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Roberto Alagna takes on the leading tenor roles in both parts of opera’s most popular double bill. In Cavalleria Rusticana, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Eva-Maria Westbroek share the role of the woebegone Santuzza, with Aleksandra Kurzak as the hot-blooded Nedda in Pagliacci. Nicola Luisotti conducts Sir David McVicar’s production, which heightens the melo-dramaticaction of this timeless verismo pairing.
Pietro Mascagni (1863–1945) and Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919) both had substantial operatic careers but were never able to repeat the success of their two youthful hits. Leoncavallo’s setting of La Bohème (which premiered a year after Puccini’s version) is occasionally seen on stage. The then-unknown Cavalleria librettists Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci went on to provide other libretti for Mascagni, Leoncavallo, and other composers of the day.
Production Sir David McVicar
Set Designer Rae Smith
Costume Designer Moritz Junge
Lighting Designer Paule Constable
Choreographer Andrew George
Vaudeville Consultant Emil Wolk