Arts and Entertainment

Metropolitan Opera tenor to sing with Lyric Opera Northwest

Eduardo Villa - Courtesy photo
Eduardo Villa
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Metropolitan Opera leading tenor Eduardo Villa will sing in Lyric Opera Northwest's second offering in their 2009 season with Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in a classic double-bill.

Known colloquially as “Cav-and-Pag”, these two short, operas are traditionally performed together as a staple of the dramatic Italian repertoire. Both works epitomize the late 19th-century Italian literary movement known as verismo, meaning “realism” or “truthful.”

The operas will be presented at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, for four performances, Friday August 28 through Sunday August 30. Both operas will be sung in Italian with subtitles.

Considered shocking by the standards of the day, verismo opera sought to strip away the glamour of mythology and nobility, instead focusing on the real lives of common people.

Cavalleria rusticana, roughly translated as “Rustic Chivalry”, is a tragic one-act Italian opera by Pietro Mascagni. Cavalleria takes place in a Sicilian village during an Easter of betrayal and passion, as a scorned woman’s fury hurtles toward an irrevocable conclusion.

It features Santuzza’s aria “Voi lo sapete, o mamma”, the well-known Intermezzo, and the haunting Siciliana, as heard in The Godfather.

Villa will appear as Turridu, along with tenors Gary del Rosario and Gino Lucchetti. They are joined by dramatic soprano Nicolase Mallat and mezzo-soprano Rose Beattie as Santuzza, mezzo-soprano Sharon Karsner as Mamma Lucia; baritones Danny Oakden and Craig Heath Nim as Alfio; and sopranos Boyoon Choi and Veronica Nim as Lola.

Pagliacci, translated as “The Clowns”, is a tragic opera in two acts by Ruggero Leoncavallo. Pagliacci takes place near Montalto, Calabria during the feast of the Assumption.

Love and jealousy spill over into the stage performance of a strolling group of players culminating in an unspeakable crime of passion. It features one of the world’s most famous arias, Canio’s “Vesti la Giubba" (put on the costume), as well as the immortal “Prologue.”

Villa will sing the role of Canio, along with Gino Lucchetti. They are joined by sopranos Raluca Marinescu and Dohee Kim as Nedda, baritones Craig Heath Nim and Danny Oakden as Tonio, baritones Greg Lewis and Misha Myznikov as Silvio, and tenors Andrew Mayzak and Bill Austin as Beppe

The orchestra will be led by R. Joseph Scott, founder of the Bellevue Symphony.

Villa is one of the world's most sought-after and versatile tenors with an usually broad repertoire that ranges from Nemorino to Otello in leading opera houses throughout Europe and North America.

He is a regular guest of the Metropolitan Opera and has appeared on their stage in the title roles in Don Carlo and Ernani, Radames in Aida, Rodolpho in Luisa Miller, Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Enzo in La Gioconda.

Tickets may be ordered from Brown Paper Tickets, online at, or by phone at 800.838.3006.

More information about Lyric Opera Northwest and Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci is available at,, or by calling 206.938.7820.

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