Opera Cavalleria Rusticana

 

Cast:
SANTUZZA, a peasant girl (soprano or mezzo-soprano)
TURIDDU, a young peasant (tenor)
LUCIA, his mother (contralto)
ALFIO, a carter (baritone)
LOLA, his wife (mezzo-soprano)
CHORUS: villagers
Place: A village in Sicily
Time: About 1880, on Easter Sunday


Cavalleria rusticana is the opera which Anthony Corleone appeared in at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Written by Pietro Mascagni, it first premiered in 1890.

  1. When 'Cavalleria Rusticana' was produced, no Italian opera had achieved such a triumph since 'Aida' - a period to nearly twenty years. It was hoped that Mascagni would prove to be Verdi’s successor, a hope which, needless to say, has not been fulfilled.
  2. A sensation from the first notes of its premiere on May 17, 1890, Cavalleria rusticana appears inMOTion at the rustic and beautiful Meadow Brook Amphitheater, the perfect place for an opera that brings to life the beauty of the countryside.
  3. DETROIT, April 29, 2021 – Michigan Opera Theatre leadership has postponed the first performance of the 2021-22 season to allow for more favorable weather conditions, and announces the production’s international cast. A concert version of Cavalleria rusticana was set to be performed at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on May 15, but MOT officials have postponed the Read More.
Prelude
Siciliana
TURIDDU
behind the curtain
O Lola, white and red as the cherry
In your nightdress white as milk,
When you appear at the window you smile;
Happy he who gave you your first kiss!
The mark of blood is over your door,
But I care not if I am killed;
If through you I die and go to Paradise,
It will not be Paradise for me unless you are there.
Ah!
ONE AND ONLY ACT
A square in the village. In the background right, a church with a door. On the left, the inn and Mother Lucia's house. At first the stage is empty. Dawn is breaking.
Introductory Chorus
Chorus
CHORUS
from within
Ah!
WOMEN
from within
The orange trees lilt he green grovesCavalier rusticana opera youtube
Scent the air,
The larks sing
Through the flowering myrtles;
Now is the time
For everyone to murmur
The tender song
Which quickens the heart.
The women enter.
MEN
from within
Across the fields
Amid the golden corn
The sound of your shuttles
Reaches us
In our fatigue.
Lightening our labour.
We think of you,
Sweet rays of sunshine.
We hasten to you
As a bird flies
To his mate's call.
The men enter.
WOMEN
Now cease
Your rustic tasks;
The blessed Virgin is gladdened
By the Saviour;
Now is the time
For everyone to murmur
The tender song
Which quickens the heart.
MEN
Across the fields, etc.
WOMEN
The orange trees in the green groves, etc.
The chorus crosses the stage and goes out.
Scene
Santuzza and Lucia
SANTUZZA
entering
Tell me, mother Lucia …
LUCIA
surprised
You? What do you want?
SANTUZZA
Where is Turiddu?
LUCIA
Have you come here
To look for my son?
SANTUZZA
I beg you to forgive me.
I only want to know where I can find him.
LUCIA
I do not know.
Don't bother me!
SANTUZZA
Mother Lucia, in tears I implore you,
Be merciful as Our Lord was to Magdalene
And tell me where Turiddu is …
LUCIA
He went to Francolonte
For the wine.
SANTUZZA
No! He was seen
In the village late last night.
LUCIA
What are you saying?
He's not returned home!
turning towards the door of her house
Come in!
SANTUZZA
desperately
I cannot enter your house!
I have been damned!
LUCIA
What then do you know
Of my son?
SANTUZZA

Opera Cavalleria Rusticana


What a thorn I have in my heart!
Scene with Alfio and Chorus
Alfio, Chorus and the above
ALFIO
The horses' hooves thunder,
The harness bells jingle,
The whip cracks. Get along!
Let the wind blow cold,
Rain or snow fall,
What care I?
CHORUS
O a carter's life
Is a fine life,
Going from place to place!
ALFIO
The whip cracks!
At home, awaiting me,
Is Lola, who loves me and comforts me
And is ever true.
The horses' hooves thunder,
The harness bells jingle,
It's Easter, and here I am!
CHORUS
O a carter's life, etc.
ALFIO
Get along! The whip cracks!
Here I am!
O a carter's life, etc.
It's Easter, and here I am!
Scene and Prayer
LUCIA
You are lucky, friend Alfio,

