Cavalleria Rusticana Libretto
English Translation

Cast:
SANTUZZA, a peasant girl (soprano or mezzo-soprano)
TURIDDU, a young peasant (tenor)
LUCIA, his mother (contralto)
ALFIO, a carter (baritone)
LOLA, his wife (mezzo-soprano)

CHORUS: villagers

Place: A village in Sicily
Time: About 1880, on Easter Sunday



Prelude

Siciliana

TURIDDU
behind the curtain
O Lola, white and red as the cherry
In your nightdress white as milk,
When you appear at the window you smile;
Happy he who gave you your first kiss!
The mark of blood is over your door,
But I care not if I am killed;
If through you I die and go to Paradise,
It will not be Paradise for me unless you are there.
Ah!

ONE AND ONLY ACT
A square in the village. In the background right, a church with a door. On the left, the inn and Mother Lucia's house. At first the stage is empty. Dawn is breaking.

Introductory Chorus
Chorus

CHORUS
from within
Ah!

WOMEN
from within
The orange trees lilt he green groves
Scent the air,
The larks sing
Through the flowering myrtles;
Now is the time
For everyone to murmur
The tender song
Which quickens the heart.

The women enter.

MEN
from within
Across the fields
Amid the golden corn
The sound of your shuttles
Reaches us
In our fatigue.
Lightening our labour.
We think of you,
Sweet rays of sunshine.
We hasten to you
As a bird flies
To his mate's call.

The men enter.

WOMEN
Now cease
Your rustic tasks;
The blessed Virgin is gladdened
By the Saviour;
Now is the time
For everyone to murmur
The tender song
Which quickens the heart.

MEN
Across the fields, etc.

WOMEN
The orange trees in the green groves, etc.

The chorus crosses the stage and goes out.


Scene
Santuzza and Lucia

SANTUZZA
entering
Tell me, mother Lucia …

LUCIA
surprised
You? What do you want?

SANTUZZA
Where is Turiddu?

LUCIA
Have you come here
To look for my son?

SANTUZZA
I beg you to forgive me.
I only want to know where I can find him.

LUCIA
I do not know.
Don't bother me!

SANTUZZA
Mother Lucia, in tears I implore you,
Be merciful as Our Lord was to Magdalene
And tell me where Turiddu is …

LUCIA
He went to Francolonte
For the wine.

SANTUZZA
No! He was seen
In the village late last night.

LUCIA
What are you saying?
He's not returned home!
turning towards the door of her house
Come in!

SANTUZZA
desperately
I cannot enter your house!
I have been damned!

LUCIA
What then do you know
Of my son?

SANTUZZA
What a thorn I have in my heart!


Scene with Alfio and Chorus
Alfio, Chorus and the above

ALFIO
The horses' hooves thunder,
The harness bells jingle,
The whip cracks. Get along!
Let the wind blow cold,
Rain or snow fall,
What care I?

CHORUS
O a carter's life
Is a fine life,
Going from place to place!

ALFIO
The whip cracks!
At home, awaiting me,
Is Lola, who loves me and comforts me
And is ever true.
The horses' hooves thunder,
The harness bells jingle,
It's Easter, and here I am!

CHORUS
O a carter's life, etc.

ALFIO
Get along! The whip cracks!
Here I am!
O a carter's life, etc.
It's Easter, and here I am!


Scene and Prayer

LUCIA
You are lucky, friend Alfio,
To be always so gay!

ALFIO
Mother Lucia,
Do you still have some
Of that vintage wine?

LUCIA
I know I haven't:
Turiddu has gone
To get some.

ALFIO
But he's still here!
I saw him this morning
Near my house.

LUCIA
surprised
What?

SANTUZZA
quickly to Lucia
Hush!

From the church is heard the Alleluja.

ALFIO
I'm going;
You women go to church.
exit

CHORUS
inside the church
Regina coeli laetare.
Alleluja!
Quia quem meruisti portare.
Alleluja!
Resurrexit sicut dixit.
Alleluja!

SANTUZZA, LUCIA and CHORUS
in the square
Let us rejoice
That Our Lord is not dead,
And in glory
Has opened the tomb!
Let us rejoice
That Our Lord is risen again
And today is gone up
Into the glory of Heaven!

CHORUS
inside the church
Alleluja!

All enter the church except Santuzza and Lucia.


Romance and Scene
Lucia and Santuzza

LUCIA
Why did you signal me
To be silent?

