PagliacciRugerro Leoncavallo

June 4, 7, 11, 15, 19, 22, 26, 28 at 7.30pm
Double bill with Cavalleria rusticana

First performed at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan on 21 May 1892

Libretto by the composer

Sung in Italian with English surtitles
New production

Conductor Stuart Stratford
Director Stephen Barlow
Designer Yannis Thavoris
Lighting Designer Mark Jonathan
Choreographer Mandy Demetriou

Nedda Julia Sporsén
Canio Peter Auty
Tonio Stephen Gadd
Silvio Chang-Han Lim
Beppe Andrew Glover

With the City of London Sinfonia and the Opera Holland Park Chorus

The second part of our double bill is the inseparable twin of Cavalleria rusticana, written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892 after he had analysed the success of Mascagni’s earlier opera.

A troupe of travelling players (Pagliacci, or Clowns) arrives in a Calabrian town. Nedda, wife of Canio, the leader of the players, rejects the advances of the hunchback Tonio, and arranges with her lover Silvio to elope after that evening’s performance. Tonio overhears the tryst, and tells Canio.

During the performance Nedda plays the part of Columbine, meeting her lover Harlequin while her husband Pagliaccio, played by Canio, is away. But Pagliaccio returns unexpectedly. Canio, maddened by jealousy, confuses the role he is playing with the real-life situation, and tries to force Nedda to tell him the name of her lover…

Leoncavallo conveys the action in music of great variety, from Canio’s tortured aria ‘Vesti la giubba’ to Nedda’s languid ballatella and a neo-classical pastiche before the final bloody mayhem.

Supported by Opera Holland Park Friends
Chorus generously supported by Mrs Angela Lascelles

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