Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana at the Dutch National Opera
The Dutch National Opera presents one of the most famous double bills in the history of opera, Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana. In fact, these two operas are so commonly shown together that they’re often referred to as simply “Cav and Pag”.
These two towering masterpieces of Italian opera are bursting with drama, love, infidelity, betrayal, jealousy and murder.
A juicy and voluptuous must-see
Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Clowns) go hand-in-hand. This is an opera double-bill for those who like something juicy and voluptuous with a good balance of murder, jealousy, romance and to-die-for melodies!
We’ve all been there: wondering what good shows, films or concerts are on and asking ourselves “should I or shouldn’t I?” For those who are not regular opera-goers, there’s a lot of research to be done before flirting with the idea of buying an opera ticket. Well, this double bill will make it easy for you to decide: it is a must-see!
With stage direction by Robert Carsen, there's a masterful game being played on stage. His vision deliberately avoids cliches: no commedia dell'arte costumes in Pagliacci and no Sicilian-looking set design for Cavalleria Rusticana.
A new chief conductor
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Dutch National Opera and has been for over 30 years. In the 2019-2020 season, the orchestra welcomes its brand new chief conductor, Lorenzo Viotti, who kicks off this new position with Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana - a pivotal moment for the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch National Opera.
Italian opera that's more familiar than you may have thought
Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana are such mainstays in the opera sphere that they have even seeped into popular culture. The way that operatic music has been employed in cinema has meant that, over the years, opera has reached more people than it usually gets credit for.
Movies and TV shows like The Godfather, The Sopranos, Raging Bull and The Untouchables are just a few examples that use fragments from these operas to heighten the drama. One of the most heart-wrenching on-screen deaths was that of Malone in The Untouchables, to the sound of the famous aria “Vesti La Giubba” from Pagliacci. This unmistakably dramatic singing is placed in an ironic counterpoint with violence and tragedy.
In The Godfather III, Anthony, one of the young members of the infamous Corleone family, becomes an opera singer and makes his debut in a performance of Cavalleria Rusticana in Sicily, which the whole family attend to support him. The same opera is "quoted" as part of the soundtrack to Raging Bull and The Sopranos.
Another fun fact: Pagliacci was the first-ever opera to be recorded in its entirety.
Book your opera seats online
Tickets to the double-bill Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana are available on the Dutch National Opera website. Book your opera tickets in advance before all the prime seats are taken!