Two years after it staged Giacomo Puccini's opera, Tosca, Mumbai's Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) is back with two full-scale Italian operas this month.
On February 18, 20 and 21, the SOI — India's only professional orchestra run by the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) — will perform Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, two late 19th century operas that are usually performed back-to-back.
This will be the 12th concert season of the six-year-old orchestra, which has 110 members — 12 Indians and the rest from various parts of Europe and Asia. The performances will be conducted by Italian opera conductor Antonello Allemandi, and will be accompanied by English subtitles projected above the stage.
“These two operas are very close to Indian tastes,” said Khushroo Suntook, chairman of the NCPA, which has shipped in the elaborate opera sets from Argentina.
“In I Pagliacci, we are using Indian mallakhamb artistes instead of the circus acrobats in the original,” said Willy Landin, stage director for the operas.
The SOI season will also include a concert performance of Carmina Burana, a set of 24 medieval poems set to music by German composer Carl Orff, on February 25 and 26. Tickets for the operas and concert are available at the NCPA box office, with prices starting at Rs1,200.