Recommend The Met Opera HD Live

April 25, 2015

I have wanted to see Mascagni’s Calalleria Rusticana for a while and since San Francisco Opera has not done it, I thought I would try the Metropolitan Opera in a theater. It was a wonderful experience that I would recommend. You feel like you are in the Met with a back stage pass. I will definitely go again. The production was fabulous and intelligent. I won’t do a critique other than to say they made it real.

Verismo (realism) refers to the late-nineteenth-century Italian movement of the giovane scuola (young school) in literature, art, and music towards naturalism by spotlighting the passions of working class men and women. Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) ushered in the Italian verismo movement with his masterful one-act melodrama Cavalleria rusticana, which introduced audiences to the passions of Sicily. Mascagni’s success spawned other artists to produce similar one-act operas that introduced fierce and sordid emotions including lust, betrayal, hatred, and even murder.

Mascagni came from humble roots, he entered his composition for Cavalleria rusticana in a competition to write a short one or two-act opera and was the winner.


Introductory woman’s chorus: The orange trees in the green groves scent the air, the larks sing through the flowering myrtles; now is the time for everyone to murmur the tender the tender song which quickens the heart. “Cavalleria rusticana” composed by Pietro Mascagni, 1963-1945 with libretto by Guido Menasci and Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti. Drawing by Meredith Eliassen.


The drama is hot when Santuzza learns she has lost her lover to a married woman named Lola, and it gets hotter when on Easter morning Santuzza informs Lola’s husband of the affair.

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