Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Reviewed by Dwight Casimere
Photos courtesy Metropolitan Opera

MET LIVE HD ENCORE PRESENTATION Wednesday April 29, 6:30pm local time
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NEW YORK---Opera lovers are in for a real treat when the Metropolitan Opera presents and Encore Presentation of its Live in HD transmission of Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Rugerro Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. The new production from Sir David McVicar places the action in the same Sicilian Village, yet the operas take place in two distinct time periods; Cavalleria in the rustic village square atmosphere of 1900  Sicily'. when the region was virtually a Church-State to the free-wheeling post World War II years, where the setting for Pagliacci is a truck stop where a hapless vaudeville troop has set up shop.

The fact that Met super-sopranos Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Pag) sing the roles of the unlucky heroines  and heroic tenor Marcelo Alvarez takes on the dual roles of Turridu in Cav and the tragic clown Canio in Pag, makes this a performance that is not to be missed.

Fabio Luisi embellishes the rich music with just the right amount of flourish and drama and Rae Smith, who did War Horse at the Beaumont a few  years ago, provides convertible sets that effectively evoke the two time periods. Costumes by Moritz Junge, Lighting Design by Paule Constable and superb Choreography from Andrew George and the work of Vaudeville Consultant Emil Wolk in Pagliacci, make this an all-encompassing experience. Live HD Director, the award-winning television veteran Gary Halvorson (Two and a Half Men), give this Live in HD presentation a depth and polish that is noteworthy. Met superstar Susan Graham provides insightful questions for the backstage interviews with all of the principals, which further elucidates the experience.

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci run through May 8 at the Metropolitan Opera. The April 25 matinee will be re-broadcast live in HD tonight at 6:30pm in theatres everywhere. Visit or

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