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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Il conte di Nevers


The representation, with becoming dignity and splendour, of Weber's "Euriante" would have been an important and interesting event at any stage of the history of melodramma.

The melodramma is doubly notable, because of the undeniable popularity of the Wagner repertoire, to the early works of which Weber's compositions are distinctly and strongly linked.

Most music lovers will discern between Wagner's first operas and Weber's latest many points of resemblance.


Those that may not care to trust their own judgment or that of critics and commentators will be encouraged to do so by Wagner's own words, alluding to the "easily recognizable connection of “Tannhauser” with those of my predecessors, among whom," Wagner concludes, "I especially refer to Weber's."

That Weber first sounded the keynote of the Wagnerian theory is shown by his answer to a request for permission to perform the "Euriante" music in a concert at Breslau.

Weber wrote:

““Euriante” is a purely dramatic attempt, depending for impressiveness only upon the united effect of all the sister-arts, and surely ineffective when deprived of their aid.”

Remembrance of this fact, coupled with an acknowledgement of the fascination of research into the origin of things, would furnish a forceful argument, aside from that offered by the loveliness and power of the music of “Euriante”, in behalf of the bringing forth of a melodrama only known to many through its overture and two or three numbers—magnificent specimens of romantico-dramatic music, but, if the expressed opinion of Weber is of any account, utterly valueless as representing the totality of his achievement.

The book of the opera was written by Elmina di Chezy, who was born in Berlin in 1783, and who came to Paris in 1810, on the invitation of Mme. de Genlis, whom she met in Germany.


Von Chezy's first marriage turned out ill, and her second experiment in the same direction, whence her name of Von Chezy, bestowed upon her by M. de Chezy, a celebrated orientalist and, at the period of his marriage, Professor of Sanskrit in the College of France, proved equally unfortunate.

When the failure of her final matrimonial venture was established, Frau von Chezy hastened back to Germany, where she supported herself by her pen.

It has never been made clear how it came about that Weber chose her as a collaborator.

Judging by the book of “Euryanthe” the lady's literary powers must have been somewhat limited, and her personal prestige appears to have been exceedingly slight.


"She has been described to me," writes Chorley, "as that most doleful of all beings, an untidy, unhappy, unsuccessful woman of letters—a slatternly Sappho, from whom all men shrunk—eager, and warm-hearted.

With this odd creature Weber was in frequent correspondence.

The extraordinary popularity of "Der Freischuetz" spurred Weber to (if possible) outdo himself in “Eurianthe”.

Weber wrote to Frau von Chezy:

“To surpass this is now my task, and terrible it is to me. “Euryanthe” must be something quite new; must stand quite alone on its height.”

And later on Weber said:

“Heap difficulty upon difficulty; think of syllabic combinations over which a man might grow desperate.”

How far Weber's injunctions were heeded the audience can judge for himself.

In many instances, the libretto of an opera has been an important factor in the impressiveness of the work.

The most kind-hearted of critics, however, would shrink from claiming for the libretto of “Euriante” even a fractional share of the honour in which the melodramma is held.

The story of “Euriante” is founded upon an ancient romance of chivalry.


Its scene is laid in France, and its action carried on by five personages—the count of Nevers, a gallant knight; Euriante, a guileless maiden, princess of Savoia, now living in her castle in Nevers, betrothed to the count; Lisiart, the count's foe ; Eglantina, who loves the count and hates Euriante, and the king Luigi VI.

Euriante has learned from the count of Nevers a family secret, touching the sorrows of Emma, a sister of the count, long dead.


Euriante imparts the secret to Eglantina, who has won her friendship, and Eglantina, striking up an alliance with Lisiart, proves to the satisfaction of all concerned that Euriante has betrayed the count.

The count thereupon leads Euriante into a lonely mountain gorge, and is about to slay her, when a gigantic python appears.


Euriante seeks to lay down her life to save the count's, and the latter, deeply affected, apparently, concludes to leave the maiden to perish instead of killing her, as intended, in cold blood.


Luigi VI and a party of huntsmen arrive just in time to save Euriante from death, and, convinced of her innocence, they bring her back to the stronghold of Nevers.


Here all things are explained, and while Lisiart stabs Eglantina, previous to meeting with condign punishment, the count and Euriante are restored to happiness.


The public detects in “Euriante” not merely a marked resemblance between the incidents of the melodrama and those of “Lohengrin “—the vocal quintett corresponding with that of “Lohengrin” — but no faint likeness to those of “Cimbelino" a comparatively ill-known play, to which the genius and beauty of Adelaide Neilson, had the actress lived a few years longer, would have given a popularity akin to that of "Romeo e Giulietta"

“Euryanthe" had its first hearing in Vienna, on October 25, 1823.

