Two complementary works tell dark tales of passionate love that sours to violent jealousy. Pietro Mascagni adapted Giovanni Verga’s play Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) for a competition held by the music publisher Edoardo Sonzogno. His opera, a verismo masterpiece, won the competition and became a tremendous success on its premiere in May 1890. Cavalleria rusticana was an undoubted influence on Ruggero Leoncavallo when he too wrote a short opera for Sonzogno, this time based on a true story. His Pagliacci, first performed in May 1892, was another huge success. The two works, sharing dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy, were soon paired and have since become almost inseparable.
In the Royal Opera House's new production Italian director Damiano Michieletto updates the works to southern Italy in the late 20th century, to a village in the grip of poverty and hypocrisy, where strong passions lurk in the dark.
Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci will be broadcast on 10 December (at 20:15) to 15 Multikino cinemas: Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź (Silver Screen), Olsztyn, Poznań Stary Browar, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Warszawa Ursynów, Warszawa Złote Tarasy, Wrocław Pasaż Grunwaldzki, Zabrze.