7 December 2015 at 2.53pm | 4 Comments
The cinema relay will be presented by Clemency Burton-Hill.
For a specially selected range of exclusive, films, pictures and features, download the Calleria rusticana/ Pagliacci Digital Programme for free using the promo code 'FREECAVPAG'.
In Cavalleria rusticana, peasant Turiddu is in love with Lola, a married woman. When this is discovered by Santuzza (a woman he has seduced), she tells Lola’s husband Alfio of his wife’s infidelity, with violent results.
Pagliacci draws on similar themes, tying the action to the arrival of a travelling theatre troupe to a small town. The troupe's hunchbacked clown Tonio is in love with Nedda, who rejects his advantage. In revenge, Tonio brings Nedda's husband (and the troupe's leader) Canio to spy on Nedda as she meets her lover Silvio.
Both operas are examples of verismo, an operatic movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries which prized realism and narratives driven by a desire for social change. For this reason, they are often performed together, despite fierce rivalry between the two composers during the late 1890s when they were composed.
Damiano Michieletto updates the works to southern Italy in the late 20th century, setting both works in a village in the grip of poverty and hypocrisy, where strong passions lurk in the dark. His production highlights the thematic links between the two works, with characters from each opera appearing in the other.
Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci (Or 'Cav and Pag' as they are often known) both contain music that gives a strong sense of their setting in a poverty-striken southern Italian village and the characters within it. Both are rich with memorable melodies including the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria rusticana and Canio's aria 'Vesti la giubba' from Pagliacci.
Music from Cavalleria rusticana is familiar to wider audiences through film directors' famous uses of the Intermezzo (Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part III being two prime examples). Enrico Caruso's recording of Pagliacci's 'Vesti la giubba' is pivotal in the history of popular music; his 1902 recording being the first million-selling record.
After the relay on 10 December, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts using the hashtag #ROHcavpag.
Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 10 December 2015. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.