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On 22 March 2008, San Diego Opera presented a new realistic production of the Mascagni and Leoncavallo double bill directed by former San Francisco and Canadian Opera General Director, Lotfi Mansouri. John Coyne's scenic designs gave us a group of dark grey buildings closely grouped around a town square for Cavalleria and a more spacious small town setting for the open air play-within-a-play that provides the finale for Pagliacci. The costumes by Ed Kotanen placed the action firmly in Southern Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Richard Leech as Turiddu with members of the chorus in 'Cavalleria Rusticana'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
Richard Leech as Turiddu with members of the chorus in 'Cavalleria Rusticana'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard

Richard Leech was a self important Turiddu who had no respect for the marriage of Alfio and Lola and even less concern for the plight of his one-time lover, Santuzza. He sang with a wide vibrato, but interpretively, he explored all the facets of this negative role.

Judith Christin as Mama Lucia and Carter Scott as Santuzza with Turiddu (Richard Leech) dead. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
Judith Christin as Mama Lucia and Carter Scott as Santuzza with Turiddu (Richard Leech) dead. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard

As Santuzza, Carter Scott's voice soared over the orchestra with unwavering burnished sound. She, too, is a consummate dramatic actress and she presented an emotionally direct interpretation that made her character memorable.

Elizabeth Futral as Nedda and Bruno Caproni as Tonio, in 'I Pagliacci'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
Elizabeth Futral as Nedda and Bruno Caproni as Tonio, in 'I Pagliacci'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard

 

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Copyright © 30 March 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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