virgin.

Act 2

Santuzza becomes aware of Turridu's infidelity and goes looking for her handsome knight at his mothers' wine shop. Lucia, his mother, tells her that she had sent him to another town to fetch some wine. Before Santuzza could tell her of the whereabouts of her son, Alfio, Lolas' husband shows up asking for some wine. Lucia informs him of the situation at hand and he claims to have seen Turiddu early that morning near his cottage. The two women leave to join the choir outside the church.

Act 3

The villagers finish the mass and head to their homes. Turiddu is seen expressing vigorous excitement because he is with his one and only love, Lola. He and his friends head to his mothers' wine shop and sing a drinking song. Alfio joins them, not to drink with them but fight with Turiddu for Lolas' love.


Epilogue


The fight leads to Turiddu's death. On announcement of the news of Turridu's, Santuzza faints and Lucia collapses in the hands of the village women.

MAIN ROLES

Santuzza, A peasant girl, soprano

Turiddu, Lola's lover, bass-baritone

Lucia, Turiddu's mother, soprano

Alfio, Lola's husband, bass

Lola, Turiddu's lover, baritone.

Opernhaus Zurich © Dominic Büttner

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