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This is my absolute favourite filmed version of Cavalleria Rusticana. It is beautiful, very moving(especially the Intermezzo and "Mama Quel Vino Generoso") and wonderfully performed by all. The story I am starting to appreciate, I used to think it was weak compared the story of Pagliacci, but I don't anymore, it is a simple one yet with great themes and conflict.
I can sing so much praise about Mascagni's music. It is just amazing from start to finish. The most famous bits are the Easter Hymn, the Intermezzo and "Mama Quel Vino Generoso", and rightfully so, but that is not to dismiss the beautiful opening chorus, the drinking song and the powerful scene where a hurt Santuzza tells Alfio of Turridu and Lola, they are on par musically and melodically as far as I am concerned.
Of the film itself, it looks stunning, although Zeffirelli's films are all visually stunning his version of Cavalleria Rusticana is up there with his most visually beautiful. The photography is sweeping, while the scenery is breathtaking. Zeffirelli himself also does an impeccable job directing. The acting and singing is also superb. Placido Domingo is a handsome and wonderful Turridu, Axele Gall is a good Lola and Renato Bruson impresses as Alfio especially in his scene with Santuzza. The real stars though are Yelena Obratszova, who is a very impassioned and moving Santuzza with very impressive voice projection and Fedora Barbieri, who won me over in her acting, she is particularly poignant in her scene after the Easter Hymn.
Overall, a truly beautiful and moving film of a great opera. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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