A Stunning New ‘Cav/Pag’ With Alvarez Shining in Both

Wilborn Hampton, 15-4-15

The Met Opera’s striking new production of the twin-bill of Cavelleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, with the tenor Marcelo Alvarez singing the dual roles of cuckolder in the first and cuckold in the latter, restores all the passion and drama to a pair of old operatic warhorses…

Alvarez, one of the Met’s most reliable tenors, takes on both Turiddu in Cavalleria and Canio in Pagliacci. It is an arduous and rare undertaking and Alvarez carries it off with ease. His voice is strong and clear, and he conveys all the pain and pathos of a doomed lover. His “Vesti la giubba” in Pagliacci, a mainstay for all tenors (Caruso made it a signature piece), was anguished and moving without his resorting to the sobbing that often accompanies the aria’s final notes.