The Royal Opera: Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci

  • 12A

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Pietro Mascagnis Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Ruggero Leoncavallos Pagliacci (The Players) are today Italian operas most famous double act, but they were written independently. Cavalleria Rusticana came first, its hugely successful premiere in 1890 doubtless an influence on Leoncavallo. His Pagliacci in 1892 was another triumph. The two works, each undeniable masterpieces of the verismo tradition of realism, share dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy.

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