Lyric Opera of Kansas City Opens the 2023–2024 Season with Cavalleria rusticana | Pagliacci!

A play within a play is the play.

Themes of love’s fragility and tension born from jealousy reveal the consequences of infidelity and the rage within all of us. Prepare to be enthralled by this brand-new production of an unforgettable double bill. Cavalleria rusticana takes place in a beautiful Sicilian landscape lush with orange trees and greenery. Set in the same village, Pagliacci’s landscape has been ravaged by the horrors of war, much like its characters.

Saturday, September 23, 7:30 pm
Friday, September 29, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 1, 2:00 pm

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Purchase tickets by visiting, or call Ticketing and Patron Services at (816) 471-7344 Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm.
Tickets range from $40–$198, while supplies last.


Turiddu returns from war to find his love, Lola, married to another. In a scheme to induce jealousy, he seduces Santuzza. As swiftly as she is beguiled, Santuzza is discarded while Turiddu begins an affair with his old flame. After the conclusion of Easter Mass, passions erupt and expose the ugliness of jealousy. With stirring melodies as iconic as the story, Cavalleria rusticana reveals the consequences of infidelity and the lengths we might go to for revenge.


The passions of ordinary people take center stage in Leoncavallo’s classic verismo tale of resentment and possession. Drama seeps into the fabric of a small traveling theater troupe led by Canio and his wife, Nedda. When his suspicions of Nedda’s affair are confirmed, Canio must put on a smile and entertain despite his broken heart. Numb to the ugliness of their world, the audience is left to interpret whether the plot before them is theater or reality.