With an international cast of singers and NCPA's SOI, Mumbai will soon get to see what is often fondly called in opera circles as the Heavenly Twins

While Mumbai has had its taste of operas, just recently with Puccini's Madama Butterfly in 2008 and Tosca in 2010, there is a big one of sorts coming up. On February 20 and 21, the National Centre for Performing Arts will stage a double bill of classics  --Pietro Mascagni's Cavallerina Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavollo's Pagliacci -- conducted by the celebrated Antonello Allemandi.

Here, the Symphony Orchestra of India will join a professional cast of singers from across the globe, Allemandi, well-known stage director Willie Landin and magnificent sets from Argentina for the performance. All artistes have reportedly been selected after a rigorous screening process, spanning performances in several European countries.

Euphemistically known as Opera's 'Heavenly Twins,' the classic duo has performed together several thousand times. Their subsequent success was responsible for the propulsion of their respective composers to instant fame. Both operas present dramatic stories of love, jealousy, betrayal, murder and societal privation with impassioned music.

And if you think you've heard the music of Cavalleria Rusticana, despite having never been close to an opera before, it is because the music has been used in the final moments of The Godfather: Part 3.

Apart from the operas, as a continuation of its 'special' 12th season, the SOI will put up  Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on February 25 and 26. Based on 24 poems taken from the medieval manuscript of the same title, these concert performances will feature more than 300 artistes (vocalists and musicians) on stage. Although, initially written as a piece to be staged with sets and costumes, it has more often been heard as a choral piece.

At: 7 pm, February 20 and 21, NCPA, Nariman Point
Call: 66223737