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Opera – Double-bill:
Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci

Venue Date & Time Price
Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
14:45 & 19:45
$630, $460, $300, $150
order now

Two Sensational Italian Operas of the Realism School

Performed in Italian with Chinese and English Surtitles

A Musica Viva Production

About the Programme


Cavelleria Rusticana

The story is set in a Sicilian village around 1890.  On Easter morning, Turiddu is heard singing about his beloved, Lola, who is now married to the merchant-carter, Alfio.  Santuzza, a young woman who has been seduced and impregnated by Turiddu, arrives at the tavern of his mother, Lucia.  Santuzza is desperate because of her heavy sense of guilt.  The dialogue of the women is interrupted by the entrance of Alfio.  Despite his outspoken pride and affection for his wife, Alfio also becomes suspicious of Turiddu’s relationship with Lola.  While the villagers are attending mass, Santuzza encounters Turiddu.  She confronts him and hopes to win him back.  However, all is in vain.  Not only does Turiddu forsake her, she is also mocked by Lola who passes by.  Santuzza curses Turiddu as he enters church after Lola.  Out of rage and jealousy, Santuzza revenges by revealing the affair to Alfio.

The action is suspended by the idyllic Intermezzo.  After the mass, Turiddu and the villagers gather for wine at the tavern.  Alfio’s refusal to drink with Turridu provokes a challenge to a duel of knives.  According to a long tradition of rustic chivalry, Turiddu takes the initiative with an embrace and a bite on Alfio’s right ear, meaning the two shall fight till death.  Turiddu bids an impassioned farewell to his mother and asks her to take care of Santuzza if he does not return.  As the duel takes place in a nearby orchard, Mamma Lucia and Santuzza wait anxiously.  Blood-curdling shouts are heard in the distance.  A woman stumbles in, crying 'Turiddu has been killed'.

I Pagliacci

Prologue   The story takes places on the Feast of Assumption in a Calabrian village in southern Italy around 1870.  Before the curtain rises, the actor Tonio delivers a Prologue, telling the audience they will see a real-life drama.

Act I   The curtain rises with the arrival of a troupe of travelling actors, greeted enthusiastically by the village folk. Canio, the head of the troupe, describes that night's offering.  When someone jokingly suggests that Tonio is secretly attracted to his young wife, Nedda, he vehemently cautions that he will tolerate no such thing.  As Canio takes off with fellow actor Beppe to join the villagers in a tavern, Nedda is left alone.  Worried that Canio might soon discover her affair with Silvio, one of the villagers, she sings of her longing for freedom.  Tonio sneaks in and tries to make love to Nedda.  She scorns him and repels him with a whip.  Tonio leaves, swearing vengeance.  Silvio arrives and persuades Nedda to elope with him at midnight.  The rendezvous is seen by Tonio, who seizes the chance to break the news to Canio.  The enraged husband bursts in, Silvio escapes in time and Nedda is threatened at knifepoint to reveal her lover’s name, but she adamantly refuses.  Tonio advises Canio to catch Nedda's lover in the evening.  As Canio dons his costume and makeup for the play, he expresses his bitterness for the life of a clown - he must laugh although his heart is breaking.

Act II   As night falls, the villagers eagerly anticipate the featured comedy, Pagliaccio e Colombina.  In the absence of her husband, Pagliaccio (Canio), Colombina (Nedda) dismisses her servant, Taddeo (Tonio) and sets the table for dinner with her lover Arlecchino (Beppe).  Pagliaccio returns home unexpectedly and Arlecchino escapes through the window.  Taddeo mockingly assures Pagliaccio of his wife's innocence.  The parallels between Pagliaccio and himself fuel Canio's jealousy to no end.  No longer playing the comedy, Canio demands that Nedda reveal her lover's name.  Despite Nedda’s futile effort to continue playing her part, Canio’s bloodthirsted demeanor can no longer be restrained.  He stabs Nedda and then Silvio, who has revealed himself from the crowd and tries to intervene.  The audience, who has previously marvelled at the realism of the play, is left dumbfounded as Canio cries out 'the comedy is ended'.

About the Performer

Artistic Personnel and Performers

Music Director


Lio Kuok-man


Producer & Director


Lo King-man




Raymond Fu


Chamber Orchestra


Hong Kong Virtuosi




The Opera Society of Hong Kong




Cavalleria Rusicana




Janara Kellerman (1)(3)


Carol Lin (2)


Louise Kwong (4)






John Daniecki (2)(3)


Jeffrey Hartman (1)(4)






Grant Youngblood (2)(3)


Brian Montgomery (1)(4)






Melody Sze






Cynthia Luff




I Pagliacci




Kristin Sampson (1)(3)


Yuki Ip (2)(4)






John Daniecki (1)(4)


Jeffrey Hartman (2)(3)






Grant Youngblood (1)(4)


Brian Montgomery (2)(3)






Alex Tam (1)(3)(4)


Christopher Leung (2)






Nicholas Provenzale


(1) 4/1, 7:45pm  (2) 5/1, 2:45pm  (3) 5/1, 7:45pm  (4) 6/1, 2:45pm  

(In case of indisposition or other unexpected circumstances, artists maybe replaced at a short notice.)

