Maria José Siri to Make Arena di Verona History

By Francisco Salazar

On July 2, 2021, Maria José Siri will make her anticipated debut as Santuzza in “Cavalleria rusticana” at the Arena of Verona.

The soprano will perform alongside Maestro Marco Armiliato and Yusif Eyvazof and Murat Karahan, Fabio Sartori, and Sebastian Catana. Then on July 22, the soprano will make history and become one of the select few to perform both soprano roles of “Cavalleria rusticana” and “Pagliacci” in the same performance. The double bill is generally performed by a tenor and it is rare to see the same soprano in both works.

Regarding the role of Santuzza, the soprano said, “I am looking so much forward to making my role debut as Santuzza in this new production at the Arena di Verona. I really fell in love with this character. The palette of emotions she is going through is so interesting as an interpreter. For me, it is important to transmit all of these huge emotions and all of the facets of Santuzza, without falling into Verismo clichés.”

Regarding her historical performance, Siri said, “Performing both Santuzza and Nedda in one evening will be an amazing experience. It’s a dream come true for a singing actress to have the pleasure to perform two roles on the same night, especially two such contrasting characters. Santuzza was abandoned by Turiddu and is fighting to get him and her dignity back, while Nedda is betraying her husband Canio and actually wants to leave him to elope with her lover Silvio. In this Arena production, Nedda is Santuzza’s vindication: the two characters are tied in this thread of continuity as if it were Santuzza herself in her next life breaking free of the burden of her repressed womanhood.”

This summer, Siri will perform in three productions at the Arena of Verona including a gala evening with Plácido Domingo and in the title role of “Aida.”