I have sung bits of Cavalleria Rusticana before, but never seen it, nor Pagliacci. The set and the production was really clever, weaving these two operas in quite ingenious ways. Eva-Maria Westbroek was a larger than life Santuzza. Perhaps Alfio could benefit from a bigger voice. Aleksandrs Antonenko gave it all as Canio (in Pagliacci). The chorus was great. Needless to say, Pappano milked every musical moment.
I quite forgot the first number in Porgy and Bess is Summertime! Beautifully sung by Nicole Cabell as Bess. On a whole, the chorus number was better sung than the solo numbers - where the diction was generally inadequate. The set (Michael Yeargan) was three-dimensional and worked really well with the many scenes in this work. John Wilson was in his elements in the pit and the orchestra responded with a rhythmic boisterous sound - the best part of the evening.