The light and the dark of Italian opera on stage in Monaco this month

opera monaco

Over the course of four shows at the Monaco opera house later this month, Pietro Mascagni’s greatest success, the dark and stormy Cavalleria Rusticana, and Giacomo Puccini’s Danté-inspired Gianni Schicchi will be retold in a new production by Grischa Asagaroff.  

Beginning with a gala performance on Friday 23rd February, these two wildly different tales – one of seduction and murder, and the other of clever yet comedic deceit – will be brought together by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and set to music from the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Chœur de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, under the conductorship of Speranza Scappucci. 

Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana from 1889 is based on a short story of the same name that was written by Giovanni Verga. Set in a small and conservative Sicilian village in the late 19th century, it is a tale of jealousy, betrayal and murder amidst an ongoing love story that ends in a duel to the death.  

Gianni Schicchi, which is widely known as Giacomo Puccini’s only comedy, uses an incident from Dante’s Divine Comedy as its core and is as fresh today as it was a century ago when it first opened in New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1918.  

See more: Puccini’s legacy to be honoured with gala evening at the Opéra de Nice

It is the story of a clever medieval peasant living in Florence who is called upon by the scheming, greedy relatives of a rich old man who want him to falsify the old man’s will for them.  

In a sleight of hand, he rewrites the will and leaves the fortune to himself, which he will use to pay for his daughter’s extravagant upcoming wedding to delectable comic effect.  

In addition to the gala show, there will be three more performances: Sunday 25th at 3pm, Tuesday 27th at 8pm and Thursday 29th February at 8pm.  

For tickets and more information, click here

Read related:

Next month at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo: the light, the dark and a sold-out visit from Rolando Villazón


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Photo credit: OMC / Marco Borrelli