Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, adapted from a play and short story written by Giovanni Verga
Pagliacci, music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Approximate running time: 3 hrs 5 mins
Opera’s indomitable double bill returns in Sir David McVicar’s searing production from the 2014–15 season. Tenor Yonghoon Lee and mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana star in Cavalleria Rusticana, the tragedy of ancient codes and illicit love, Sicilian style. In the second half of the pair of verismo potboilers, tenor Roberto Alagna is the murderous clown Canio and soprano Barbara Frittoli is his philandering wife. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium.
Sung in: Italian
Jonas Kaufmann has canceled his performances in this season’s new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut due to illness.
Star tenor Roberto Alagna—currently at the Met giving an acclaimed performance of Canio in Pagliacci—will sing his first-ever performances of des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, replacing Kaufmann. To allow time for him learn the staging before the February 12 new production premiere, Alagna must withdraw from his remaining performances as Canio as he undertakes this new challenge. The French tenor, who has sung more than 100 Met performances since 1996, learned the role of des Grieux for a 2006 series of performances that were canceled, meaning that this season’s Met performances are the first time he will ever sing the part onstage.
Marco Berti, currently starring at the Met as Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot, will replace Alagna as Canio in the remaining performances of Pagliacci. These performances will be Berti’s Met role debut as Canio.
Photo Credits: Metropolitan Opera