Cavalleria Rusticana Opera Arias

To be always so gay!
ALFIO
Mother Lucia,
Do you still have some
Of that vintage wine?
LUCIA
I know I haven't:
Turiddu has gone
To get some.
ALFIO
But he's still here!
I saw him this morning
Near my house.
LUCIA
surprised
What?
SANTUZZA
quickly to Lucia
Hush!
From the church is heard the Alleluja.
ALFIO
I'm going;
You women go to church.
exit
CHORUS
inside the church
Regina coeli laetare.
Alleluja!
Quia quem meruisti portare.
Alleluja!
Resurrexit sicut dixit.
Alleluja!
SANTUZZA, LUCIA and CHORUS
in the square
Let us rejoice
That Our Lord is not dead,
And in glory
Has opened the tomb!
Let us rejoice
That Our Lord is risen again
And today is gone up
Into the glory of Heaven!
CHORUS
inside the church
Alleluja!
All enter the church except Santuzza and Lucia.
Romance and Scene
Lucia and Santuzza
LUCIA
Why did you signal me
To be silent?
SANTUZZA
O mother, you know
That before he went for a soldier
Turiddu had sworn
Eternal faith to Lola.
On his return, he found her married,
And sought with a new love
To quell the flame
Which burned in his heart:
He loved me, I loved him.
But she, envious of my only delight
And forgetful of her husband,
Burned with jealousy …
She stole him from me …
And I am left disgraced;
Lola and Turiddu are lovers,
And I am left to weep.
LUCIA
Lord have mercy!
What is this you've come to tell me
On this holy day?
SANTUZZA
l am condemned!
O mother, go
And pray to God
And pray for me too!
When Turiddu comes,
I will plead with him
Once again.
LUCIA
going towards the church
Holy Mary,
Have mercy upon her!
exit
Scene
Santuzza and Turiddu
TURIDDU
entering
You here, Santuzza?
SANTUZZA
I was waiting here for you.
TURIDDU
It is Easter;
Aren't you going to church?
SANTUZZA
I cannot.
I must speak to you …
TURIDDU
I was looking for my mother.
SANTUZZA
I must speak to you …
TURIDDU
Not here! not here!
SANTUZZA
Where have you been?
TURIDDU
What do you mean?
At Francofonte!
SANTUZZA
No, its not true!
TURIDDU
Santuzza, believe me …
SANTUZZA
No, do not lie;
I saw you returning
Down the road …
And this morning at dawn
You were seen
Near Lola's door.
TURIDDU
Ha! You were spying on me!
SANTUZZA
No, I swear it.
Alfio, her husband,
Was telling us
Just now.
TURIDDU
Is this the way you return
The love I bear you?
Do you want me killed?
SANTUZZA
Oh, do not say such things …
TURIDDU
Leave me then, leave me;
In vain you try,
With your pleas for pity,
To lessen my scorn.
SANTUZZA
Then you love her?
TURIDDU
No.
SANTUZZA
Lola is
Far more lovely.
TURIDDU
Be quiet, I do not love her.
SANTUZZA
You do love her …
A curse upon her!
TURIDDU
Santuzza!
SANTUZZA
That wicked woman
Stole you from me!
TURIDDU
Take care, Santuzza.
I am not the slave
Of this mad
Jealousy of yours!
SANTUZZA
Beat me, insult me,
I love you and forgive you;
But my anguish
Is too much to hear.
Lola's Refrain
Lola and the above
LOLA
off-stage
O flower of the iris,
The angels in their beauty
Stand a thousandfold in Heaven,
But only one there is
As handsome as he. Ah!
entering
O flower of the iris …
Oh! Turiddu … has Alfio been here?
TURIDDU
I've just come into the square.
I do not know …
LOLA
Perhaps he was kept
At the blacksmith's,
But he can't he long.
ironically
And you … are you listening
To the service from the square?
TURIDDU
Santuzza was telling me …
SANTUZZA
darkly
I was saying that today is Easter,
And the Lord sees everything!
LOLA
Aren't you coming to Mass?
SANTUZZA
Not I: only they can go
Who know they are free from sin.
LOLA
I thank the Lord
And kiss the ground.
SANTUZZA
ironically
Oh, you're so good, Lola!
TURIDDU
to Lola
Come, let us leave her!
Why do we stay here?
LOLA
ironically
Do stay here!
SANTUZZA
to Turiddu
Yes, stay, oh stay,
I've more to tell you!
LOLA
The Lord be with you;
I'm going.
goes into the church
Duet
Santuzza and Turiddu
TURIDDU
angrily
Ah, you see?
What have you said … ?
SANTUZZA
You wished it: then so be it.
TURIDDU
rushing forward
Ah! By Heaven!
SANTUZZA
Tear me to pieces!
TURIDDU
turning away
No!
SANTUZZA
holding him back
Turiddu, listen!
TURIDDU
Go away!
SANTUZZA
No, no. Turiddu,
Stay with me awhile.
Why do you seek
To fly from me?
TURIDDU
Why do you follow me
And spy on me
Without respite
To the very doors of the church?
SANTUZZA
Your own Santuzza
Weeps and pleads with you;
How could you
Drive her away like this?
TURIDDU
Go, I say.
Do not plague me;
Vain is your repentance
After what you have done.
SANTUZZA
threateningly
Take care!
TURIDDU
I do not heed your anger.
He throws her to the ground and flees into the church.
SANTUZZA
in a fury
May your Easter be cursed, you traitor!
She falls, overcome with anguish.
Alfio, entering, encounters Santuzza.
Duet
Santuzza and Alfio
SANTUZZA
Oh! The Lord has sent you,
Good Alfio.
ALFIO
How far on is the Mass?
SANTUZZA
It's nearly over ... but listen!
Lola has gone with Turiddu!
ALFIO
in surprise
What are you saying?
SANTUZZA
That while you go driving
In rain and wind
To earn your living.
Lola is adorning your head
In an ugly way!
ALFIO
What! In Heaven's name,
Santa, what are you saying?
SANTUZZA
The truth. Turiddu
Stole my honour,
And your wife
Has stolen him from me!
ALFIO
If you're lying,
I'll tear your heart out!
SANTUZZA
My lips are not in the habit
Of uttering lies!
It was the bitter truth
I told you, alas,

