Within the same year 1892 and only few weeks prior to Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally had its world-premiere at the same venue, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Leoncavallo’s opera soon started its triumphal career as Verismo-twin together with Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana having been premiered two years before, while Catalani’s three-act-opera fell into a shadowy existence. The Italian subjects of the other two operas also fitted much better to the prevailing taste of fervid blood- and earth-dramas then the tragedy of an ostracized woman in the high mountains. Thus Catalani‘s Wally never managed to become a standard repertory.
The commitment of the Vienna Volksoper for this piece is therefore commendable. And even more commendable is Kristiane Kaiser’s effort to study and rehearse the demanding role for only two performances of the short run. After having sung Nedda in I Pagliacci, Liu in Turandot and Mimí in La Bohéme, the title-role of Wally is the soprano’s fourth approach to a Verismo-opera. Performances with Kristiane Kaiser on June 17th and 22nd, 2018.
Details concerning the Vienna Volksoper production link