Sunday 29th may 2016 at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff. A production of Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni and Pagliacci by Leoncavallo,performed by the Welsh National Opera company.
We begin with Cavalleria rusticana (cav for short) set in a village in Sicilly in 1880 on Easter Sunday. The story is centred around Turridu’s love for Lola who is married to Alfio with the rivalry between the two men intense, as we move to the final scenes when Alfio and Turiddu fight until Turridu is killed. As soon as the music began I was in floods of tears, the orchestra were amazing, magnificent throughout the whole opera,as they always are.
As we move through this amazing opera the chorus come into their own with fabulous,scintillating voices raising the roof of the centre. The main leads were also magnificent with David Kempster as Alfio,Gwyn Hughes Jones as Turridu and Camilla Roberts as Santuzza. Wow what voices, these guys were amazing,absolutely fabulous, if the chorus raised the roof this trio sent it into orbit.
A word of praise for the set,you actually thought you were looking out of a huge window onto a street in Sicilly. What a magnificent effort by the whole team at WNO. Fantastic.
A beautiful opera from start to finish,proving to many people that the WNO have to be one of the best companies in the world today,Well I think so anyway.
After the interval we moved on to Pagliacci (pag for short), a story of a troupe of players performing in a Calabrian village. We meet Tonio played by David Kempster, Canio by Gwyn Hughes Jones and Nedda (Canio’s wife) by Meeta Raval. Centred around these characters we find that Nedda has a lover and Canio does not know who and as the story continues in a jealous rage Canio kills Nedda and her lover at the end of the opera.
The singing was superb again, with Gwyn Hughes Jones,Meeta Raval and David Kempster taking centre stage. These three were simply stunning and deserve all the applause they got. Along with the rest of the cast and chorus this was a heavenly performance. Not to forget the orchestra,who again, were amazing brilliantly conducted by Carlo Rizzi.
A special mention to all the children in the cast of both operas who all played their parts in this fantastic production.
This is again a must see for all opera lovers,before it tours. I will definitely be back to see it for a second time next week.