Internationally acclaimed French-Sicilian tenor Roberto Alagna appears at the Royal Opera House alongside his wife, Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, as the husband-and-wife actors Canio and Nedda in Pagliacci. Ruggero Leoncavallo’s gripping and tragic opera tells the story of what happens when Nedda, weary of her husband Canio’s jealousy, begins a love affair. When Canio discovers her betrayal and has to go on stage the same evening to act the part of a cuckolded husband, reality and theatre blur in a frightening way. Pagliacci contains some of Leoncavallo’s greatest music, including Nedda’s dreamy aria ‘Stridono lassù’ and Canio’s anguished soliloquy ‘Vesti la giubba’.

Roberto Alagna said:
‘Aleksandra is a true artist and I enjoy the special kind of chemistry and energy we experience when we are singing together. It’s a real treat for me to perform with her, especially here, at Covent Garden. Our love story was born here, 8 years ago. Literally in a “musical love potion”: Donizetti’s one! We met on the stage of the Royal Opera House and fell in love during a run of performances of L'Elisir d'Amore in November 2012. So it’s always a special emotion for us - now that we are partners in life and have built a family - each time we have the opportunity to share this great stage again. I am really looking forward to our joint appearance in this masterpiece of verismo by Leoncavallo that I love.’

Aleksandra Kurzak said:
‘The Royal Opera House is a special place for both me and Roberto, as we met here during rehearsals for L’elisir d’amore eight years ago. It’s wonderful to be returning to Covent Garden to perform Pagliacci together in this incredible production so many years later.’

Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci opens at the Royal Opera House on 11 April 2020 at 7pm with subsequent performances on 14, 18, 21, 25 and 29 April and 2 May 2020 at 7.15pm.

The performance on Tuesday 21 April 2020 is live-streamed into cinemas across the UK and internationally as part of the Royal Opera House’s Live Cinema Season 2019/20.

Press night: Tuesday 14 April 2020 at 7.15pm

11 April at 7pm, 14, 18, 21, 25, 29 April and 2 May 2020 at 7.15pm

Sung in Italian with English surtitles


Conductor Daniel Oren
Director Damiano Michieletto
Set designer Paolo Fantin
Costume designer Carla Teti
Lighting designer Alessandro Carletti

Music Pietro Mascagni
Libretto Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci

Turiddu Yonghoon Lee
Santuzza Liudmyla Monastyrska
Alfio Dimitri Plantanias
Lola Josè Maria Lo Monaco* (except 29 April and 2 May)
Martina Belli (29 April and 2 May)
Mamma Lucia Elena Zilio

Music and Libretto Ruggero Leoncavallo

Canio Roberto Alagna
Tonio Dimitri Platanias
Nedda Aleksandra Kurzak
Silvio Bogdan Baciu*
Beppe Mikeldi Atxalandabaso*

Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

*Royal Opera debut