Live From Antiche Terme Romane Baia July 2007
Following the sensational success of his one-act opera Cavalleria
rusticana at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi on 17 May 1890,
Mascagni left no stone unturned in his attempt to ensure that
his star remained in the ascendant. But neither his Cavalleriaremake,
Silvano (1895), nor his Romantic reworking of the Lady
Godiva legend, Isabeau, has survived the passing years. This
Cavalleria rusticana has left the traditional opera house far behind
it and been staged in an open-air theatre once associated
with the Emperor Nero. The site in question is the legendary Roman
baths in the port of Baia not far from Naples, arguably the
most famous resort in classical antiquity and at the same time a
byword in luxury and vice. Although some of the baths have vanished
in the course of the last two millennia, the remains form
a unique backdrop with their high walls and galleries poised
between heaven and earth. A World Heritage Site, this was the
setting for a production of Cavalleria rusticana by the visiting
San Carlo company from Naples in the summer of 2007.
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