Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

06/03/2018 - 22/03/2018

One of the most popular opera double-headers is once again on the bill at La Monnaie after an absence of 15 years. In these two short operas, obsessive love and jealousy give rise to explosive emotions and passionate outbursts in the music. In both Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, the stage is peopled by characters of flesh and blood. Reality becomes theatre and, when the masks drop, the theatre becomes reality. Mascagni and Leoncavallo brought rural Italy to the opera stage, ushering in musical verismo. Following his summery Elisir d’amore (2015), Damiano Michieletto is our guest once more with a Mediterranean drama that seems tailor-made for him. He moves the action to the late twentieth century, in a village in southern Italy in the grip of poverty and hypocrisy. Together with the spectators in Pagliacci, we may ask ourselves ‘Do they really? Is it serious?’ Come along and find out for yourself.


Cavalleria rusticana

Turiddu was once in love with Lola, but when he returns from military service, he learns that she has married Alfio. After hearing that, he starts a relationship with Santuzza. Easter Sunday in a Sicilian village: Turiddu meets Lola in secret; Santuzza suspects that Turiddu is unfaithful and confronts both his mother, Mamma Lucia, and Turiddu himself. She begs her beloved to come back to her, but in vain: Turiddu refuses to yield to her jealous pleas and rejects her. The resentful Santuzza tells Alfio what has been going on behind his back. Alfio challenges Turiddu to a duel. A voice cries out that Turiddu has been killed.


It is the feast of the Assumption in a village in Calabria. A troop of actors, led by Canio, arrives to stage a play. Canio’s wife Nedda rejects the advances of her fellow actor Tonio. Hurt by this rejection, Tonio swears he will have vengeance. He overhears a conversation between Nedda and her lover, Silvio, with whom she intends to run away. Tonio informs Canio. In the play, Nedda plays the part of Colombina, who betrays her husband, Pagliaccio (Canio), with Arlecchino. In the course of the performance, Canio becomes increasingly enraged. Finally – at first sight, it seems, in his stage role as a jealous husband – he stabs both his wife and her lover to death.

Practical information

  • La Monnaie
    • Place de la Monnaie
    • 1000 Brussels
  • Timetable
    06-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    07-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    09-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    11-03-2018 03:00 PM -
    13-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    14-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    16-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    18-03-2018 03:00 PM -
    20-03-2018 02:00 PM -
    21-03-2018 07:30 PM -
    22-03-2018 07:00 PM -