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234th Season

Mariinsky II (New Theatre)

24 March
2021 | Wednesday
Stars of the Stars
Cavalleria rusticana (opera in one act)
Opera in 1 act
Artists Credits
Maestro Valery Gergiev, Musical Director
Alla Brosterman, Musical Preparation
Arnaud Bernard, Stage Director
Performed in Italian
World premiere: Mariinsky Theatre
Premiere of this production: 25 Nov 2020

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Music by Pietro Mascagni
Libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci after the eponymous novella by Giovanni Verga

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director and Lighting Designer: Arnaud Bernard
Costume Designer: Arnaud Bernard, Marianna Stranska
Musical Preparation: Alla Brosterman
Chorus Masters: Nikita Gribanov, Konstantin Rylov

The production uses sets designed by Camille Dugas for the opera I vespri siciliani (Mariinsky Theatre, 2017), a gift of Veronica Atkins

Arnaud Bernard's production transposes the action of the opera's plot from a village in Sicily to the Italian Quarter of New York in the 1920s. The stage director believes that Italian immigrants brought with them to the New World the same earthy and archaic understanding of life and death, faith and honour and love and destiny that were commonly accepted in Sicily in the mid 19th century – the time when the story of Cavalleria rusticana unfolds, the novella serving as the basis for the libretto. If love before marriage can excommunicate a sinner from communion, if treachery leads to a knife-fight between rivals, then an insult may be washed away with blood, piety is proper, vengeance has deep roots and respect for one's mother becomes true "mammismo". In the 1890s, the portrayal of these powerful emotions verging on naturalism found an unexpected and passionate response with audiences and then, immediately following its premiere, the young Pietro Mascagni's first opera was staged at dozens of theatres in Europe and America. It paved the way for an entire movement in Italian opera which was given the name "verismo" (from the Italian "vero" meaning "truth"). By the close of the century verismo had died out, though its ideas were reflected in the operas of Giacomo Puccini and Francesco Cilea among other composers and, later on, in Italian cinema.

World premiere: 17 May 1890, Teatro Costanzi, Rome
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 18 January 1893 (in Russian, translation by Mikhail Ivanov and Nikolai Spassky)
Production premiere: 25 November 2020

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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