Shanghai Opera House and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci



Melody, tragedy and raw Italian passion

“Verismo”, which replaced high-flown heroes and ancient myths with stories of ordinary people experiencing life-changing emotions, took 19th century Europe by storm, and still sweeps audiences off their feet with its raw passion, colourful characters and unforgettable music.

This double-bill of classic Italian opera, presented in semi-stage format, stars He Hui—described by Opera World as “one of the most important dramatic singers of her generation”—and is conducted by Xu Zhong. The show is performed by the combined forces of Shanghai Opera House and the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, together with the Hong Kong Children’s Choir. The two operas are united by the theme of passion: Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana tells the story of a village love affair that spirals out of control. In Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci a troupe of travelling players comes to town—and the emotions behind their performance turn out to be dangerously real.

Cavalleria Rusticana
Conductor: Xu Zhong
Composer: Mascagni
Librettists: Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, Guido Menasci

He Hui as Santuzza
Xue Haoyin as Turiddu
Dou Qianming as Alfio

Conductor: Xu Zhong
Composer and Librettist: Leoncavallo

He Hui as Nedda
Han Peng as Canio
Sun Li as Tonio
He Chao as Silvio
Yu Haolei as Beppe


Approx. 2 hrs 50 mins incl. one interval
Performed in Italian with Chinese and English surtitles