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I Pagliacci


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Opera in Two Acts. Music and Text by Leoncavallo
Pagliacci, or The Players, is a short, Two-Act piece, in which is shown the acting of a domestic ulrama, tragically borne out in earnest in the life of the actors.
In a PROLOGUE, Tonio (Baritone), the hunchback Clown, in his stage costume, appears through the curtains, and reminds us that actors have hearts like the rest of mankind, and have the same joys and sorrows.
Act I.
The curtain rises to show us an Italian village, where a Touring Company has just arrived, and is being greeted uproariously by THE VILLAGERS (Chorus). Soon the Head of the Company, Canio (Tenor), gains attention by persistently banging his drum and then announces the time of the coming show. He introduces to his audience NEDDA, his wife (Soprano).
Presently everyone leaves except Nedda, who is soon joined by Tonio, who tries to make love to her.
Ono of the villagers, SILVIO (Baritone), now joins her. He is in love with her, and she with him. A love scene follows, Silvio begging Nedda to run away with him.
Tonio overhears, and brings CANIO. They surprise Silvio and Nedda, but Silvio escapes. Members of the Company interpose between the enraged < lanio and his wife. It is time to prepare for the play. Left alone, Canio sings his famous song 'On with the Motley,' and disappears.
The players give their performance before the assembled peasants. Canio's part is that of a husband who, returning home, suspects his wife of infidelity. Canio forgets his lines in the awful reality of the situation. At last he loses control of himself, and actually stabs Nedda to death. Silvio rushes up, but he is too late, and Canio recognizing him, stabs him also. The crowd seize Canio, who sobs out 'The comedy is ended.'


Conducted By: Percy Pitt

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