Opera Cavalleria Rusticana Trama

In my shame
And my sorrow.
ALFIO
Santuzza,
Then I am grateful to you.
SANTUZZA
I am vile
To have told you this.
ALFIO
It is they who are vile:
I will not forgive them;
I will have vengeance
Before the sun goes down.
I will have blood,
My rage shall know no bounds,
And all my love
Shall end in hate.
exeunt
Symphonic Intermezzo
The people come out of church.
Lucia crosses the stage and goes into her house.

Scene, Chorus and Toasts
Lola, Turiddu and Chorus
MEN
Let us go homewards,
Friends, to where
Our womenfolk await us!
Let us hasten
Without delay
Now that gladness
Has soothed our hearts.
WOMEN
Let us go homewards,
Friends, to where
Our husbands await us!
Let us hasten
Without delay
Now that gladness
Has soothed our hearts.
The chorus goes off.
TURIDDU
to Lola as she goes
Mistress Lola,
Are you going
Without a word of greeting?
LOLA
I must go home:
I have not seen Alfio!
TURIDDU
Don't give it a thought;
He'll be coming to the square.
to the chorus
Meanwhile, friends,
Come, let's drink together!
All come to the inn table and take winecups.
Hurrah for the sparkling wine
Bubbling in the glass,
Bringing happiness
Like a lover's smile!
Hurrah for friendly wine
That livens every thought

Opera Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo


And banishes melancholy
In cheerful drinking!
CHORUS
Hurrah!
TURIDDU
to Lola
To your love!
He drinks.
LOLA
to Turiddu
To your good fortune!
She drinks.
TURIDDU
Drink up!
CHORUS, TURIDDU and LOLA
Hurrah! Drink up!
Continue the tournament!
CHORUS
Hurrah for the sparkling wine, etc.
enter Alfio
Finale
Alfio and the above
ALFIO
Greetings to you all!
CHORUS
Greetings, friend Alfio!
TURIDDU
Welcome!
You must drink with us:
fills a glass
Here, I've filled you a glass.

Opera Cavalleria Rusticana Youtube

ALFIO
rejecting it
Thank you, but I cannot
Accept your wine.
It would turn to poison
Inside me.
TURIDDU
throwing the wine away
As you please!
LOLA
Alas! How will this end?
SOME WOMEN
to Lola
Mistress Lola,
This is no place for us.
All the women go out, taking Lola with them.
OperaTURIDDU
Have you anything else to say to me?
ALFIO
I? Nothing!
TURIDDU
Then I'm at your service.
ALFIO
Right away?
TURIDDU
Right away!
Alfio and Turiddu embrace: Turiddu bites Alfio's right ear in challenge.
ALFIO
Friend Turiddu,
You bit my ear.Met opera cavalleria rusticana
meaningly
I am sure
We understand each other!
TURIDDU
Friend Alfio,
I know that I have wronged you;
And I swear to you
By Heaven above
That I would cut my throat
Like a dog
Save that … if I do not live,
Poor Santa
Will be left deserted …
She who gave herself to me …
violently
But I can plant my knife
In your heart!Cavalleria
ALFIO
coldly
My friend,
Do as you please;
I'll wait for you outside,
Behind the orchard.
exit
Lucia and Turiddu
TURIDDU
Mother,

