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Muti Conducts Cavalleria Rusticana

Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Chicago / Music

It’s Easter morning in the Sicilian hills. Seduced, abandoned, disconsolate, with no one to stand up for her, young Santuzza makes a last play to win back her roving lover, with deadly consequences. Where today are singers with the culture as well as the voices to perpetuate Golden Age standards in roles like hers? In Anita Rachvelishivili, a mezzo-soprano from Georgia, Riccardo Muti has found an artist worthy to take up the long-vacant mantle of Giulietta Simionato and Fiorenza Cossotto. Famously a stickler for composers’ intentions as laid down in their scores, Muti is also the custodian of Italian operatic tradition of which few other living maestros have a clue. —M.G.

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