Young Santuzza fell in love with her fellow villager Turiddu. However her happiness was not long. Before joining army Turiddu was engaged with beautiful Lola. When he returned and found her married to Alfio, he began a relationship with Santuzza and seduced her, but then has abandoned her and rekindled his affair with Lola. Being broken hearted Santuzza pours out her grief to Lucia, Turiddu’s mother. Turiddu appears and is confronted by Santuzza about his affair with Lola but he denies the accusations. Just then Lola passes by on her way to church. She mocks Santuzza, and Turiddu turns to follow her, but Santuzza begs him to stay and implores him not to abandon her. Turiddu refuses to listen and leaves, cursed by Santuzza. Alfio arrives. Santuzza tells him that Lola went to the church with Turiddu and reveals that his wife has been cheating on him. In a rage, Alfio swears to revenge Turiddu.
Returning from the church the villagers gather at tavern. Turiddu leads them in a drinking song, but the atmosphere becomes tense when Alfio appears. He refuses Turiddu’s offer of wine and instead challenges him to a knife fight. Turiddu admits his guilt but is determined to go through with the fight, for Santuzza’s sake as well as for his honor. The two men agree to meet outside the village. Alone with his mother, Turiddu begs her to take care of Santuzza if he doesn’t come back, then runs off to the fight. The duel finishes tragically for Turiddu.
The girl and her lover escape from her bridegroom, whom she does not like. However, he overtakes them and attacks an opponent.
In a fierce fight the unloved bridegroom perishes, but jealousy, anger and envy turn him into the Ghost. Filled with a strong desire for revenge, he is constantly present between the Young Man and the Girl, not only preventing them from getting married, but also from staying alone.
Nothing can save the lovers from the constant tiresome presence of the Ghost: neither pleas of the Girl, nor the tricks of the Young Man, nor the incantation of the Fire. Only patience, persistence and deep desire to stay together weaken the power of their enemy and exhaust him. The magic of love wins.