Opera & Musical Theater

Opera Cheat Sheet: Cavalleria Rusticana And Pagliacci (revised)

A quick overview of the famous “Cav and Pag” opera pairing, Saturday’s Met Opera broadcast.


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In this OCS twofer, Houston Public Media's St.John Flynn and Eric Skelly of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra give quick intros to Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, late 19th-century one-act operas, often paired on the same program as Cav & Pag, that define the verismo movement.

In Cavalleria Rusticana, a young man learns what happens to a guy who sleeps with another man's wife when his girlfriend is pregnant! Pagliacci is the story of a troupe of street performers who find that, when you're on the road, life can begin to imitate art a little too much.

Tune in for the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci Saturday, February 6th, at noon on Houston Public Media Classical 91.7.