Pietro Mascagni

Cavalleria rusticana

opera in two acts

Recommended age 12+


Libretto: Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci based on the eponymous play by Giovanni Verga
Musical director: Honoured Artist of Ukraine Viktor Ploskina
Director: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Mikhail Pandzhavidze
Chorus master: People’s Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Designer: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Kostiuchenko
Costume designer: Ekaterina Shimanovich
Lighting designer: Lyudmila Kunash
Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes with one interval
Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles
Premiere: 30 April 2017


The action takes place in Sicily. The square of a village. Early morning. The bell chimes, calling the villagers to Easter mass. Santuzza enters the square. She tries to pry out of Lucia where her son Turridu was last night. Lucia is sure that he went to the town to get some wine. Santuzza says that he has been seen by the window of the carter Alfio’s wife, beautiful villager Lola.

The tinkle of bells and the crack of a whip are heard: a happy and cheerful Alfio has arrived to his beloved Lola. Alfio asks Lucia if she has stocked up on wine. When she replies that it’s Turridu who has left for wine, he exclaims his astonishment: he has seen Turridu today not far from his house. An Easter service begins. The choir of the believers is joined by Santuzza’s inspired prayer. Alone with Lucia again, Santuzza tells her that Turridu has betrayed her for Lola. He has been in love with Lola for long, but she didn’t wait for him to return from the army and married the carter Alfio. Turridu’s grief was ephemeral: he seduced Santuzza soon. Alas, his happiness was delusive. Turridu has never stopped loving Lola, and the mischievous girl has spared no coquetry to have him back. She hasn’t been loyal to her husband for long. No sooner had Alfio left home that night than Santuzza opened the door to Turridu.

Lucia is astonished. Turridu enters. Santuzza wants to have a last talk with him. He tries to escape from Santuzza’s jealous rebukes by entering the church, but she doesn’t let him go. A merry song is heard in the distance: a carefree Lola is walking to the church. She notices Turridu and Santuzza, mocks at her and passes by. Turridu pounces on Santuzza: he hates her as she has driven a wedge between him and Lola.       

Alfio enters the square. In a fit of despair, Santuzza tells him that Lola has been cheating on him with Turridu. Alfio is reluctant to believe it, but Santuzza is convincing. Alfio vows to revenge himself.  

Dusk is falling. The service is over. The villagers come out of the church and gather at the tavern. Turridu suggests that Resurrection be marked with a glass of fresh wine. Looking at Lola, he proposes a love toast. He offers a glass of wine to approaching Alfio, but he refuses it sharply. Turridu is insulted and overcome by the desire to challenge the offender to a duel. Following an old custom, the rivals embrace, and Turridu bites Alfio’s ear.

Alone, Turridu recollects his life: he has made so many mistakes. He realizes how unfair he has been to Santuzza.

Alfio comes. Turridu bids farewell to his mother. He asks Lucia to take care of the loyal, loving, honest Santuzza. Turridu’s mother makes vain attempts to stop him.

There’s a noise in the distance. A cry is heard, “Turridu has been murdered!”