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Cavalleria Rusticana

Pietro Mascagni

Dates are unavailable at the moment

MAY 23, 2025


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts


Buy now as an add-on to our 2024/25 Subscription Package!

 

One of the world's most successful one-act operas, Mascagni’s gripping thriller about love, jealousy, and betrayal is set in an Italian village where a simmering love triangle reaches boiling point. 

This special concert presentation features a roster of international artists, as well as the COC Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of COC Music Director Johannes Debus.


Credits
Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM



CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS


Conductor: Johannes Debus
Price Family Chorus Master: Sandra Horst

Santuzza: Anna Pirozzi
Turiddu: Russell Thomas
Mamma Lucia: Deborah Nansteel
Alfio: Simone Piazzola

With the COC Orchestra and Chorus

Generously underwritten by an anonymous donor

The Story

As the overture plays, the young Sicilian villager Turiddu serenades his lover, Lola.

It is Easter Day in a village in Sicily. Church bells ring out in the village square, while a chorus of women sings of the loveliness of the spring and its fragrance of orange blossoms. The village men reply by praising the women's beauty.

As the villagers begin to crowd into the square for Easter Mass, a dejected young woman named Santuzza comes in search of Mamma Lucia, hoping for news of Lucia's son, Turiddu. Lucia is suspicious but informs Santuzza that Turiddu has gone to town to get some wine. Santuzza knows that Turiddu never left for town, because he was seen in the village the night before.

Alfio, the husband of Lola (Turiddu's secret lover), interrupts the women's conversation with a song praising the travelling life of a carter, and the faithfulness of his wife. Alfio asks Mamma Lucia for some wine. She replies that her supply has run out, but that Turiddu has gone to town for more. Alfio says that he saw Turiddu near his house that morning. Santuzza motions to Lucia not to ask any questions, and Alfio goes off to church. The crowd celebrates the day with an Easter hymn.

Mamma Lucia asks Santuzza what is going on, and Santuzza pours her heart out. Before Turiddu joined the army, he had fallen in love with Lola. When Turiddu returned from military service to discover that Lola had married Alfio, he seduced the virginal Santuzza. Their affair meant much more to Santuzza than it did to the philandering Turiddu, and Santuzza fell passionately in love with him. But now Turiddu has dishonoured Santuzza and cast her heartlessly aside. Santuzza implores Lucia to pray for her, as this betrayal has cost her her right to go in the church. Lucia joins the congregation.

Turiddu appears and Santuzza confronts him. At first Turiddu cockily denies having an affair with Lola, but then realises that news of the affair could endanger his life. Lola enters with a swagger and a song, and also goes into the church despite Santuzza's reminder that only those free from sin are permitted to enter. Santuzza pleads with Turiddu to take her back, but he rejects her violently. He leaves to enter the church and Santuzza spits a curse at him.

At this moment, Lola's husband Alfio passes by, and Santuzza, wild with rage, tells him of Turiddu’s affair with his wife. Alfio vows revenge. The Mass has finished and as the villagers spill into the square, Turiddu sings a drinking song, inviting the villagers to a drink. Rejecting Turiddu’s offer, Alfio challenges him to a duel. The challenge accepted (involving the biting of an ear), Alfio leaves to wait for Turiddu nearby.

Turiddu, a little drunk, but remorseful, asks his mother for her blessing. Although he vehemently rejected Santuzza only moments before, Turiddu asks Mamma Lucia to take care of her, then kisses his mother goodbye and leaves. Mamma Lucia begins to weep, and Santuzza rushes in and embraces her.

A woman screams that Turiddu has been killed. Santuzza and Lucia collapse with grief.

COMPOSER BIO
Pietro Mascagni

Born in Livorno, Italy on December 7, 1863
died in Rome, Italy on August 2, 1945

Pietro Mascagni was born in 1863 in Livorno, on the west coast of Italy, not far from Puccini’s birthplace of Lucca. Mascagni’s talent was recognized by his first teacher, Alfredo Soffrendini, who encouraged him to pursue music as a career. Not wishing to go into the family baking business, and against the wishes of his father, Mascagni entered the Milan Conservatory, with the financial support of Count Florestano de Larderel. There Mascagni studied with Ponchielli and roomed with Puccini. However, he felt unable to commit himself to a long term of study, so he left in April 1885 (or was expelled) to explore his talents in his own way.

He taught when necessary, as funds were tight, but found most success with composing and conducting. He began work on Cavalleria rusticana in 1888 as an entry for the Sonzogno competition. He sent the score to Puccini and Ricordi, neither of whom liked the piece. Mascagni became despondent and wanted to destroy the score and send in the fourth act of a full-length opera he had written instead. His wife retrieved the Cavalleria manuscript and entered it without his knowing. He won first prize over 72 other entrants. The premiere in Rome in 1890 was a huge success, and although Cavalleria would be the work he is best remembered for, Mascagni enjoyed success in his lifetime with L’amico Fritz (1891)—a pastoral comedy—Iris (1898), and Isabeau (1911).

