When a German conductor who lives in Paris is performing a Sicilian opera, it merits a brief historical outline. Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana marks the beginning of veristic opera, which isn’t afraid to raise the curtain for farmers, prostitutes, and the petite bourgeoisie, for small wine merchants who live from one carousal to the next. So much for the theory, which, from a Parisian perspective, is immediately countered when we think of Carmen. Cavalleria is full of piquant French harmonies which translated the bold ideas of Wagner's Tristan into their own idiom. An irresistible combination: no opera was more successful in its time. And now? What else is going to be revealed under Hengelbrock's X-ray vision? We can’t wait to find out!