SANTUZZA
O mother, you know
That before he went for a soldier
Turiddu had sworn
Eternal faith to Lola.
On his return, he found her married,
And sought with a new love
To quell the flame
Which burned in his heart:
He loved me, I loved him.
But she, envious of my only delight
And forgetful of her husband,
Burned with jealousy …
She stole him from me …
And I am left disgraced;
Lola and Turiddu are lovers,
And I am left to weep.

LUCIA
Lord have mercy!
What is this you've come to tell me
On this holy day?

SANTUZZA
l am condemned!
O mother, go
And pray to God
And pray for me too!
When Turiddu comes,
I will plead with him
Once again.

LUCIA
going towards the church
Holy Mary,
Have mercy upon her!
exit


Scene
Santuzza and Turiddu

TURIDDU
entering
You here, Santuzza?

SANTUZZA
I was waiting here for you.

TURIDDU
It is Easter;
Aren't you going to church?

SANTUZZA
I cannot.
I must speak to you …

TURIDDU
I was looking for my mother.

SANTUZZA
I must speak to you …

TURIDDU
Not here! not here!

SANTUZZA
Where have you been?

TURIDDU
What do you mean?
At Francofonte!

SANTUZZA
No, its not true!

TURIDDU
Santuzza, believe me …

SANTUZZA
No, do not lie;
I saw you returning
Down the road …
And this morning at dawn
You were seen
Near Lola's door.

TURIDDU
Ha! You were spying on me!

SANTUZZA
No, I swear it.
Alfio, her husband,
Was telling us
Just now.

TURIDDU
Is this the way you return
The love I bear you?
Do you want me killed?

SANTUZZA
Oh, do not say such things …

TURIDDU
Leave me then, leave me;
In vain you try,
With your pleas for pity,
To lessen my scorn.

SANTUZZA
Then you love her?

TURIDDU
No.
SANTUZZA
Lola is
Far more lovely.

TURIDDU
Be quiet, I do not love her.

SANTUZZA
You do love her …
A curse upon her!

TURIDDU
Santuzza!

SANTUZZA
That wicked woman
Stole you from me!

TURIDDU
Take care, Santuzza.
I am not the slave
Of this mad
Jealousy of yours!

SANTUZZA
Beat me, insult me,
I love you and forgive you;
But my anguish
Is too much to hear.


Lola's Refrain
Lola and the above

LOLA
off-stage
O flower of the iris,
The angels in their beauty
Stand a thousandfold in Heaven,
But only one there is
As handsome as he. Ah!
entering
O flower of the iris …
Oh! Turiddu … has Alfio been here?

TURIDDU
I've just come into the square.
I do not know …

LOLA
Perhaps he was kept
At the blacksmith's,
But he can't he long.
ironically
And you … are you listening
To the service from the square?

TURIDDU
Santuzza was telling me …

SANTUZZA
darkly
I was saying that today is Easter,
And the Lord sees everything!
LOLA
Aren't you coming to Mass?

SANTUZZA
Not I: only they can go
Who know they are free from sin.

LOLA
I thank the Lord
And kiss the ground.

SANTUZZA
ironically
Oh, you're so good, Lola!

TURIDDU
to Lola
Come, let us leave her!
Why do we stay here?

LOLA
ironically
Do stay here!

SANTUZZA
to Turiddu
Yes, stay, oh stay,
I've more to tell you!

LOLA
The Lord be with you;
I'm going.
goes into the church


Duet
Santuzza and Turiddu

TURIDDU
angrily
Ah, you see?
What have you said … ?

SANTUZZA
You wished it: then so be it.

TURIDDU
rushing forward
Ah! By Heaven!

SANTUZZA
Tear me to pieces!

TURIDDU
turning away
No!

SANTUZZA
holding him back
Turiddu, listen!

TURIDDU
Go away!

SANTUZZA
No, no. Turiddu,
Stay with me awhile.
Why do you seek
To fly from me?

TURIDDU
Why do you follow me
And spy on me
Without respite
To the very doors of the church?

SANTUZZA
Your own Santuzza
Weeps and pleads with you;
How could you
Drive her away like this?

TURIDDU
Go, I say.
Do not plague me;
Vain is your repentance
After what you have done.

SANTUZZA
threateningly
Take care!

TURIDDU
I do not heed your anger.

He throws her to the ground and flees into the church.

SANTUZZA
in a fury
May your Easter be cursed, you traitor!
She falls, overcome with anguish.

Alfio, entering, encounters Santuzza.


Duet
Santuzza and Alfio

SANTUZZA
Oh! The Lord has sent you,
Good Alfio.

ALFIO
How far on is the Mass?

SANTUZZA
It's nearly over ... but listen!
Lola has gone with Turiddu!

