Stage Director Giancarlo del Monaco (the son of the famed dramatic tenor, Mario) flat-out rejects the notion that Cavalleria rusticana or Pagliacci should be performed with anything except each other. In an interview included on this Opus Arte Blu-ray release, del Monaco emphatically notes that these operas represent “the fundamental diptych of realist theater;” that they are “two sides of the same coin.” As with many other productions, del Monaco presents Pagliacci ’s Prologue before the Mascagni work, Tonio appearing in the midst of the audience to underscore that the verismo evening ahead is meant to connect to everyone’s real-world experience. A seamless integration of the two dramas is further highlighted when Turridu’s lifeless body is driven off the stage just as the first chords of Pagliacci are sounding.
Elena Obraztsova, Placido Domingo, and Renato Bruson star in this Mascagni opera production. Teresa Stratas, Placido Domingo, and Juan Pons star in this Leoncavallo opera production. Both are performed at La Scala with George Pretre conducting. Two classic operas–Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSICANA and Leoncavallo's PAGLIACCI–are performed by opera heavyweights in these now legendary productions directed by the famed Franco Zeffirelli. The 2 operas, which have been traditionally performed together since the late 19th century, star tenor Placido Domingo, Fedora Barbieri, Elena Obraztova, Teresa Stratas, and other stars of their caliber.
Riccardo Muti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (born July 28, 1941) is an Italian conductor. In May 2008 he was appointed the 10th music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, effective with the 2010-11 season.With Philadelphia, his recordings include the first Beethoven Symphony Cycle made for compact disc, the symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Alexander Scriabin, selected works of Tchaikovsky and Sergei Prokofiev, as well as less-known works of composers such as Giacomo Puccini and Ferruccio Busoni.
A lot has been said about Anna Moffo's early vocal decline and mismanaged carreer but let's not forget what a lovely singer she was in her prime. This recital from the early 1970's let us hear "late Moffo" though she was not yet 40. There is a slight hoarseness and unsteadiness in the voice that was not present in earlier recordings but it is still by any means a beautiful instrument used with skill. This recital also reminds us what a verstatile artist she was - she sings arias from the italian bel canto and verismo repertoire, french lyric and also german operettas and she passes from one to the other with considerable naturalness, ease and charm..