Sontag sang Euriante; Haitzinger, Adolar; Forti, Lysiart, and Groenbaum, Eglantine.

It was coldly received, and, to add to the distressing impression produced upon the composer by the unkindly reception of the melodrama by the Viennese public, Beethoven spoke harshly of his contemporary's work, and denounced it as "an accumulation of diminished sevenths."


Beethoven, it is true, may have been aware that a harsh criticism on his A-minor symphony printed in the newspapers was written by Weber, for there is no reason to believe that the greatest composer that ever lived was quite above petty jealousy.

When Weber called upon him, however, Beethoven greeted him pleasantly, though brusquely, observing: "You should have come to see me before, not after the performance. Best deal with your score as I dealt with that of" Fidelio," and shorten it by at least one-third."

Schubert, too, spoke disparagingly of "Euryanthe."

But public taste speedily underwent a change.

"Euryanthe" was sung in turn in Berlin, in Dresden, in Leipzig, and again in Vienna, and its beauties gained gradually upon its auditors until it secured the fullest measure of appreciation.

As far back as 1839, Chorley, then on a visit to Dresden, made acquaintance with "Euryanthe," and waxed enthusiastic over it.

"Were I called upon," he writes, "to name the modern opera which has, musically, the most excited me> I should cite ' Euryanthe ' at Dresden.”

“So strong indeed was the excitement in the theatre as to render me unconscious of the many crudities contained in the score”


“ I felt carried away, not so much by a fervor as by a fever of music.”

“One knows the composition to be in many places strained, in many more patchy; the airs are constructed on unusual and arbitrary forms of rhythm; there is no prophesying, by the best practised listener, of the change or chord which is next to come.”


“But these faults are felt in closet study far more than in stage intercourse; while, to compensate for them, we have character, color, melody and the boldest rendering of the strongest emotions—tenderness, wonder, pity, passion, terror, and ecstasy.”

Who but will recognize, in the foregoing remarks, many of the characteristics of Wagner's music?

In the model representation on which Chorley dwells, Frau Schroder-Devrient—she that earned the title of the "Queen of Tears"—was Euriante, and Tichatschek the count.

Since those remote days " Euriante" has held a permanent place in the repertoire of the principal opera houses.

A successful presentation of the opera was effected, with a muchchanged but in no way bettered libretto, at the Theatre Lyrique, in Paris, in the Fall of 1857.

Saturday, April 25, 2015



For other uses, see Pagliacci (disambiguation).

Pagliaccio (Italian pronunciation: [paʎˈʎattʃi]) is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

It is the only Leoncavallo opera that is still widely staged.

Pagliaccio premiered at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan on 21 May 1892, conducted by Arturo Toscanini, with Adelina Stehle as Nedda, Fiorello Giraud as (San) Canio (d'Acerenza), Victor Maurel as Tonio, and Mario Ancona as Silvio.

Nellie Melba played Nedda in London in 1892, soon after its Italian premiere, and was given in New York on 15 June 1893.

The Metropolitan Opera's staging on 22 December 1892  was the first time that it appeared along with Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana.

The prima in Italy when this double bill occurred was 1926 at La Scala.

Cover of the first edition Reduction for piano & voice of Pagliacci published by E. Sonzogno, Milan, 1892

Around 1890, when Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana premiered, Leoncavallo was a little-known composer.

After seeing Mascagni's success, he decided to write an opera in response: one act composed in the verismo style.

Leoncavallo claimed that he based the story of Pagliacci on an incident from his childhood:[2] a murder in 1865, the victim of which was a Leoncavallo family servant, Gaetano Scavello.

The murderer was Gaetano D'Alessandro, with his brother Luigi an accomplice to the crime.

The incident resulted from a series of perceived romantic entanglements involving Scavello, Luigi D'Alessandro, and a village girl with whom both men were infatuated.

Leoncavallo's father, a judge, was the presiding magistrate over the criminal investigation.

Upon learning of the plot of Leoncavallo's libretto in an 1894 French translation, the French author Catulle Mendès thought it resembled his 1887 play

"La sposa di d Tabarini", such as the play-within-the-play and the clown murdering his wife.

Mendès sued Leoncavallo for plagiarism.

The composer pleaded ignorance of Mendès' play.

 Later there were counter-accusations that Mendès' play resembled that of Manuel Tamayo-Baus's "Un nuovo dramma" (1867).

Mendès dropped his lawsuit.

However, the scholar Matteo Sansone has suggested that, as Leoncavallo was a notable student of French culture, and lived in Paris from 1882 to 1888, he had ample opportunity to be exposed to new French art and musical works.

