The opera canon has been under fire of late, as it often directly contends with contemporary values and norms. And for good reason: many persistent themes portrayed across the genre are asynchronous with modern storytelling. As much is true for the classic double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.  Whilst WA Opera presented a greatly compelling and impassioned performance of the duo, it was difficult to ignore the consistent themes of violence towards women inherent in the libretti. Featuring an excellent and cohesive cast, the evening proved to be operatically entertaining, but thematically unsettling.

Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

Cavalleria Rusticana is driven by the inner conflict of Santuzza , and this conflict was at the fore in Ashlyn Tymms’ performance of the heroine. From the beginning, Tymms conveyed the character’s depth fantastically, both through her voice and her movements. In particular, the scene where the...