Lio Kuok-man, Music Director

Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as 'a startling conducting talent', Lio Kuokman’s appeared recently in a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra as both conductor and harpsichord soloist at the Mann Center.  After graduating from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with first-class honours under the tutorship of Gabriel Kwok, Lio was awarded a fellowship to pursue a Master’s degree in piano performance at the Juilliard School of Music, New York.  He then enrolled at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia for a double major in orchestral conducting and harpsichord performance.  He has served as assistant conductor of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and the Curtis Opera Theatre preparing performances for guest conductors such as James Conlon and Christoph Eschenbach.  He has conducted in masterclasses for renowned conductors such as Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas and Alan Gilbert.  In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded the Honorary Diploma by the Government of his native city Macau.

Lo King-man, Producer & Director

Returning from Italy where he worked at the Opera of Rome and the Morlacchi Theatre of Perugia in the 1960s, Lo Kingman has since written, directed and designed over a hundred stage productions ranging from opera, drama, dance to musical theatre with performances in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Europe and America.  Over the years, he has made significant contributions to the Hong Kong community not only in the performing arts but also in the fields of higher education and public service.  He was Director of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts from 1993 to 2004.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours from international academic and arts institutions as well as the HKSAR Government and several foreign nations.  In 2008, he participated in the creation of Musica Viva, an organization dedicated to nurturing young artists and extending their performing opportunities in operas and concerts.


Janara Kellerman, Mezzo-Soprano

A rising star in the dramatic and verismo mezzo-soprano repertoire throughout America, Janara Kellerman has had great success with critics and audience alike during recent seasons of engagements with New York City Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Fresno Grand Opera and San Antonio Lyric Opera for her outstanding performances in such masterpieces as Antony and Cleopatra, Candide, Cavalleria Rusticana, Aïda, Nabucco, Samson et Dalilah, Norma, Carmen, and numerous important works by contemporary composers.  She has appeared in Lecce, Italy and recorded Honegger’s Le Roi David for the ACA label to enthusiastic acclaim.

Kristin Sampson, Soprano

Winner of the Best Female Performer Award from the Armel Opera Competition in Szeged, Hungary, Kristin Sampson made her debut as Nedda in I Pagliacci at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile, in 2010. During the 2011/12 season, she performed the title roles of Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreau and Traviata at the Rome Opera, Italy, and appeared with the National Theatre of Szeged, Hungary.  She also sang the title role of Janacek’s Sarka at its New York premiere.  Other companies she has sung with include the Santa Fe Opera, the National Lyric Opera and the Opera Orchestra of New York.

Yuki Ip, Soprano

Highlights of soprano Yuki Ip’s career have so far included performing as soloist with José Carreras in an inaugural concert of the National Centre of the Performing Arts in Beijing, taking the title role of Madama Butterfly in a Musica Viva production, and making her European debut at the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy.  She has also performed principal operatic roles with Opera Hong Kong and Singapore Lyric Opera in works such as La Bohème, Roméo et Juliette, Werther, and Hänsel und Gretel.  Her oratorio repertoire is extensive; she has sung in New York City, Toronto, Verona, Cremona, Macau and her concert performances have been frequently broadcast by Radio Television Hong Kong.

Carol Lin, Mezzo-Soprano

Winner of both the First Prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Yokohama International Music Competition, Carol Lin has performed the title roles of Carmen in a Musica Viva production and Xerxes for The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  Other major opera productions in which she has appeared in principal roles include Le Nozze di Figaro, Così Fan Tutte, Madama Butterfly, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Werther and Roméo et Juliette.  She has been the featured soloists in many art-song recitals, oratorio concerts and chamber music performances with organizations such as Boston Philharmonic, Aspen Sinfonia, Singapore Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and RTHK Radio 4.  Her recent performances of Respighi's Il Tramonto and Verdi’s Requiem have been enthusiastically received.

Louise Kwong, Soprano

In April 2012, Louise Kwong won both the Best Soprano Prize and the Audience Prize at the 18th Ferruccio Tagliavini International Singing Competition held in Graz, Austria, and was invited to give concerts with the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra at the opera house of that city and at Bad Radkesburg.  She has many oratorio and choral concert engagements as a soloist.  In addition to singing the role of Santuzza with Musica Viva Hong Kong, she is to perform as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam, where she is currently enrolled for advanced professional training.

