Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Encore for Met double on Sunday

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Patricia Racette (left) as Nedda and Marcelo Alvarez as Canio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.
Eva-Maria Westbroek as Santuzza (left) and Marcelo Alvarez as Turiddu in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.
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The Met: Live in HD concluded its ninth season last Saturday with a live transmission of its new production of the popular double bill, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. An estimated attendance of 80,000 persons in North America resulted in a gross of US$1.84 million. It was seen live on more than 800 screens.

An estimated additional 90,000 people saw it live on 900 screens in 35 countries in Europe and 11 countries in Latin America, as well as Russia, Israel, Jamaica, and Morocco.

Delayed showings throughout Asia, Australia, Madagascar, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as encore performances in North America and Europe, are expected to boost worldwide attendance to more than 240,000.

Encore screenings are on Wednesday, April 29, in the US, Sunday, May 3, in Jamaica and in Canada on Saturday, June 6 and Monday, June 8.

The Jamaican encore showing starts at 11:30 a.m.

The cast is led by Argentinean tenor Marcelo Alvarez. He recently made his company role debut in both leading tenor parts - the unrepentant seducer Turiddu and the clown Canio. Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sang the role of Santuzza, the abandoned woman at the heart of Cavalleria Rusticana, and American soprano Patricia Racette starred as Canio's ill-fated wife Nedda in Pagliacci.

 

GAGNIDZEIN BOTH

 

The Georgian baritone George Gagnidze also starred in both operas, singing the roles of Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. The new production was directed by David McVicar and the performance was led by the Met's principal conductor, Fabio Luisi.

The live transmission, hosted by Susan Graham, was directed for cinema by Gary Halvorson.

Earlier this week, The Met: Live in HD received the first-ever Excellence in Alternative Content Award at CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners, which is held in Las Vegas.

The series, now the largest provider of alternative cinema content in the world, has expanded its distribution to more than 2,000 cinemas in 70 countries and has sold more than 17 million tickets since its inception in 2006. The Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci double bill was the last of 10 live transmissions shown this season.

 

DOUBLEBILL

 

This Sunday opera fans in Jamaica will have another chance to enjoy this passionate double bill about jealous husbands and the consequences of illicit love and betrayal. The sheer beauty and emotional power of the score of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and the energy and passion of Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci are notable.

The two operas by Italian composers are now always paired and are widely regarded as being opera's most long-standing double ticket.

The older of the two composers, Pietro Mascagni, was renown for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria Rusticana is said to have caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history by single-handedly ushering in the verismo movement in Italian dramatic music.

Verismo has its origins in the Italian literary movement, also called verismo. The literary movement, in turn, was related to the international literary movement of naturalism, as practised by the French writer Emile Zola and others. Like naturalism, the verismo literary movement sought to portray the world with greater realism.

The son of a judge, Ruggero Leoncavallo was born in Naples in 1857 and was educated at San Pietro a Majella Conservatory. After years spent teaching and struggling to produce an opera, he witnessed the monumental success of Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana in 1890, and was motivated to produce his own verismo hit, Pagliacci. Leoncavallo reportedly said that the plot of this work was inspired by a real-life murder trial in Montalto Uffugo, over which his father had presided.

Pagliacci was performed in Milan in 1892 with immediate success. Today it is the only work by Leoncavallo in the standard operatic repertoire.

Tickets are on sale at www.palaceamusement.com, with a Palace Card, and at at participating cinema box offices.