Pagliacci / Cavalleria Rusticana

Dutch National Opera

Pagliacci / Cavalleria Rusticana

Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana are the most famous twins in opera history. Packed with love, infidelity, betrayal, jealously and murder, these two pinnacles of the Italian opera repertoire have it all.

Verismo Opera

Pagliacci (‘Comedians’) and Cavalleria rusticana (‘Rustic chivalry’) are both classic examples of verismo operas, telling so-called realistic stories about the lives of ordinary people. Here, hot-headed southern temperaments spark off rivalries and threaten relationships.


Whereas Pagliacci is fuelled by the tension between everyday life and the aesthetic world of the stage, Cavalleria rusticana juxtaposes unbridled passion against profound faith. Director Robert Carsen flips tradition by opening with Pagliacci.

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