Gothenburg Opera’s Premiere of ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ Interrupted Twice

By Sebastien Turgeon

There was a plethora of drama during the performance of “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “I Pagliacci” at Gothenburg Opera on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

During the opening performance of Damiano Michieletto’s new production, Italian conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi had to stop the performance of “Cavalleria Rusticana” not once, but twice because of separate incidents with indisposed persons in the audience.

Approximately 40 minutes into the performance, the music suddenly stopped and the curtain had to come down as help was provided to the distressed spectator. After a few minutes, the performance resumed.

But then during the intermezzo, a woman started yelling, asking for help and the orchestra immediately stopped playing. After a several minutes, the intermezzo was restarted from the beginning and the balance of the opera was played without further interruptions.

“I saw the the conductor turning around and I first thought he was disturbed by a cell phone. But then someone called for a doctor and the conductor stopped the music and the curtain came down,” Annalena Persson, the evening’s Santuzza, said to the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten. “First, you don’t understand what is happening, you are in your bubble, extremely concentrated, especially during the premiere. At the same time, we are used to situations during rehearsals where there are interruptions and we go in and out of emotional states. We got a little confused, but we managed to gather ourselves and I think it went pretty well.”

This production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” features a guest appearance of Rosalind Plowright as Mama Lucia. Twelve other performances are scheduled until the end of March.

Gothenburg Opera is a 2019 finalist for Opera Company of the Year by International Opera Awards. Winners will be announced on Monday April 29th at Sadler’s Wells in London.

The performance was broadcast live on Swedish Radio. The media coordinator from Göteborgs Opera confirmed after the performance to Göteborgs-Posten that two spectators were taken to the hospital by ambulance.