Production Details

September 4, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 2010.
Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.
Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University


Composer: Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo
Conductor: Greg Hocking, Matthew Toogood
Director: Hugh Halliday
Starring: David Rogers Smith, Roy Best, Dannielle Calder, Kerry Gill.


The most famous of operatic twins, ‘Cav and Pag’ as this much loved operatic double bill in the repertoire is known, is a sure-fire success with audiences due to the accessibility, expressiveness and power of the music combined with the strength of the story lines. Both operas are intense dramas of sexual jealousy and revenge, set in small Italian villages. ’Cav and Pag’ revolutionised Italian opera and paved the way for the huge success of Puccini.

Melbourne Opera’s 2007 production of ’Cavalleria Rusticana’ (Rustic Chivalry) was acclaimed by the critics. ’Grabs the audience by the throat from the outset, another Halliday / Hocking sure fire hit’ (Herald Sun) and played to packed houses both in Melbourne and on tour.

Now Melbourne Opera is proud to announce a new production of ’Pagliacci’, (The Clowns) with an all star cast featuring leading Australian baritone Gary Rowley playing the pivotal roles of Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. Quite a rare tour de force. He is joined in the double bill by a stellar cast of leading Australian singers including the fabulous Roy Best and Nick Seidemann as Turiddu, Danielle Calder, Carmela De Losinno, Kerry Gill, Vanessa West and as Canio, the tragic clown in Pagliacci, David Rogers-Smith, alternating with Salvatore Granata, Phillip Calcagno and Jenny Wakefield appear along with Michael Lapina and Selena Pettifer, featuring over 80 performers, the 40 voice Melbourne Opera Chorus, Children’s chorus and the acclaimed 42 piece Melbourne Opera Orchestra conducted by Matthew Toogood and Greg Hocking.

Press & Reviews

“In both halves the Melbourne Opera Chorus is superb, as is the Melbourne Opera Orchestra.”

“This attractive production is doubly welcome, for its many merits and for restoring some marvellous music to the Melbourne repertoire.”
Sydney Morning Herald.

Cast & Crew

Turridu – Roy Best & Nick Seidenman
Santuzza – Dannielle Calder &Carmela De Losinno
Alfio – Gary Rowley
Mama Lucia – Jenny Wakefield
Lola – Selena Pettifer

Canio – David Rogers Smith & Salvatore Granata
Nedda – Kerry Gill & Vanessa West
Tonio – Gary Rowley
Beppe – Michael Lapina
Sylvio – Phillip Calcagno
Villager – Tim Reynolds

Jodie Debono, Cheryl Darvidis, Sarah Somers, Julia Harper, Ellen Leather, Sue Halls, Helen Koehne, Cecily Woodberry, Kylie Payman, Maree Macmillan, Wendy Trent, Emmy Thompson, Norma Tovey, Angela Lumicisi, Casselle Bonollo, Melinda Frith, Richard Wilson, Tim Reynolds, Craig Debono, David Woodberry, Antonio Cirocco, Brendon Fink, Steve Carolane, Te Ua Houkamau, Hayden Downing, Roland Seidl, Dick Dowling, Robert Van Keulen, Mark Henderson, Michael Carr, Bernie Nolan, Michael Reed.


Director: Hugh Halliday
: Greg Hocking, Matthew Toogood
Designer – Set: Andrew Bellchambers
Chorus Master: Matthew Toogood
Stage Manager: Alix Parsons
Assistant Stage Manager: Sarah Grey
Costume Manager: Alicia Fernandez
Wigs, Hair, Makeup: Christina Pallikaris
Set Construction: Greg Carroll
Company Manager: Robbie McPhee