Opera Double Feature by Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo
These unrivalled examples of verismo opera transport us deep into the life of the countryside: In his »Cavalleria rusticana« from 1890, Pietro Mascagni shows how an everyday story of crossed love can end in death. And in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s »Pagliacci« (»The Clowns«) from 1892, the comedic performance of a travelling theatre troupe about Colombina’s lovers suddenly turns deadly serious. Jealousy, murder, and human wickedness, depicted in an impoverished rural milieu, these are the themes of the verismo composers. The two leading representatives of this movement, Mascagni and Leoncavallo, bring the human passions of southern Italy to the operatic stage in unique fashion. In this production, theatre and film director Philipp Stölzl stages these two murderous operas as a multi-level exploration of the human soul.