MezzoCav & Pagliacci

MezzoCav & Pagliacci

Belcombe Court


Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

In the great double-acts of history, Cav and Pag feature high in cultural reference. Two unconnected operas that were first brought together by the Met in New York in 1893, they are nevertheless from the same stable of operatic genre – verismo, or ‘real life’. These operas found huge popularity in the late 19th and early 20th century and focus on the mundane yet murderous lives and proclivities of simple folk.

Pietro Mascagni broke through with Cavalleria Rusticana, a one act opera that he entered into the annual competition run by the publisher Sonzogno. It brought fame and fortune that he was never truly able to escape or move on from entirely with his later works, many of which were stupendously inventive and beautiful. ‘They crowned me before I was king,’ he once said.  The opera tells a powerful tale of love, jealousy and betrayal in a Sicilian village, during which savagery and violence is set to exquisite, heartbreaking music.  Our concert performance of the highlights from the opera will deliver outstanding singing and some of the most beautiful melodies in the late Italian repertoire, including the immensely moving Easter Hymn, and one of the world’s most famous pieces of music – the Intermezzo.

Susan Bullock – among the foremost and internationally successful modern British sopranos of recent times – leads the concert ensemble which also features baritone, Paul Carey Jones and tenor Christopher Turner; three exemplary artists to open a thrilling evening of music.

Pagliacci, the story of a troupe of clowns indulging libido and  crushing betrayal is another of the pure verismo classics of the repertoire. The opera is most famous for the Vesti la giubba aria (On with the motley) in which cuckolded clown Canio takes his revenge during the ‘play within a play’; a devastating denouement that sits among the most dramatic in the entire repertoire. This production, in partnership with Opera Ensemble, has enjoyed great success as a powerful, visceral and paired back production. For our version, we have added orchestra, conducted by Oliver Gooch, and chorus. The opera stars one of the UK’s most exciting sopranos, Elin Pritchard as Nedda, and she is joined by tenor Peter Auty as her tortured husband. Robert Hayward, Nic Lester, and Aled Hall complete the all-star ensemble.

The double-bill represents an extraordinary and atmospheric evening of music and drama, with some of the finest singers around today.  As a summer evening treat, it is likely to be deeply affecting and unforgettable.

For information on priority booking please visit the Iford Arts Support Us pages, or call the box office to become a Friend.

MezzoCav Concert

Conductor: Oliver Gooch
Orchestra: Chroma Ensemble
Santuzza: Susan Bullock, OBE
Turiddu: Christopher Turner
Alfio: Paul Carey Jones
Chorus: Iford Arts Festival Chorus

Pagliacci Production

Director: Christopher Luscombe
Conductor: Oliver Gooch
Orchestra: Chroma Ensemble
Nedda: Elin Pritchard
Canio: Peter Auty
Tonio: Robert Hayward
Silvio: Nicholas Lester
Beppe: Aled Hall
Chorus: Michael Ronan, Laurie Slavin, Dafydd Allen, Joshua Baxter, Caroline Carragher, Fiona Finsbury, Lauren McQuistin, Gemma Morsley

Booking & Event Information

£95 (undercover – Band A)
£79- £49 (under the stars – Bands B & C)

Gates open: 5pm for picnics
Performance starts: 7pm
Interval: 30 minutes
End approx:

Children: Admittance for children aged 12 and over only

Under 18s go free: Up to two free Young Adult tickets per Full price ticket. Discount will apply automatically when appropriate tickets are added to the basket. Subject to availability.

  • All events at Belcombe Court are being sold as socially distanced events at the present time
  • You must only book seats as your legitimate Household or Support Bubble groups, if your party is made up of different ‘bubbles’ please book each group separately.
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  • At the present time Bath Box Office are not operating counter sales.

Important Terms and Conditions

  • All tickets are non-refundable. Tickets may be returned to the box office to be resold. BBO can only offer this service if an event is sold out (£2 fee). Please note any transaction, booking or postage fees are always non-refundable.
  • In addition to the above, we have added some COVID-specific elements. These include not being able to accept the return of seats that are part of a ‘Household Bubble’ – e.g. one seat in a pair, or similar. This is to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. However, we will endeavour to be as helpful as logistically possible under the circumstances.
  • Tickets can be exchanged to a different production put on by the same promoter; this is subject to availability and must be done through Bath Box Office. Any difference in price will be charged, if the tickets are cheaper any difference will be lost.
  • Unsold tickets may be offered for resale at whatever price may seem appropriate, or if unsold, allocated free of charge to stewards, press etc. to avoid unoccupied seats.

 Covid safety measures

  • At present we plan that social distancing provisions will be introduced across the site; we will decide on operational details closer to the time, in line with guidelines – e.g. masks may be required in or around our auditorium, contact points reduced, electronic communication will be used where possible, hand sanitiser will be available.
  • At the present time we are unable to offer Patrons coffee in the interval.
  • Should Government guidance be introduced relating to vaccinations and public events in due course, we will follow these as appropriate.

 Images of the Saddlespan at Belcombe