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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Cav/Pag

05/19/2013 1:00 pm
05/19/2013 4:30 pm


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:

Today a classic pairing: Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci.

I return this Sunday to Sony Classical's ongoing series "The Metropolitan Opera" derived from the audio archives of the Met. These are airtapes of live broadcasts of onstage performances. The old reel-to-reels have been digitally mastered for compact disc to the public. They preserve for posterity the voices of singers from what some consider the Golden Age of opera singing.

"Rustic Chivalry" and "Clowns" are two verismo warhorses of the repertoire that have often been staged back-to-back. They were given together at the Met on April 11, 1964. Nello Santi directs the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and chorus. Two American star singers at the Met from that period are heard in the Mascagni one-acter: soprano Eileen Farrell as Santuzza, opposite tenor Richard Tucker as Turiddu. In Leoncavallo's work it's Italian tenor Franco Corelli, cast as Canio, who gets to belt out that world-famous lament, "Laugh, clown. . !"