The one-act opera, Cavalleria Rusticana (Italian for Rustic Chivalry), was composed by Pietro Mascagni as part of a competition for young Italian composers in late 19th century Milan. Mascagni’s was one of 73 operas that were received for the competition. Three operas were selected for production, including Mascagni’s. The opera premiered on May 17, 1890, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome to a small audience. It was a huge success, and Mascagni’s opera was awarded first place in the competition. Cavalleria Rusticana is still popular to this very day, where it is still being performed around much of the world including the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House, etc.
This weekend I’ll be performing one of the arias from Cavalleria Rusticana with the Susanville Symphony Orchestra, along with several other pieces. The song, “Voi lo sapete o mamma”, which is performed by the character, Santuzza, a peasant girl afraid that her romantic relationship is being jeopardized by a married woman’s interest in her would-be fiancé, Turiddu. Through the Aria, Santuzza is telling Turiddu’s mother the entire story.
The concerts are Friday, February 22 at 7pm, and again on Saturday, February 23 at 2:30pm. Both concerts are at the Susanville United Methodist Church. My dear friend, Dennis Roberts, will also be performing Poulanc’s famous organ concerto on the church’s recently renovated pipe organ. The Friday night show is mostly sold out, but a few tickets still remain. If you hope to attend Friday, you should call 530-251-3763 right away so tickets can be reserved. Saturday should still have tickets available at the door, but you can call the same number for advance sales.
I would argue that attending one of these concerts will be the best thing you have done this month, if not for 2019!