Here are two timeless stories of love, honor, justice and violence - a highlight for every opera lover. Pietro Mascagni's "Cavalleria rusticana" and Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" speak to one's heart and soul. They are regarded as the most absorbing tragedies of Italian music theater. Adultery, jealousy and betrayal are leading to passionate conflicts that jointly connect both operas. The impressively embellished stage waives exaggerated decoration to underline the unflattering realistic brutality. Both operas are supported by a musical variety of great arias, short duets and amazing choir passages that add to the unveiled expression of feelings. These live performances were produced at the Zurich Opera House in 2009.