Two of the world’s most popular shows are coming to Falmouth when Duchy Opera stages the magnificent Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni in a double bill with Gilbert and Sullivan’s side-splitting Trial by Jury - both tales of jilted lovers.

To celebrate, the Packet is giving one lucky reader the chance to win two tickets to see performance, by taking part in our exclusive quiz – see this week's Packet print editions for details on how to enter. 

Audiences will feel the heat of the Sicilian sun beating down under the spotlights at the Princess Pavilion, Falmouth when the curtain lifts on Cavalleria Rusticana, which means Rustic Chivalry. Usually sung in Italian, it will be a rare opportunity to hear its famous choruses in English.

Love, passion, betrayal and death, it has it all. Its haunting melodies, including the famous Intermezzo and Easter Hymn, have inspired many film makers, not least Francis Ford Coppola, when he directed Godfather Part 3. They permeate the movie.

The mood changes abruptly in the second half, with G&S’s Trial by Jury, a hilarious roller-coaster of a ride, witty, tuneful and bonkers, set in an English courtroom.

Duchy Opera has a mission to make Opera accessible to as wide an audience as possible, and to encourage younger talent. Tickets for under 16s are free.

Falmouth Packet: Rebecca Louise Dale, who plays Santuzza, with Louis Dutton playing AlfioRebecca Louise Dale, who plays Santuzza, with Louis Dutton playing Alfio (Image: Duchy Opera)

The two productions showcase some of Cornwall’s most impressive performers. Cornish born Rebecca Louise Dale, who plays Santuzza, and graduated as a soprano from Trinity College of Music, has worked with a range of leading directors, conductors and performers.

Another home-grown talent, Louis Dutton, playing Alfio, studied at top Arts college, Goldsmiths, part of the University of London, where he won the prestigious Alexander Ivashkin Scholarship for vocal performance.

They will be joined by guest tenor Ceri Heddwyn Davies, as Turridu, a young villager, who returns from military service to discover his fiancée has married another. Think Poldark. His mother Lucia is played by Karen McInally.

Well-known local baritone and brilliant comic actor, John Hobbs, plays the Judge in Trial by Jury. W S Gilbert trained as a barrister, and certainly had it in for judges. Redoubtable cad, Edwin, is hauled into court to be tried for damages for breach of promise, after seducing and then abandoning his betrothed, Angelina.

Falmouth Packet: The cast on stageThe cast on stage (Image: Duchy Opera)

Director Angela Thomas said she is confident the shows will prove popular. She said: “Cavalleria Rusticana contains some very well-known and famous pieces including the Easter Hymn and Intermezzo, often used in films and on television.

“We are fortunate to have outstanding soloists. The strong Duchy chorus is joined by the beautiful voice of Rebecca Dale, who brings a special intensity to the role of Santuzza. Talented Louis Dutton is a very fine Alfio, his dark voice full of passion and masculinity.”

Chorus master Clive Ellison hopes the double bill will attract opera buffs and novices alike. He said: "Cavalleria Rusticana is very popular with opera lovers, while Trial by Jury is much lighter and enormous fun. Combined, the double bill should be a wonderful introduction to the best that opera has to offer.

"Both operas were written at a very early stage in the composers' careers, so they have that in common. Cavalleria Rusticana is more serious, but with some wonderful music, full of love, passion, betrayal and violent revenge. A bit like East Enders really – though set in Sicily."

Music director Jane Anderson-Brown returns to Duchy Opera after last year’s acclaimed production of G&S’s Gondoliers, also performed at Princess Pavilion, Falmouth.

The double bill will be staged on Thursday 8th June and Friday 9th June at the Princess Pavilion, Falmouth. Adult ticket price £20. For more information see