• Cav / Pag


    Rosa Ponselle as Santuzza

    Cavalleria Rusticana was the second opera sung by Ponselle in the MET, giving her first rendition of Santuzza in December, 1918. She was to sing the role on stage 37 times more.

    Ponselle loved Cavalleria, and was very fond of singing Santuzza. "It's an extraordinay opera, there is not a single bad bar in it", "Santuzza came easy to me, from a dramatic and vocal point of view. I was almost always in the center of my tessitura, a dream role for me".

    However, although is true her vocal performance is peerless, the inner identity of Santuzza always eluded Ponselle a little bit.

    We can listen below "Voi lo sapete, o mamma", recorded in 1919:



    Also this adaptation from Mascagni, "Ave Maria", broadcasted in 1934:



    In spite of the popularity of the 'Cav/Pag' pairing, Ponselle never sung on stage Nedda. However, she did recorded "Qual fiamma avea nel guardo":



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