September 4, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 2010.
Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.
Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University
Composer: Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo
Conductor: Greg Hocking, Matthew Toogood
Director: Hugh Halliday
Starring: David Rogers Smith, Roy Best, Dannielle Calder, Kerry Gill.
The most famous of operatic twins, ‘Cav and Pag’ as this much loved operatic double bill in the repertoire is known, is a sure-fire success with audiences due to the accessibility, expressiveness and power of the music combined with the strength of the story lines. Both operas are intense dramas of sexual jealousy and revenge, set in small Italian villages. ’Cav and Pag’ revolutionised Italian opera and paved the way for the huge success of Puccini.
Melbourne Opera’s 2007 production of ’Cavalleria Rusticana’ (Rustic Chivalry) was acclaimed by the critics. ’Grabs the audience by the throat from the outset, another Halliday / Hocking sure fire hit’ (Herald Sun) and played to packed houses both in Melbourne and on tour.
Now Melbourne Opera is proud to announce a new production of ’Pagliacci’, (The Clowns) with an all star cast featuring leading Australian baritone Gary Rowley playing the pivotal roles of Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. Quite a rare tour de force. He is joined in the double bill by a stellar cast of leading Australian singers including the fabulous Roy Best and Nick Seidemann as Turiddu, Danielle Calder, Carmela De Losinno, Kerry Gill, Vanessa West and as Canio, the tragic clown in Pagliacci, David Rogers-Smith, alternating with Salvatore Granata, Phillip Calcagno and Jenny Wakefield appear along with Michael Lapina and Selena Pettifer, featuring over 80 performers, the 40 voice Melbourne Opera Chorus, Children’s chorus and the acclaimed 42 piece Melbourne Opera Orchestra conducted by Matthew Toogood and Greg Hocking.