Cavalleria Rusticana Meaning


That wine is strong.
And in truth I've drunk
Too much of it today …
I must go out into the fields.
But give me first
Your blessing.
As you did that day
When I went off as a soldier…
And then … mother… listen …
If I should not return
You must be a mother

Opera Cavalleria Rusticana Synopsis

To Santuzza,
Whom I promised
To lead to the altar.
LUCIA
My son, what is this you're saying?
TURIDDU
Oh, nothing!
It is the wine within me speaking.
Pray to Heaven for me!
One kiss, mother …
One more kiss … farewell!
He embraces her and rushes out.
Lucia, Santuzza and Chorus
LUCIA
desperately, hurrying alter him
Turiddu. What do you mean'?
Turiddu! Turiddu! Ah!
enter Santuzza
Santuzza!
SANTUZZA
throwing her arms round Lucia's neck
Oh mother!
The scene fills with people.
A confused noise is heard from the distance.

A WOMAN
Turiddu has been killed!
They all scream.

Music with Ease > 19th Century Italian Opera > Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) - Synopsis


Cavalleria Rusticana -
Synopsis
(English title: Rustic Chivalry)
An Opera by Pietro Mascagni


Opera, in one act, by Mascagni; words by Giovanni Targioni-Toggetti and G. Menasci, the libretto being founded on a story by Giovanni Verga. Produced, Constanzi Theatre, Rome, May 17, 1890. London, Shaftesbury Theatre, October 19, 1891. Covent Garden, May 16, 1892. America: Philadelphia, Grand Opera, House, September 9, 1891, under the direction of Gustav Hinrichs, with Selma Kronold (Santuzza), Miss Campbell (Lola), Jeannie Teal (Lucia), Guille (Turridu), Del Puente (Alfio). Chicago, September 30, 1891, with Minnie Hauck as Santuzza. New York, October 1, 1891, at afternoon 'dress rehearsal' at the Casino, under the direction of Rudolph Aronson, with Laura Bellini (Santuzza), Grace Golden (Lalo), Helen von Doenhof (Lucia), Charles Bassett (Turridu), William Pruette (Alfio), Gustav Kerker, conductor, Heinrich Conried, stage manager. Evening of same day, at the Lenox Lyceum, under the direction of Oscar Hammerstein, with Mme. Janouschoffsky (Santuzza), Mrs. Pemberton Hincks (Lola), Mrs. Jennie Bohner (Lucia), Payne Clarke (Turiddu), Herman Gerold (Alfio), Adolph Neuendorff, conductor. Metropolitan Opera House, December 30, 1891, with Eames as Santuzza: November 29, 1893, with Calvé (début) as Santuzza.
CHARACTERS
TURIDDU, a young soldier………………………….. Tenor
ALFIO, the village teamster…………………………. Baritone
LOLA, his wife……………………………………… Mezzo-soprano
MAMMA LUCIA, Turiddu’s mother………………. Contralto
SANTUZZA, a village girl…………………………. Soprano
Villagers, peasants, boys.
Time: The present, on Easter day.
Place: A village in Sicily.
'Cavalleria Rusticana' in its original form is a short story, compact and tense, by Giovanni Verga. From it was made the stage tragedy, in which Eleonora Duse displayed her great powers as an actress. It is a drama of swift action and intense emotion; of passion, betrayal, and retribution. Much has been made of the role played by the 'book' in contributing to the success of the opera. It is a first-rate libretto -- one of the best ever put forth. It inspired the composer to what so far has remained his only significant achievement. But only in that respect is it responsible for the success of 'Cavalleria Rusticana' as an opera. The hot blood of the story courses through the music of Mascagni, who in his score also has quieter passages, that make the cries of passion the more poignant. Like practically every enduring success, that of 'Cavalleria Rusticana' rests upon merit. From beginning to end it is an inspiration. In it, in 1890, Mascagni at the age of twenty-one, 'found himself,' and ever since has been trying, unsuccessfully, to find himself again.
The prelude contains three passages of significance in the development of the story. The first of these is the phrase of the despairing Santuzza, in which she cries out to Turiddu that, despite his betrayal and desertion of her, she still loves and pardons him. The second is the melody of the duet between Santuzza and Turiddu, in which she implores him to remain with her and not to follow Lola into the church. The third is the air in Sicilian style, the 'Siciliano,' which, as part of the prelude, Turridu sings behind the curtain, in the manner of a serenade to Lola, 'O Lola, bianca come fior di spino' (O Lola, fair as a smiling flower).
With the end of the 'Siciliano' the curtain rises. It discloses a public square in a Sicilian village. On one side, in the background, is a church, on the other Mamma Lucia’s wineship and dwelling. It is Easter morning. Peasants, men, women, and children cross or move about the stage. The church bells ring, the church doors swing open, people enter. A chorus, in which, mingled with gladness over the mild beauty of the day, there also is the lilt of religious ecstasy, follows. Like a refrain the women voice and repeat 'Gli aranci olezzano sui verdi margini' (Sweet is the air with the blossoms of oranges). They intone 'La Virgine serena allietasi del Salvator' (The Holy Mother mild, in ecstasy fondles the child), and sing of 'Tempo e si momori,' etc. (Murmurs of tender song tell of a joyful world). The men, meanwhile, pay a tribute to the industry and charm of woman. Those who have not entered the church, go off singing. Their voices die away in the distance.


