Cavalleria Rusticana (1959 film)

Cavalleria Rusticana is a 1959 Australian television play, an adaptation of the opera by Pietro Mascagni. It was directed by Alan Burke.[1]

Cavalleria Rusticana
Directed byAlan Burke
Based onthe opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Distributed byABC
Release date
12 June 1959
Running time
75 mins

Music was provided by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Georg Tintner.


In a Sicilian village, the peasant girl Santuzza falls for the tanner Turiddu. However he tires of her and returns to his old love, Lola. To get revenge, Santuzza tells Lola's husband Alfio about the love affair, resulting in a duel with knives between Alfio and Turiddu.


  • Heather McMillan as Santussa
  • Alan Ferris as Turiddu
  • Florence Taylor
  • Neil Easton as Alfio
  • Mary Tysoe as Lola


It was the fourth live opera from the ABC following, "The Telephone," "Pagliacci", and "Prima Donna." Alan Burke had directed Prima Donna.[2]

Singer Marie Tysoe later recalled "That was also performed live. We had monitors strategically placed in the sets so that the singers could always see the conductor."[3]


The TV critic from the Sydney Morning Herald called it "no more than a partial success". He praised its "well planned and well designed sets" but thought it lacked movement and felt the singing "was often heavy and uncertain" and acting "either stagey or inhibited, and sometimes both.. It seems that the initial requirements for local televised opera is singers who can adapt their style to the searching eye of the camera.[4]

See also


  1. Interview with Alan Burke
  2. "Live Telecast of Opera". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 June 1959. p. 13.
  3. Interview with Marie Tysoe
  4. "Live Opera on ABC". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 June 1959.

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