ALFIO
in surprise
What are you saying?

SANTUZZA
That while you go driving
In rain and wind
To earn your living.
Lola is adorning your head
In an ugly way!

ALFIO
What! In Heaven's name,
Santa, what are you saying?

SANTUZZA
The truth. Turiddu
Stole my honour,
And your wife
Has stolen him from me!

ALFIO
If you're lying,
I'll tear your heart out!

SANTUZZA
My lips are not in the habit
Of uttering lies!
It was the bitter truth
I told you, alas,
In my shame
And my sorrow.

ALFIO
Santuzza,
Then I am grateful to you.

SANTUZZA
I am vile
To have told you this.

ALFIO
It is they who are vile:
I will not forgive them;
I will have vengeance
Before the sun goes down.
I will have blood,
My rage shall know no bounds,
And all my love
Shall end in hate.
exeunt


Symphonic Intermezzo
The people come out of church.
Lucia crosses the stage and goes into her house.



Scene, Chorus and Toasts
Lola, Turiddu and Chorus

MEN
Let us go homewards,
Friends, to where
Our womenfolk await us!
Let us hasten
Without delay
Now that gladness
Has soothed our hearts.

WOMEN
Let us go homewards,
Friends, to where
Our husbands await us!
Let us hasten
Without delay
Now that gladness
Has soothed our hearts.

The chorus goes off.

TURIDDU
to Lola as she goes
Mistress Lola,
Are you going
Without a word of greeting?

LOLA
I must go home:
I have not seen Alfio!

TURIDDU
Don't give it a thought;
He'll be coming to the square.
to the chorus
Meanwhile, friends,
Come, let's drink together!
All come to the inn table and take winecups.
Hurrah for the sparkling wine
Bubbling in the glass,
Bringing happiness
Like a lover's smile!
Hurrah for friendly wine
That livens every thought
And banishes melancholy
In cheerful drinking!

CHORUS
Hurrah!
TURIDDU
to Lola
To your love!
He drinks.

LOLA
to Turiddu
To your good fortune!
She drinks.

TURIDDU
Drink up!

CHORUS, TURIDDU and LOLA
Hurrah! Drink up!
Continue the tournament!

CHORUS
Hurrah for the sparkling wine, etc.

enter Alfio


Finale
Alfio and the above

ALFIO
Greetings to you all!

CHORUS
Greetings, friend Alfio!

TURIDDU
Welcome!
You must drink with us:
fills a glass
Here, I've filled you a glass.

ALFIO
rejecting it
Thank you, but I cannot
Accept your wine.
It would turn to poison
Inside me.

TURIDDU
throwing the wine away
As you please!

LOLA
Alas! How will this end?

SOME WOMEN
to Lola
Mistress Lola,
This is no place for us.

All the women go out, taking Lola with them.

TURIDDU
Have you anything else to say to me?

ALFIO
I? Nothing!

TURIDDU
Then I'm at your service.

ALFIO
Right away?

TURIDDU
Right away!

Alfio and Turiddu embrace: Turiddu bites Alfio's right ear in challenge.

ALFIO
Friend Turiddu,
You bit my ear.
meaningly
I am sure
We understand each other!

TURIDDU
Friend Alfio,
I know that I have wronged you;
And I swear to you
By Heaven above
That I would cut my throat
Like a dog
Save that … if I do not live,
Poor Santa
Will be left deserted …
She who gave herself to me …
violently
But I can plant my knife
In your heart!

ALFIO
coldly
My friend,
Do as you please;
I'll wait for you outside,
Behind the orchard.
exit

Lucia and Turiddu

TURIDDU
Mother,
That wine is strong.
And in truth I've drunk
Too much of it today …
I must go out into the fields.
But give me first
Your blessing.
As you did that day
When I went off as a soldier…
And then … mother… listen …
If I should not return
You must be a mother
To Santuzza,
Whom I promised
To lead to the altar.

LUCIA
My son, what is this you're saying?

TURIDDU
Oh, nothing!
It is the wine within me speaking.
Pray to Heaven for me!
One kiss, mother …
One more kiss … farewell!

He embraces her and rushes out.

Lucia, Santuzza and Chorus

LUCIA
desperately, hurrying alter him
Turiddu. What do you mean'?
Turiddu! Turiddu! Ah!
enter Santuzza
Santuzza!

SANTUZZA
throwing her arms round Lucia's neck
Oh mother!

The scene fills with people.
A confused noise is heard from the distance.


A WOMAN
Turiddu has been killed!

They all scream.