Cavalleria rusticana (1982 film)

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Cavalleria rusticana
Zeffirelli's Cavalleria Rusticana with Placido Domingo (VHS cover).jpg
VHS cover with Plácido Domingo
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Written by Guido Menasci (libretto)
Giovanni Verga (short story)
Starring Plácido Domingo
Elena Obraztsova
Music by Pietro Mascagni
Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi
Edited by Giorgio De Vincenzo
Release date
  • 1982 (1982)
Running time
70 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Cavalleria rusticana is a 1982 Italian film directed by Franco Zeffirelli based on Pietro Mascagni's 1890 opera of the same name. It stars tenor Plácido Domingo, mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, and baritone Renato Bruson, all singing their own roles. Georges Prêtre conducted the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra for the movie's soundtrack. The film was made for broadcast on television. In 2003, it was released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, paired with Pagliacci, also starring Plácido Domingo and directed by Franco Zeffirelli.


Initially, the Italian television network RAI expressed interest in recording the live opening night double-bill of Franco Zeffirelli's stage productions of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at the Teatro alla Scala. However, the director wanted to film the operas like movies instead of live stage productions. Over the course of two days, he filmed both operas on the stage of La Scala without an audience and in segments of ten minutes or less. He later added pick-up shots at a film studio in Milan. He also filmed some on location in Vizzini, Sicily for greater authenticity.[1]


Originally shown on Italian television, it was later replayed on U.S. television to enthusiastic reactions.[1]


  1. ^ a b Fawkes, Richard (2000). Opera on Film. London: Duckworth. pp. 185–6. ISBN 0-7156-2943-3. 

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