Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The World of Film and Opera - I Pagliacci & Cavalleria Rusticana

As part of its Merola Goes to the Movies series, San Francisco Public Library will show a pair of operas directed by the legendary Franco Zeffirelli for the screen. Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo both premiered years apart in the early 1890s.  Of relatively shorter length, these two operas are so often performed together that they are collectively know as "Cav and Pag."

Zeffirelli had directed both of these operas on stage with the Royal Opera House in 1959 and the Metropolitan Opera 1969.  He filmed these operas in 1981 in the midst of his shooting the Hollywood blockbuster Endless LoveCavalleria Rusticana was filmed in a Sicilian village.  It stars Yelena Obraztsova, Plácido Domingo, Axelle Gall and Renato Bruson and was recorded at the La Scala opera house.  Pagliacci also features Plácido Domingo as well Teresa Stratas, Juan Pons and Alberto Rinaldi.

I Pagliacci & Cavalleria Rusticana is part of our continuing collaboration with the Merola Opera ProgramThose of you may have come to our previous screening of Zeffirelli's La Traviata will already know what a treat we have in store for you.

Both films will be screened on Sunday, May 24, 2015 between 1 and 3 PM in Koret Auditorium in the Main Library on the Lower Level.

All Library programs are free and open to the public.

Further reading:

Zeffirelli: The Autobiography of Franco Zeffirelli (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986).

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