Classic Italian opera in Indian avatar

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2011, 09:58 AM IST

New Delhi: The classic Italian opera, "Cavalleria Rusticana" by Pietro Mascagni, one of the foremost classics of realism in opera, will be unveiled in an Indian avatar here Nov 15.

The opera will feature Italian and Indian performers, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Embassy of Italy said in a statement Thursday.

The opera is a collaboration between ICCR, Italian embassy, the Italian Cultural Institute and the ongoing Delhi International Arts Festival.

Renowned Italian soprano Francesca Patane will perform the character of Santuzza - the female lead of the opera - with Luciano Ganci, who will star as the male lead Turiddu.

The orchestra, conducted by Indian maestro Vijay Upadhyaya, will include both Indian and Italian musicians from the India National Youth Orchestra and the Italian ensemble Orchestra Giovanile Italiana-Scuola di Musica di Fiesole.

"Cavalleria Rusticana" was first performed in Rome in 1890, where it was an immediate success. Since then, it has been widely performed. The story, based on a play by Giovanni Verga, is about love and jealousy in Sicily at the end of the 19th century.

Verga`s story is a comment on war and the way it tears lives and societies apart.

Turiddu, a soldier returns home to find that his fiance Lola has married another man. In anguish, he seduces a young woman Sentuzza from the village. The triangle sets off a drama of rage and tragedy that ends with Turiddu`s death.

The opera has a powerful libretto and an enthralling musical score.

The costumes have been designed by Indian designer Rajesh Pratap Singh. The capital-based Pearl Aacdemy of Fashion has helped with styling and design.

A short film, "Making an Italian Opera in India", too has been prepared for the occasion.