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City focus Paris

At the Bastille Theatre, the Paris Opera introduced us to a bizarre and ultimately counterproductive pairing of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana with Hindemith’s very short Sancta Susanna, an emblem of early 20th-century German expressionism.

This was unfair to both operas. Quite apart from the clashing themes – a good old Italian verismo yarn about honour and vengeance versus a very Germanic tale of sexual obsession in a nunnery – Sancta Susanna (23 minutes) unexpectedly managed to upstage the preceding Cavalleria (75 minutes), leaving the audience stunned and wanting more.

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About Opera Now

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