15 Dec, 2021
Two Operas: Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana in one incredible performance.
Featuring - Suor Angelica Cast
SISTER ANGELICA (Soprano) Antonia Cifrone
THE PRINCESS, her aunt (Contralto) Isebel del Paoli
Director: Giuseppe Acquaviva
Conductor: Luigi Travaglio
Featuring - Cavalleria Rusticana Cast
Santuzza, a young peasant woman Antonia Cifrone
Turridu, a young peasant Ugo Tarquini
Lucia, his mother Adele Lupo
Alfio, a carter Luca Simonetti
Lola, his wife Isebel del Paoli
Suor Angelica is the tragic tale of a woman who bears a child out of wedlock and is sent to a convent to repent for her sins. The opera follows the sisters on a particular holiday in their year, a celebration of May and the start of spring, when the evening sun lights the font in their courtyard golden. The opening of the opera follows the normal daily routines of the nuns: we see them being scolded for speaking out of turn or not completing tasks, gossiping about their sisters, and laughing together. Life continues as normal until one of the Touriers brings news of a splendid coach outside. The bell rings announcing a visitor, and the Abbess calls Sister Angelica to greet her aunt, the Princess, who has come to ask her to sign some papers. Despite the Abbess’s warnings, Angelica is overcome with emotion at her Aunt’s presence, the first visitor she’s had in seven years. She cannot hold her peace and asks frantically for news of her son. The Aunt’s news is devastating. Two years previously, Angelica’s son was stricken with a mortal sickness, and nothing could save him. In her distress, Angelica resolves there is only one option left for her to see her son again. A clarity comes over her as she makes a poison from her herb garden and drinks it. In her agony she screams for the sisters that she has committed suicide, and an offstage prayer asking for forgiveness can be heard. As Angelica dies, there is a miracle of light and the figure of the Virgin appears with a young boy.
Synopsis Cavalleria Rusticana
A village in Sicily, circa 1900. At dawn on Easter Sunday, Turiddu sings in the distance of his love for Lola, wife of the carter Alfio. She and Turiddu had been a couple before he joined the army. When he returned and found her married to Alfio, he seduced Santuzza but now has abandoned her and rekindled his relationship with Lola. Later in the morning, a distraught Santuzza approaches the tavern of Mamma Lucia, Turiddu’s mother, who tells her that her son is away buying wine. But Santuzza knows that Turiddu has been seen during the night in the village. Alfio arrives with a group of men, boasting of his horses—and of Lola. He asks Mamma Lucia if she has any more of her good wine. When she says that Turiddu has gone to get more, Alfio replies that he saw him near his house that same morning. Lucia is surprised, but Santuzza tells her to keep quiet. As the villagers follow the procession to church, Santuzza stays behind and pours out her grief about Turiddu to Mamma Lucia. The old woman expresses her pity, then also leaves for Mass. Turiddu arrives in the piazza. When Santuzza confronts him about his affair with Lola, he denies her accusations. Just then Lola passes by on her way to church. She mocks Santuzza, and Turiddu turns to follow her. Santuzza begs him to stay and implores him not to abandon her. Refusing to listen, Turiddu leaves, and Santuzza curses him. Alfio appears, late for Mass. Santuzza tells him that Lola went to church with Turiddu and reveals that she has been cheating on him. In a rage, Alfio swears to get even and rushes off, leaving behind the now conscience-stricken Santuzza.
Returning from the church the villagers gather at Mamma Lucia’s tavern. Turiddu leads them in a drinking song, but the atmosphere becomes tense when Alfio appears. He refuses Turiddu’s offer of wine and instead challenges him to a knife fight. Turiddu admits his guilt but is determined to go through with the fight, for Santuzza’s sake as well as for his honor. The two men agree to meet outside the village. Alone with his mother, Turiddu begs her to take care of Santuzza if he doesn’t come back, then runs off to the fight. As Mamma Lucia waits anxiously, shouts are heard in the distance. A woman runs in screaming that Turiddu has been killed.
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