Santuzza, sad of mien, approaches Mamma Lucia’s house, just as her false lover’s mother comes out. There is a brief colloquy between the two women. Santuzza asks for Turiddu. His mother answers that he has gone to Francofonte to fetch some wine. Santuzza tells her that he was seen during the night in the village. The girl’s evident distress touches Mamma Lucia. She bids her enter the house.
'I may not step across your threshold,' exclaim Santuzza. 'I cannot pass it, I, most unhappy outcast! Excommunicated!'
Mamma Lucia may have her suspicions of Santuzza’s plight. 'What of my son?' she asks. 'What have you to tell me?'
But at that moment the cracking of a whip and the jingling of bells are heard from off stage. Alfio, the teamster, comes upon the scene. He is accompanied by the villagers. Cheerfully he sings the praises of a teamster’s life, also of Lola's, his wife’s beauty. The villagers join him in chorus. 'I1 cavallo scalpita' (Gayly moves the tramping horse).
Alfio asks Mamma Lucia if she still has on hand some of her fine old wine. She tells him it has given out. Turiddu has gone away to buy a fresh supply of it.
'No,' says Alfio. 'He is here. I saw him this morning standing not far from my cottage.'
Mamma Lucia is about to express great surprise. Santuzza is quick to check her.
Alfio goes his way. A choir in the church intones the 'Regina Coeli.' The people in the square join in the 'Allelujas.' Then they kneel and, led by Santuzza’s voice, sing the Resurrection hymn, 'Innegiamo, il Signor non e morto' (Let us sing of the Lord now victorious). The 'Allelujas' resound in the church, which all, save Mamma Lucia and Santuzza, enter.
Mamma Lucia asks the girl why she signaled her to remain silent when Alfio spoke of Turiddu’s presence in the village. 'Voi lo sapete' (Now you shall know), exclaims Santuzza, and in one of the most impassioned numbers of the score, pours into the ears of her lover’s mother the story of her betrayal. Before Turiddu left to serve his time in the army, he and Lola were in love with each other. But, tiring of awaiting his return, the fickle Lola married Alfio. Turiddu, after he had come back, made love to Santuzza and betrayed her now, lured by Lola, he has taken advantage of Alfio’s frequent absences, and has gone back to his first love. Mamma Lucia pities the girl, who begs that she go into church and pray for her.
Turiddu comes, a handsome fellow. Santuzza upbraids him for pretending to have gone away, when instead he has surreptitiously been visiting Lola. It is a scene of vehemence. But when Turiddu intimates that his life would be in danger were Alfio to know of his visits to Lola, the girl is terrified. 'Battimi, insultami, t’amo e perdono' (Beat me, insult me, I still love and forgive you).
Such is her mood -- despairing, yet relenting. But Lola’s voice is heard off stage. Her song is carefree, a key to her character, which is fickle and selfish, with a touch of the cruel. 'Fior di giaggiolo' (Bright flower, so glowing) runs her song. Heard off stage, it yet conveys in its melody, its pauses, and inflections, a quick sketch in music of the heartless coquette, who, to gratify a whim, has stolen Turiddu from Santuzza. She mocks the girl, then enters the church. Only a few minutes has she been on the stage, but Mascagni has let us know all about her.
A highly dramatic scene, one of the most impassioned outbursts of the score, occurs at this point. Turiddu turns to follow Lola into the church. Santuzza begs him to stay. 'No, no, Turiddu, rimani, rimani, ancora-Abbandonarmi dunque tu vuoi?' (No, no, Turiddu! Remain with me now and forever! Love me again! How can you forsake me?).


