Director Bruno Stefano and scenery designer Bernard Arnould were the first to accept our challenge to use the complete floor of an indoor venue as the stage for a 360°-grand-scale opera interpretation in 1994. Both operas, stories of love, jealousy, betrayal and revenge, are set as a continuing story in the early thirties during Easter in a small village in Sicilia. A recognizable background and props from that era, as well as portraying ‘realistic’ personages, make it possible for the audience to identify themselves with the two stories and can unravel the deeper emotions of the characters.
In the Cavalleria rusticana Turiddu, an ex-soldier, is having an affair with the wife of Alfio, the richest and powerful man in the village. By challenging Alfio to a duel, Turiddu knowingly faces the consequences of crossing the borders of the social structure and accepts his fate.
In Pagliacci reality and fiction is intertwined. A troupe of comedians is arriving in the village. Canio, the leader of the troupe is announcing tonight’s play about Colombina’s betrayal of her husband Pagliaccio. When the audience points out that in real life his beautiful wife Nedda is already courted by one of the comedians Tonio, Canio cannot hide his jealousy.
He tells the audience that he might be betrayed on stage but in real life knows how to take revenge on anyone who attempts to court his wife. During the play later that evening, Canio/Pagliaccio, driven by his jealousy, suspects a secret love affair of Nedda/Colombina. He looses control and the play and reality become intermingled, resulting in a deadly finale.