WNO: Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci

Donald Gordon Theatre


This perfect pairing of tragedies was Welsh National Opera’s first performance in 1946. Cav & Pag (as they are affectionately known) are as full-on and intense as Italian opera gets.

Each opera packed in much high drama and powerful music in just over an hour. Cavalleria Rusticana’s highlights include the glorious Easter Hymn andIntermezzoPagliacci features one of the greatest of all tenor arias, Vesti la giubba, in which the clown Canio has just learnt that his wife is having an affair. He pitifully dwells on his situation while getting ready to take to the stage. He must act the fool on stage while dying inside.

The sumptuous period-set production featured a recreation of a Sicilian village square and it was only fitting that the cast for these birthday performances included some of Wales’s greatest opera talent.

Conductor Carlo Rizzi
Director Elijah Moshinsky
Designer Michael Yeargan
Lighting Designer Howard Harrison

Cavalleria Rusticana cast
Gwyn Hughes Jones
Alfio David Kempster
Santuzza Camilla Roberts
Mamma Lucia Anne-Marie Owens
Lola Rebecca Afonwy-Jones

Pagliacci cast
 Gwyn Hughes Jones
Tonio David Kempster
Nedda TBA
Silvio TBA

These operas were sung in Italian with surtitles in English and Welsh.