TEATRO ANTICO TAORMINA
Built in Southern Italy in early seventh century BC, Teatro Antico di Taormina is the second largest ancient Greek theatre in Italy. Frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances, this picturesque theater sitting on the coast of Sicily is home to the annual Festival Euro Mediterraneo.
Adapted from the short story written by Giovanni Verga, Cavalleria Rusticana is a one-act opera considered one of the classics of verismo opera. The opera was composed by Pietro Mascagni, with a libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, as part of an 1888 competition by Milanese publisher Edoardo Sonzogno. After winning the competition, the opera enjoyed a successful performance history throughout Europe and the United States, often paired with Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.
Inspired by the success of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Ruggero Leoncavallo decided to compose a verismo opera based on the true events of an 1865 murder. The opera was instantly successful with the public, and was first performed as a double-bill with Cavalleria Rusticana on December 11, 1893 at the Metropolitan Opera.