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DVD Spotlight

Blocks of Snow

'Cavalleria rusticana'
and 'Pagliacci' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... not always marooned in frozen wastes.'

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci. © 2007 Opus Arte

Director and designer for this Madrid production have the oddest ideas about Easter in Sicily. The landscape is Antarctic, with blocks of snow or dismembered iceberg the most obvious features. That the villagers are all in black can only mean that they are ready for the funeral that will inevitably follow the end of the opera. They are also in Good Friday mood, as they drag themselves haltingly to church, and even the image of Christ, still attached to the cross, has forgotten to rise on the third day. Mascagni's singing birds and village square jollity do not get a look in, so that tragedy looms over the work from first note to last, and disputed women cowering in odd corners only increase the prevailing gloom...

Copyright © 10 August 2011 Robert Anderson,
London UK

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DVD INFORMATION: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA AND PAGLIACCI

PIETRO MASCAGNI

RUGGERO LEONCAVALLO

MADRID

SPAIN

ITALY

OPUS ARTE

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