Mascagni’s music is immediate and emotional, two qualities that mark him a founder of the verismo style.
  • Sung in Italian with English SURTITLESTM


    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS


    Conductor: Johannes Debus
    Price Family Chorus Master: Sandra Horst

    Santuzza: Anna Pirozzi
    Turiddu: Russell Thomas
    Mamma Lucia: Deborah Nansteel
    Alfio: Simone Piazzola

    With the COC Orchestra and Chorus

    Generously underwritten by an anonymous donor

  • As the overture plays, the young Sicilian villager Turiddu serenades his lover, Lola.

    It is Easter Day in a village in Sicily. Church bells ring out in the village square, while a chorus of women sings of the loveliness of the spring and its fragrance of orange blossoms. The village men reply by praising the women's beauty.

    As the villagers begin to crowd into the square for Easter Mass, a dejected young woman named Santuzza comes in search of Mamma Lucia, hoping for news of Lucia's son, Turiddu. Lucia is suspicious but informs Santuzza that Turiddu has gone to town to get some wine. Santuzza knows that Turiddu never left for town, because he was seen in the village the night before.

    Alfio, the husband of Lola (Turiddu's secret lover), interrupts the women's conversation with a song praising the travelling life of a carter, and the faithfulness of his wife. Alfio asks Mamma Lucia for some wine. She replies that her supply has run out, but that Turiddu has gone to town for more. Alfio says that he saw Turiddu near his house that morning. Santuzza motions to Lucia not to ask any questions, and Alfio goes off to church. The crowd celebrates the day with an Easter hymn.

    Mamma Lucia asks Santuzza what is going on, and Santuzza pours her heart out. Before Turiddu joined the army, he had fallen in love with Lola. When Turiddu returned from military service to discover that Lola had married Alfio, he seduced the virginal Santuzza. Their affair meant much more to Santuzza than it did to the philandering Turiddu, and Santuzza fell passionately in love with him. But now Turiddu has dishonoured Santuzza and cast her heartlessly aside. Santuzza implores Lucia to pray for her, as this betrayal has cost her her right to go in the church. Lucia joins the congregation.

    Turiddu appears and Santuzza confronts him. At first Turiddu cockily denies having an affair with Lola, but then realises that news of the affair could endanger his life. Lola enters with a swagger and a song, and also goes into the church despite Santuzza's reminder that only those free from sin are permitted to enter. Santuzza pleads with Turiddu to take her back, but he rejects her violently. He leaves to enter the church and Santuzza spits a curse at him.

    At this moment, Lola's husband Alfio passes by, and Santuzza, wild with rage, tells him of Turiddu’s affair with his wife. Alfio vows revenge. The Mass has finished and as the villagers spill into the square, Turiddu sings a drinking song, inviting the villagers to a drink. Rejecting Turiddu’s offer, Alfio challenges him to a duel. The challenge accepted (involving the biting of an ear), Alfio leaves to wait for Turiddu nearby.

    Turiddu, a little drunk, but remorseful, asks his mother for her blessing. Although he vehemently rejected Santuzza only moments before, Turiddu asks Mamma Lucia to take care of her, then kisses his mother goodbye and leaves. Mamma Lucia begins to weep, and Santuzza rushes in and embraces her.

    A woman screams that Turiddu has been killed. Santuzza and Lucia collapse with grief.

  • Pietro Mascagni

    Born in Livorno, Italy on December 7, 1863
    died in Rome, Italy on August 2, 1945

    Pietro Mascagni was born in 1863 in Livorno, on the west coast of Italy, not far from Puccini’s birthplace of Lucca. Mascagni’s talent was recognized by his first teacher, Alfredo Soffrendini, who encouraged him to pursue music as a career. Not wishing to go into the family baking business, and against the wishes of his father, Mascagni entered the Milan Conservatory, with the financial support of Count Florestano de Larderel. There Mascagni studied with Ponchielli and roomed with Puccini. However, he felt unable to commit himself to a long term of study, so he left in April 1885 (or was expelled) to explore his talents in his own way.

    He taught when necessary, as funds were tight, but found most success with composing and conducting. He began work on Cavalleria rusticana in 1888 as an entry for the Sonzogno competition. He sent the score to Puccini and Ricordi, neither of whom liked the piece. Mascagni became despondent and wanted to destroy the score and send in the fourth act of a full-length opera he had written instead. His wife retrieved the Cavalleria manuscript and entered it without his knowing. He won first prize over 72 other entrants. The premiere in Rome in 1890 was a huge success, and although Cavalleria would be the work he is best remembered for, Mascagni enjoyed success in his lifetime with L’amico Fritz (1891)—a pastoral comedy—Iris (1898), and Isabeau (1911).

    Mascagni’s music is immediate and emotional, two qualities that mark him a founder of the verismo style.

2024/2025 season creative: BT/A

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts capacity: 2,070
Ticket prices do not include service fees, $9 CAD

Cavalleria Rusticana

Pietro Mascagni
To

MAY 23, 2025


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts


Buy now as an add-on to our 2024/25 Subscription Package!

 

One of the world's most successful one-act operas, Mascagni’s gripping thriller about love, jealousy, and betrayal is set in an Italian village where a simmering love triangle reaches boiling point. 

This special concert presentation features a roster of international artists, as well as the COC Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of COC Music Director Johannes Debus.

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