John Daniecki, Tenor

A singing-actor of the highest calibre, John Daniecki has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and the most important opera companies in Europe and America as well as major symphony orchestras including Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Montreal, Toronto, Madrid and Moscow.  His Decca recording of Carmina Burana won a Grammy Award for best performance, and he also records for RCA and EMI labels.  His international festival appearances have included Festival de Aix-en-Provence, Spoleto Festival in Italy and America, Wexford Festival, Cincinnati May Festival and the Opera Festival of Bergen, Norway.

Jeffrey Hartman, Tenor

Jeffrey Hartman's recent career highlights have included the principal tenor roles in Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Tosca, Turandot, Lucia di Lammermoor, Faust, Rigoletto, L’Elisir d’Amore and La Traviata, presented in New York City, Boston, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Connecticut, Edmonton and various regional opera houses.  Jeffrey Hartman is the first place winner of the Appleman Award, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Award and the Dicapo Opera Theatre Competition.

Brian Montogomery, Baritone

Brian Montgomery has performed to critical acclaim with important opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Arena di Verona, Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Basel Opera and Hungarian State Opera.  He is especially noted for his resonant voice and dramatic portrayals in the famous principal baritone roles in Macbeth, Il Trovatore, Der Freischütz, Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto, Don Carlo and I Pagliacci.

Grant Youngblood, Baritone

A much-sought-after operatic baritone in the United States, Grant Youngblood has been extremely active with engagements for the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Cleveland Opera and numerous regional opera companies.  In concert and oratorio, he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony at the Stravinsky Festival, the National Chorale at the Lincoln Center New York and the Princeton University Concert Choir, among other important ensembles.

Alex Tam, Tenor

Gifted with a mellifluous lyric voice and interpretative intelligence, Alex Tam has been performing leading operatic roles since the age of 19 in such works as Gianni Schicchi, Il barbiere de Siviglia, Così Fan Tutte and The Bartered Bride for The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and Madama Butterfly, The Daughter of The Regiment, The Elixir of Love and Lucia di Lammermoor for Musica Viva Hong Kong.  He is also well-known for his remarkable achievements in the field of musical theatre and cross-over concerts as performer, composer and choral director.

Christopher Leung, Tenor

A pupil of famous pedagogue and opera soprano Madam Ella Kiang, Christopher Leung is an emerging ‘tenore di grazia’ of the bel canto style, having participated in several productions while studying at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  He has sung the roles of Marco in The Gondoliers in 2011, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale in 2012.  Since obtaining his Master of Music degree from the Baptist University, majoring in choral conducting, he has intensified his activities as choral director and conductor of numerous school choirs.

Nicholas Provenzale, Baritone

Having received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University at Bloomington, Nicholas Provenzale obtained his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Kentucky University.  He was a Metropolitan Opera Auditions district winner and regional finalist.  Specializing in the lyric baritone repertoire and new music, his operatic engagements have included performances with Opera North, Indianapolis Opera, Kentucky Opera, San Diego Opera, Dicapo Opera and the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy.  He has recorded for the Albany and Harmonia Mundi labels.

Melody Sze, Mezzo-Soprano

A graduate of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the New England Conservatory in Boston, Melody Sze obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University.  The operas in which she has taken major roles include La Cenerentola, The Tales of Hoffmann, The Turn of the Screw, Suor Angelica, Don Giovanni, Faust, and for Musica Viva The Daughter of the Regiment, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Legend of Zhang Baozai at the World Expo Shanghai in 2010, and the title role of Carmen in 2011.

Cythia Luff, Mezzo-Soprano

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Kingston University, London, Cynthia Luff has performed in over 30 oratorios and operas in Hong Kong as well as concerts in Taiwan and Korea.  She has sung as a soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the City Chamber, Taipei City Symphony, Seoul Municipal Symphony and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestras.  She recently sang the contralto solo parts in Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 8 with the SAR Philharmonic Orchestra.


Ticket and Concession
Tickets available from 8 November onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and credit card telephone booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

Group Booking Discount
10% off for each purchase of 10 – 19 standard tickets; 15% for 20 or more standard tickets.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length
Running time of each performance is about 2 hours and 40 minutes with an intermission of 15 minutes.

Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break or the interval in the programme.

Programme Enquiries 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries 2734 9009
Credit Card Telephone Booking 2111 5999
Internet Booking www.urbtix.hk

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable.


The content of this programme does not represent the view of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department

Opera Talks

Speaker: Lo King-man, Jennifer To

Pre-performance Talk (Conducted in English & Cantonese)

Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, the foundation of verismo in Italian Opera

5 January 2013 (Sat) 1:45pm

Recital Hall, 8/F High Block, Hong Kong City Hall

Post-performance Talk (Conducted in English & Cantonese)

Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci - their influence on the style of operatic singing

6 January 2013 (Sun), after the matinee performance

Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall


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