Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Santuzza – Tiziana Bellavista,
Turiddu – Enrico Nenci,
Compar Alfio – Lisando Guinis,
Mamma Lucia – Cristiana Foglia,
Lola – Barbara Nizzi,
Brass Counter-quintet the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino,
Montughi Choir – directed by Mº Enrico Rotoli,
Mº Fabiano Fiorenzani – director.
Pietro Mascagni entered a competition to write a one act opera. There were 73 competitors and when the opera was first performed on the 17th May 1890 he won first prize, with Cavalleria Rusticana.
It is a story of vanquished love, betrayal and revenge, set in a Sicilian village in the 19th century. Turiddu a young soldier returns from the army to discover his fiancé Lola has married a cartier Alfio, whilst he was away. In revenge, Turiddu seduces Santuzza a young woman in the village. As the opera begins, Lola, overcome by her jealousy of Santuzza begins an adulterous affair with Turiddu.
In the main square the villagers gather. Santuzza approaches Lucia, Turiddu’s mother and starts to talk to her. Alfio approaches with the villagers and sings about the joys of life and love of his wife. He asks Lucia for some of her fine wine. Alfio leaves, the choir inside the church sings the Regina Coeli and the villagers sing an Easter hymn.
Santuzza tells Luci of her seduction by Turiddu and his abandonment of her. Lucia goes into the church and Santuzza waits for Turiddu. When he enters, she upbraids him. Lola enters the square singing. She mocks Santuzza and goes into the chur ch. Turiddu argues with Santuzza and throws her to the ground and follows Lola. Alfio arrives and Santuzza tells him of Lola’s betrayal. He vows revenge.
The square is empty and the famous intermezzo is played.
The villagers come out of church and Turiddu invites them to his mother’s wine shop, delighted he is with Lola and that Santuzza has gone. Alfio enters and challenges him to a duel. They both leave and someone in the distance calls out “They have murdered Turiddu.” Santuzza faints and Lucia collapses in the arms of the villagers.