Next week Opera Worcester take to the stage with their latest opera production: a double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and I Pagliacci (The Clowns).

Although the operas are by different composers, these two one-act Italian operas are usually performed together and are two short stories about the inhabitants of a small Sicillian Village  in the last century.

Director Andrew Rawle says ““Both operas remind me of a British television soap opera, but the Italians did it first, and much better! The stories are intense and passionate, full of jealousy and illicit relationships, yet all set to the most beautiful music. I can promise there will be surprises to the very last second.  You’d better stay to the end! “

The cast comprises of singers from all over the region and includes professional, semi- professional and accomplished amateur singers. The main protagonists feature professional tenor Rob Forbes who last sang with Opera Worcester in 2016 in Carmen. Rob sings ‘Turiddu’ in Cavalleria Rusticana opposite Worcester-based singer Rebecca Fearnley as Santuzza. In I Pagliacci, Mike Faulkner sings Canio opposite Opera Worcester’s principal soprano, Patricia Head, who sings the role of Nedda.

Other supporting roles are taken by promising young baritone Laurie Standish Hayes (Tonio), John Davidson (Beppe), Phil Joseph (Silvio), newcomer Jo Williamson (Mama Lucia),  Rachel Prudden (Lola), and Tim Cranmore (Alfio).

Pictured : Tonio (Laurie Standish Hayes) sows the seeds of doubt in the mind of Canio (Mike Faulkner) .

The principals will once again be supported by the powerful voices of the Opera Worcester chorus and a full orchestra under the baton of Musical Director, Sue Black.