[ Naxos Blu-ray / Blu-ray ]
Release Date: Friday 9 April 2021
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These two pinnacles of Italian opera, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana have it all - love, infidelity, betrayal, jealousy and murder. Both are classic examples of verismo operas that dramatise the lives of ordinary people: Pagliacci fuelled by the tension between everyday life and the aesthetic world of the stage, Cavalleria rusticana juxtaposing unbridled passion with profound faith. Robert Carsen's widely acclaimed 2019 production plays a masterful game of theatre-in-theatre, avoiding clichés and calling into question the nature of reality.
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
Anita Rachvelishvili (mezzo-soprano), Rihab Chaieb, Brian Jagde (tenor), Roman Burdenko, Elena Zilio (contralto), Chorus of Dutch National Opera, Lorenzo Viotti
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Ailyn Pérez (soprano), Roman Burdenko, Brandon Jovanovich (tenor), Marco Ciaponi, Mattia Olivieri, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus of Dutch National Opera, Lorenzo Viotti, Robert Carsen
"Anita Rachvelisvili is the undisputed star of Cav. She sings Santuzza as an unashamed mezzo, and her chest voice is thrilling in this music. However, her top notes don't carry a hint of strain, and she is a hugely compelling stage presence throughout. Brian Jagde's love rat Turridu is rakish and appealing, never a caricature villain, and he sings with electric energy. Rihab Chaieb is a light-voiced Lola, but she's so appealing that it's completely clear why Turridu is besotted with her. Elena Zilio brings star power to the brief role of Mamma Lucia, and Burdenko's Alfio is brusque and down to earth." MusicWeb Recommended