Last opera on screen in Byron Bay (for a while)
TWO complementary works telling dark tales of passionate love that sours to violent jealousy comprise the final opera presentation, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, to be screened before Palace Byron Bay closes its doors for the immediate future.
Pietro Mascagni adapted Giovanni Verga's play Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) for a competition held by the music publisher Edoardo Sonzogno.
Before the action takes place in Cavalleria Rusticana, the young villager Turiddu had returned from military service to find that his fiancée Lola had married the carter Alfio while Turiddu was away.
In revenge, Turiddu had seduced Santuzza, a young woman in the village.
As the opera begins, Lola, overcome by her jealousy of Santuzza, has begun an adulterous affair with Turiddu.
His opera 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.
Before Pagliacci begins, a member of the small theatrical road company, Tonio, who looks like a clown, steps before the curtain. He tells the audience that a clown is also a man, so a clown feels sorrow and pity just like a man.
The opera, set in the latter half of the 19th century in the south of Italy, tells the story if a small theatrical road company whose manager's wife is planning to elope with ehr lover.
The two works, sharing dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy, were soon paired and have since become almost inseparable.
Cavalleria Rustica and Pagliacci, sung in Italian with English subtitles, was captured live from Covent Garden, London on December 10, 2015 and screens at Palace Byron Bay on Sunday January 24 at 1 pm.
The cinema closes on January 27 for rebuilding.