Gran Teatre del Liceu premiers the awarded double program of Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci

El Gran Teatre del Liceu estrena el premiado doble programa de Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci

The 2016 deserving of the Laurence Olivier Award for the best opera show, arrives on stage at the Gran Teatre del Liceu with the stage direction of Damiano Michieletto, the musical direction of Henrik Nánási and the best voices of the verista repertoire.


The two most emblematic titles of verismo, Cavalleria rusticana from Mascagni and Pagliacci from Leoncavallo, they arrive at Gran Teatre del Liceu from December 5 to 22 after winning the Laurence Olivier Award for the best opera show of 2016. One of the most sought-after stage directors, Damiano Michieletto, signs this dazzling production that he has left footprint in the public of the Royal Opera House and now arrives in Barcelona under the baton of Henrik Nánási and with the participation of the Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of Liceu, which in addition to having 85 members this time, will also be accompanied by the ensemble VEUS – Cor Amics de la Unió.


One of the most charismatic and precise singers of this century, the French tenor Roberto Alagna, returns to Liceu after six years of absence to face an authentic tour de force: sing in the same session the leading roles of Turiddu and Canio. Also they return voices of first international level like those of the Argentine tenor Marcelo Álvarez, who replaces Fabio Sartori in the role of Canio, or that of the Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in the role of Nedda. This double program will also be an opportunity to hear for the first time in Barcelona the voices of two of the most demanded sopranos of the moment, Elena Pankratova and Oksana Dyka, who will alternate in the role of Santuzza. Other prominent names on the international scene such as Teodor Ilincai, Martin Muehle, Gabriele Viviani, Àngel Òdena or Mercedes Gancedo, among others, complete the cast.

Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci , Gran Teatre del Liceu 2019 ©A. Bofill

Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci , Gran Teatre del Liceu 2019 © A. Bofill

Tradition has established that, in theaters, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci are represented in a row. Damiano Michieletto has wanted to go further and intertwine them “as if they were two chapters of the same story”, so that we even see characters Pagliacci appearing within the plot of Cavalleria rusticana or characters of the latter still roaming the stage as it begins The second opera. Michieletto finds many points in common between both titles: from the location, southern Italy, to “jealousy, murder, revenge, religion, the presence of the choir, the voice deployed and passionate …”.


The stories of the two operas are cruel and dominated by a visceral drive, but they are also habitual, human and to some extent everyday. Verism aspires to represent life as it is in the lower social strata. Thus, Pagliacci is the story of a comedian company that goes through the villages of southern Italy, with an infidelity discovered by chance that ends in a painful murder on stage, while Cavalleria Rusticana It is another story of infidelities behind the dense moral shadow of religion that ends with a duel of honor with slashes.

Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci , Gran Teatre del Liceu 2019 ©A. Bofill

Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci , Gran Teatre del Liceu 2019 ©A. Bofill

The musical director Henrik Nánási faces two works with sublime introductions, intermezzi memorable, great duets and a splendid aria for opera. From Cavalleria Rusticana The tenor and soprano duet interpreted by Turiddu and Santuzza especially stand out in the first act, “Ah! I saw it ”, the true climax of the opera, or also the intermezzo, the most popular fragment. In Pagliacci the most memorable moments are without a doubt the prologue “Yes può? Yes può? ”And Cania’s aria“ Vesti la giubba ”, one of the best known arias in the entire repertoire.


Cavalleria rusticana is an opera in an act with music by Pietro Mascagni and libretto by Giovanni Targioni and Guido Menasci. It premiered for the first time on May 17, 1890 at the Costanzi Theater in Rome. In Barcelona it would arrive a year later, on May 9, 1891, at Liceu, where it has been represented a total of 107 times, the last being on April 20, 2011. Pagliacci is an opera in two acts with libretto and music of Ruggero Leoncavallo that premiered on May 21, 1892 at the Dal Verme Theater in Milà. 3 years later he would arrive in Barcelona, ​​also at Liceu, on January 25, 1895, where he has been represented 104 times.