Cavalleria rusticana

opera by Pietro Mascagni

Cavalleria rusticana is an Italian opera in one act. The music was written by Pietro Mascagni. The story and words (libretto) were written by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci. The opera was based on a play by Giovanni Verga.

Stagno and Bellincioni as Tiriddu and Santuzza in the first performance, 1890

The opera was first performed in Rome on May 17, 1890. The work marked the start of the verismo style in Italian opera. It is often paired with Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci to make a full evening. Both operas are just a little over one hour each.

Name: The name means 'rustic chivalry' or 'chivalry of (people in) the countryside'.




  • Anderson, James. 1993. The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta. Wings Books.
  • The Earl of Harewood. 1989. Kobbe's Illustrated Opera Book. Putnam's. ISBN 0-399-13475-1. pages 110-112.