Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci

Photo courtesy Opera Australia

Passion, jealousy and murder are played out in these two melodious Italian operas that Opera Australia is presenting as a double bill in its 2017 summer season.

In Cavalleria Rusticana Turiddu (Diego Torre) returns from the war to find his sweetheart Lola (Sian Pendry) married to Alfio (Jose Carbo). He takes up with Santuzzo (Dragana Radakovic) only to drop her when Lola starts flirting with him.

Unable to escape the fate of the 19th Century operatic heroine, Santuzza does the only thing available to her, and that is to tell Alfio that his wife has been unfaithful to him.

Unable to escape the curse of the 19th century operatic hero, Alfio does the only thing available to him and that is… you’ll have to see the opera to find out.

All I can tell you now is that it all ends very messily, although the music is very pretty, the sets are authentic Italian village bakery and conductor Andrea Licata wrings maximum emotion from the score.

We all know the story of Pagliacci, the sad clown, sung in this production by Diego Torre in the role of Canio. Again, jealousy is the catalyst in the story in which Canio’s flirtatious wife Nedda (Anna Princeva) is bound to come off the worse when her spouse is told of her infidelities.

In the famous clown aria, Diego Torre conveys the Pagliacci’s heartbroken despair before he goes on to …

Suffice to say the opera has a bloody ending, but you will have to see it to find out what happens.

If OA’s aim was to please audiences in this summer season, it has succeeded in full measure. The stages might be littered with bodies but the Sydney audiences are just lapping it up. Don’t forget your hankies! (ID)

Until Feb 4. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $23-$338. Tickets & info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

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