Magazine article Opera Canada

Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. (Opera in Review: Chicago)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. (Opera in Review: Chicago)

Article excerpt

At the beginning of the season, Lyric Opera of Chicago presented entirely new productions of the double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. Both were, for the most part, musically and theatrically excellent. Michael Yeargan's setting for Cavalleria was ultra-realistic, as well as quite beautiful, and Elijah Moshinsky's staging was completely unobjectionable.

If, despite these pluses, it was not entirely gripping, part of the reason may be the steadfast refusal of mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick to imbue any portrayal with visible emotion. With her, the drama is all in the voice. Since that voice is awesome in its power and range, we can be grateful for her Santuzza. No reservations for tenor Vincenzo La Scola, who was in dazzling form throughout Turridu's several changes of mood. Baritone Jean-Philippe Lafont was a dependable Aiflo, as he was for Tonio in Pagliacci.

The latter, also staged and designed by Moshinky and Yeargan, surprised, in that a modern-dress transfer to post-war Italy did no harm. …

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