It’s powerful stuff. Bring your hankies.
Short, gritty, and boasting one of the great tenor arias of all time, Pagliacci is a perennial audience favorite.
Canio (the clown) is consumed with jealousy because he has overheard his wife, Nedda, plan an assignation with a lover.
The play they’ll perform, whose plot has a wife scheming to deceive her husband, is a bit too close to real life. As Canio’s character demands to know the name of his wife’s lover, he stops acting and addresses her for real: Canio sings of how he rescued Nedda as an orphan, cared for her, loved her, and now she has betrayed him. The audience applauds this brilliant “performance,” not realizing that Canio isn’t acting. As this play within a play goes wrong, find out why he turns to the audience and proclaims: “La commedia è finita!” (The comedy is ended.)
Special commissioned curtain-raiser:
Clowns On A Stick present Rhapsody of Fools
If Pagliacci is a clown show within an opera, Rhapsody of Fools is an opera within a clown show. The diva is late, she’s hard to please, and then she loses her voice. What else could go wrong? Since these are clowns, certainly all ends well, but not before everything goes hopelessly wrong.
Clowns on a Stick are James Pelican, Lluis Valls and Christina Lewis