Arrow down iconArrow left iconArrow right iconArrow up iconAudio iconBasket iconClose iconDocument iconExclamation mark iconMenu iconPhoto iconQuotation markQuote iconTick iconUser icon

Cavalleria rusticana

Damiano Michieletto’s Olivier Award-winning production of Mascagni’s greatest opera tells a tragic tale of forsaken love and violent revenge.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Cavalleria rusticana. It was last on stage 29 November 2017—13 January 2018 as part of the Autumn 2017/18 season.

The Story

Turiddu sings of his love for Lola. He is overheard by Santuzza, a woman he has seduced. Santuzza tells Lola’s husband Alfio of his wife’s infidelity.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


Pietro Mascagni adapted Giovanni Verga’s play Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) for a competition held by the music publisher Edoardo Sonzogno. His opera, a verismo masterpiece, won the competition and became a tremendous success on its premiere on 17 May 1890, going on to inspire Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci. Italian director Damiano Michieletto’s Olivier Award-winning production of both works for The Royal Opera updates them to southern Italy in the late 20th century, to a village in the grip of poverty and hypocrisy, where strong passions lurk in the dark.

Unusually for the time, Mascagni composed Cavalleria rusticana in set numbers – arias, duets and ensembles detail the lives of his doomed characters within their repressive, repressed community, and turn the screw as the opera hurtles towards its tragic end. Turiddu’s drinking song ‘Viva il vino spumeggiante’, Santuzza’s melancholic ‘Voi lo sapete, o mama’ and the Easter Hymn are among the many musical highlights.

News and features

View more