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Mezzo​Cav & Pagliacci

Pietro Mascagni & Ruggero Leoncavallo

Perhaps the most famous operatic double-bill of all time, ‘Cav and Pag’ will be presented at Iford Arts for the first time in its 27 year history.

When
Aug 28/29/30
Where
Belcombe Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LZ
How
Book now
Conductor:
Oliver Gooch
Orchestra:
Chroma Ensemble
Soprano:
Susan Bullock, OBE
Tenor:
Christopher Turner
Baritone:
Paul Cavey-Jones
Chorus:
Iford Arts Festival Chorus

Cast

Director:
Christopher Luscombe
Conductor:
Oliver Gooch
Orchestra:
Chroma Ensemble
Nedda:
Elin Prtichard
Canio:
Peter Auty
Tonio:
Robert Hayward
Silvio:
Nicholas Lester
Beppe:
Aled Hall

In the great double-acts of history, Cav and Pag feature high in cultural reference. Two unconnected operas that were first brought together by the Met in New York in 1893, they are nevertheless from the same stable of operatic genre – verismo, or ‘real life’. These operas found huge popularity in the late 19th and early 20th century and focus on the mundane yet murderous lives and proclivities of simple folk. 

Pietro Mascagni broke through with Cavalleria Rusticana, a one act opera that he entered into the annual competition run by the publisher Sonzogno. It brought fame and fortune that he was never truly able to escape or move on from entirely with his later works, many of which were stupendously inventive and beautiful. ‘They crowned me before I was king,’ he once said.  The opera tells a powerful tale of love, jealousy and betrayal in a Sicilian village, during which savagery and violence is set to exquisite, heartbreaking music.  Our concert performance of the highlights from the opera will deliver outstanding singing and some of the most beautiful melodies in the late Italian repertoire, including the immensely moving Easter Hymn, and one of the worlds most famous pieces of music – the Intermezzo.

Susan Bullock - among the foremost and internationally successful modern British sopranos of recent times - leads the concert ensemble which also features baritone, Paul Carey Jones and tenor Christopher Turner; three exemplary artists to open a thrilling evening of music.

Pagliacci, the story of a troupe of clowns indulging libido and  crushing betrayal is another of the pure verismo classics of the repertoire. The opera is most famous for the Vesti la giubba aria (On with the motley) in which cuckolded clown Canio takes his revenge during the ‘play within a play’;a devastating denouement that sits among the most dramatic in the entire repertoire. This production, in partnership with Opera Ensemble, has enjoyed great success as a powerful, visceral and paired back production. For our version, we have added orchestra, conducted by Oliver Gooch, and chorus. The opera stars one of the UK’s most exciting sopranos, Elin Pritchard as Nedda, and she is joined by tenor Peter Auty as her tortured husband. Robert Hayward, Nic Lester, and Aled Hall complete the all-star ensemble. 

The double-bill represents an extraordinary and atmospheric evening of music and drama, with some of the finest singers around today.  As a summer evening treat, it is likely to be deeply affecting and unforgettable.

For information on prioirty booking please visit the Support Us pages 

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Saturday 28:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00
Sunday 29:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00
Monday 30:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00
Saturday 28:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00
Sunday 29:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00
Monday 30:
Gardens open from 18:00, performance 19:00

Ticket Prices

£95.00 (undercover)

£79.00 - £49.00 (under the stars)

Gates open at 5pm for picnics. Performances start at 7pm

Tickets on sale soon 

Under 18s go free enquire at Box Office

Performances will take place in a spectacular Saddlespan structure. With its simple architectural design and clean modern shape the Saddlespan offers amazing acoustics. This indoor/outdoor structure allows the ability to accommodate a larger socially distanced audience in a safe environment.