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O'Reilly Theatre, National Opera House


€35 – €160

Priority booking for Friends opens from
24 April 2024. Become a Friend


Approx. running time: 160 minutes

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Opera in a prologue and three acts by Pietro Mascagni
Libretto by Luigi Illica

Fully-Staged Production

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

First Performance

Italy, 1901
Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa
Teatro Regio, Turin
Teatro Costanzi, Rome
Teatro La Fenice, Venice
Teatro Filarmonico, Verona


It’s Mascagni’s homage to Rossini and to the Italian opera buffa and commedia dell’arte traditions. It was premiered simultaneously in six Italian opera houses but, apart from Rome, the reception was subdued. While it has often been held that Mascagni was a ‘one opera man’ who could never repeat the success of Cavalleria rusticana, this verdict has already been debunked by Wexford’s four previous Mascagni productions, most recently Guglielmo Ratcliff in 2015.


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Giorgio Caoduro

Creative Team

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Stage Director and Designer
Stefano Ricci
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Stellario Di Blasi
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Assistant Director
Liliana Laera
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Assistant Costume Designer
Gianluca Sbicca
Eleonora De Leo
Asstistant Set Designer
Eleonora De Leo

The Plot

The title of Le Maschere refers to the masks of the commedia dell’arte and in the Prologue the players and their impresario present the characters they are about to play. These characters are: Brighella, a travelling salesman; Dr. Graziano, a man of law; Columbina, his maidservant (in love with Brighella); Pantalone a wealthy resident; his daughter Rosaura (in love with Florindo); a stuttering Tartaglia; Capitan Spaventa and his servant Arlecchino.

The remaining three acts are the play itself wherein after many vicissitudes, Florindo and Rosaura, aided by Columbina and Arlecchino, manage to prevent the marriage to the Capitan which Rosaura’s father had planned for her and instead Pantalone agrees to the wedding of Rosaura and Florindo on the condition that in nine months a beautiful Pantaloncino will be born, while the opera ends with a joyful hymn to the Italian mask sung in chorus by all those present.

Dates and times

Friday 18 Oct8pm 8pm Book
Wednesday 23 Oct7:30pm 7:30pm Book
Saturday 26 Oct7:30pm 7:30pm Book
Thursday 31 Oct7:30pm 7:30pm Book

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