A highly dramatic phrases, already heard in prelude, occurs at 'La tua Santuzza piange t’implora (Lo! here thy Santuzza, weeping, implores thee).
Turiddu repulses her. She clings to him. He loosens her hold and casts her from to the ground. When she rises, he has followed Lola into the church.
But the avenger is nigh. Before Santuzza has time to think, Alfio comes upon the scene. He is looking for Lola. To him in the fewest possible words, and in the white voice of suppressed passion, Santuzza tells him that his wife has been unfaithfully with Turiddu. In the brevity of its recitatives, the tense summing up in melody of each dramatic situation as it develops in the inexorably swift unfolding of the tragic story, lies the strength of 'Cavalleria Rusticana.'


Santuzza and Alfio leave. The square is empty. But the action goes on in the orchestra. For the intermezzo -- the famous intermezzo -- which follows, recapitulates, in its forty-eight bars, what has gone before, and foreshadows the tragedy that is impending. There is no restating here of leading motives. The effect is accomplished by means of terse, vibrant melodic progression. It is melody and yet it is drama. Therein lies its merit. For no piece of serious music can achieve the world-wide popularity of this intermezzo and not possess merit.


Mr. Krehbiel, in A Second Book of Operas, gives an instance of its unexampled appeal to the multitude. A burlesque on this opera was staged in Vienna. The author of the burlesque thought it would be a great joke to have the intermezzo played on a hand-organ. Up to that point the audience had been hilarious. But with the first wheezy tone of the grinder the people settled down to silent attention, and, when the end came, burst into applause. Even the hand-organ could not rob the intermezzo of its charm for the public!
What is to follow in the opera is quickly accomplished. The people come out of church. Turiddu, in high spirits, because he is with Lola and because Santuzza no longer is hanging around to reproach him, invites his friends over to his mother’s wineshop. Their glasses are filled. Turiddu dashes off a drinking song, 'Viva, I vivo spumeggiante' (Hail! The ruby wine now flowing).
Here is the theme of this song:
[Music excerpt]
Alfio joins them. Turiddu offers him wine. He refuses it. The women leave, taking Lola with them. In a brief exchange of words Alfio gives the challenge. In Sicilian fashion the two men embrace, and Turiddu, in token of acceptance, bites Alfio’s ear. Alfio goes off in the direction of the place where they are to test their skill with the stiletto.
Turiddu calls for Mamma Lucia. He is going away, he tells her. At home the wine cup passes too freely. He must leave. If he should not come back she must be like a kindly mother to Santuzza -- 'Santa, whom I have promised to lead to the altar.'
'Un bacio, mamma! Un alto bacio! -- Addio!' (One kiss, one kiss, my mother. And yet another. Farewell!)
He goes. Mamma Lucia wanders aimlessly to the back of the stage. She is weeping. Santuzza comes on, throws her arms around the poor woman’s neck. People crowd upon the scene. All is suppressed excitement. There is a murmur of distant voices. A woman is heard calling from afar: 'They have murdered neighbour Turiddu!'
Several women enter hastily. One of them, the one whose voice was heard in the distance, repeats, but now in a shriek, 'Hammo ammazzato compre compare Turiddu!'- (They have murdered neighbour Turiddu!).
Santuzza falls in a swoon. The fainting form of Mamma Lucia is supported by some of the women.
'Cala rapidamente la tela' (The curtain falls rapidly).
A tragedy of Sicily, hot in the blood, is over.
When 'Cavalleria Rusticana' was produced, no Italian opera had achieved such a triumph since 'Aida' -- a period to nearly twenty years. It was hoped that Mascagni would prove to be Verdi’s successor, a hope which, needless to say, has not been fulfilled.
To 'Cavalleria Rusticana,' however, we owe the succession of short operas, usually founded on debased and sordid material, in which other composers have paid Mascagni the doubtful compliments of imitation in hopes of achieving similar success. Of all these, 'Pagliacci,' by Leoncavallo, is the only one that has shared the vogue of the Mascagni opera. The two make a remarkably effective double bill.