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Turiddu returns from war to find his love, Lola, married to another. In a scheme to induce jealousy, he seduces Santuzza. As swiftly as she is beguiled, Santuzza is discarded while Turiddu begins an affair with his old flame. After the conclusion of Easter Mass, passions erupt and expose the ugliness of jealousy. With stirring melodies as iconic as the story, Cavalleria rusticana reveals the consequences of infidelity and the lengths we might go to for revenge.
The passions of ordinary people take center stage in Leoncavallo’s classic verismo tale of resentment and possession. Drama seeps into the fabric of a small traveling theater troupe led by Canio and his wife, Nedda. When his suspicions of Nedda’s affair are confirmed, Canio must put on a smile and entertain despite his broken heart. Numb to the ugliness of their world, the audience is left to interpret whether the plot before them is theater or reality.
Content Advisory: This double billing of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci contains some mature themes that may be disturbing to audiences, including extramarital affairs, violence, sexual assault, and homicide.
Broadway World: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA / PAGLIACCI at Lyric by Kelly Luck
Bachtrack: Pity and terror in Kansas City’s Cav & Pag by Hilary Stroh