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Pagliacci

Opera in two acts
Music and Libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo (1858-1919)
Premiered Teatro dal Verme, Milan, 21 May 1892

The Characters
Name Description Voice Type Premiere Cast
Nedda Colombina in the play, actress and wife of Canio  soprano Adelina Stehle
Canio Pagliaccio in the play, head of the company tenor Fiorello Giraud
Tonio Taddeo the fool in the play, hunchbacked actor baritone Victor Maurel
Peppe¹ Arlecchino in the play, actor tenor Francesco Daddi
Silvio a peasant baritone Mario Ancona
Chorus of Peasants, villagers
The Setting
Montalto, Calabria during the August Feast of the Assumption between 1865 and 1870.
The Opera   Role
Prologue 'Si puo?' Tonio
Act I 
Scene I 
1 Chorus  'Son qua!' chorus, Canio, Peppe
2 Aria 'Un grande spettacolo' Canio, chorus, Peppe, Tonio
3 Cantabile 'Un tal gioco, credetemi' Canio, Nedda, chorus
4 Chorus 'I zampognari!' chorus, Canio
Scene II 
5 Introduction 'Qual fiamma avea nel guardo!' Nedda
6 Aria 'Oh! che volo d'augelli' Nedda
7 Duet 'Sei là?' Nedda, Tonio
Scene III 
8 Duet 'Nedda!..Silvo, a quest' ora' Silvio, Nedda
9   'E fra quest'ansie in eterno vivrai?' Silvio, Nedda
10   'Non mi tentar!' Nedda, Silvio, Tonio
11   'E parti domattina?' Silvio, Nedda
Scene IV & Finale 
12   'Cammina adagio e li soprenderai.' Tonio, Silvio, Nedda, Canio, Peppe
13 Introduction 'Recitar!' Canio
14 Aria 'Vesti la giubba' Canio
15 Intermezzo    
Act II      
Scene I      
1   'Ohe! ohe! presto, affrettiamoci' chorus, Tonio, Peppe, Silvio, Nedda
Scene II: The Play   
2   'Pagliaccio, mio marito' Colombina (Nedda)
3 Serenade 'O Colombina' Arlecchino (Peppe), Colombina
4   'È dessa!' Taddeo (Tonio), Colombina
5   'Arlecchin!' Colombina, Arlecchino, Taddeo
6   'Versa il filtro nella tazza sua.' Arlecchino, Colombina, Pagliaccio (Canio), Tonio
7 Aria 'No, Pagliaccio non son' Canio, chorus, Silvio, Nedda, Peppe, Tonio

Notes

The story of this opera is based on the play La Femme de Tabarin, by Catulle Mendès.

1. Also known as 'Beppe'.

Sources

Dryden, K. C. Leoncavallo: Life and Works. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2007.

Ruggero Leoncavallo, Pagliacci [CD liner notes]. O'Neill, Mannion, Opie, Dazeley, Bronder et al, London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Parry, recorded 1997, Chandos, 1998.

Zani, G., ed. Pagliacci: parole e musica di Ruggero Leoncavallo. Milan: Casa Musicale Sonzogno, 1992.

(Translation by Rosa Nardi)


 






 


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