These would potentially have included Mendès' play, another version of La femme de Tabarin by Paul Ferrier, and Tabarini, a melodramma composed by Emilio Pessard that was based on Ferrier's play.

Sansone has elaborated on the many parallels among the Mendès, Ferrier, and Pessard versions of the Tabarin story and Pagliaccio, noting that Leoncavallo deliberately minimised any sort of connection between his opera and those earlier French works.

Leoncavallo originally titled his story Pagliaccio.

The baritone Victor Maurel, who was cast as the first Tonio, requested that Leoncavallo change the title from the singular Pagliaccio (one of the characters created by Ganassa -- Pagliaccio Ganassa, from Bergamo -- cfr. Arlecchin Ganassa) to the plural Pagliacci, to broaden dramatic interest from Canio alone to include Tonio (his own role).

Pagliaccio received mixed critical reviews upon its world premiere, but was instantly successful with the public and has remained so ever since.

The UK premiere of Pagliacci took place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London on 19 May 1893.

The US premiere followed a month later at Grand Opera House in New York on 15 June, while the Metropolitan Opera first staged the work on 11 December as a double-bill with Orfeo ed Euridice, "Nedda" being sung by Nellie Melba.

The Metropolitan Opera produced again staged Pagliaccio as a double-bill, this time with Cavalleria rusticana on 22 December 1893.

The two operas have since been frequently performed as a double-bill, a pairing referred to in the operatic world colloquially as "Cav and Pag" (The first double bill performance in Italy was at La Scala in 1926).

Pagliacci was produced alone in Washington National Opera's November 1997 production by Franco Zeffirelli.


French baritone Victor Maurel, creator of the role of Tonio
RoleRole in Commedia dell’arteVoice typePremiere cast, 21 May 1892
(Conductor: Arturo Toscanini )
Canio, head of the troupePagliaccio (Pierrot)tenorFiorello Giraud
Nedda, Canio's wife,
in love with Silvio
Colombina, Pagliaccio's wife, in love with ArlecchinosopranoAdelina Stehle
Tonio, the foolTaddeo, Colombina's servantbaritoneVictor Maurel
Beppe (Peppe[notes 2]), actorArlecchino, Colombina's lovertenorFrancesco Daddi
Silvio, Nedda's loverbaritoneMario Ancona
Chorus of villagers


Place: Calabria, near Montalto, on the Feast of the Assumption. Patron Saint: San Canio.
Time: between 1865 and 1870.


During the overture, the curtain rises.

From behind a second curtain, Tonio, dressed as his commedia character Taddeo, addresses the audience (Si può?... Si può?... Signore! Signori! ... Un nido di memorie).

He reminds the audience that actors have feelings too, and that the show is about real people.

In ATTO I, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the commedia dell'arte troupe enters the village to the cheering of the villagers.

Canio (cfr. San Canio) describes the night's performance: the troubles of Pagliaccio Ganassa, il marito della Colombina, who has an affair with Arlecchin.  

Canio (cfr. San Canio) says the play will begin at "ventitré ore", an agricultural method of time-keeping that means the play will begin an hour before sunset.

As Nedda steps down from the cart, Tonio offers his hand, but Canio pushes him aside and helps her down himself.

The villagers suggest drinking at the tavern.

Canio and Beppe accept, but Tonio stays behind.

The villagers tease Canio that Tonio is planning an affair with Nedda.

Canio warns everyone that while he may act the foolish husband in the play, in real life he will not tolerate other men making advances to Nedda.

Shocked, a villager asks if Canio really suspects her.

He says no, and sweetly kisses her on the forehead.

As the church bells ring vespers, he and Beppe leave for the tavern, leaving Nedda alone.

Nedda is frightened by Canio's vehemence (Qual fiamma avea nel guardo), but the birdsong comforts her (Stridono lassù).

Tonio returns and confesses his love for her, but she laughs.

Enraged, Tonio grabs Nedda, but she takes a whip, strikes him and drives him off.

Silvio, who is Nedda's lover, comes from the tavern, where he has left Canio and Beppe drinking.

He asks Nedda to elope with him after the performance and, though she is afraid, she agrees.

Tonio, who has been eavesdropping, leaves to inform Canio so that he might catch Silvio and Nedda together.

Canio and Tonio return and, as Silvio escapes, Nedda calls after him, "I will always be yours!"
Performed by Enrico Caruso, recorded on March 17, 1907

"No! Pagliaccio non son!" ("I am NOT Pagliaccio").
Performed by Enrico Caruso


Enrico Caruso as Canio in Pagliacci, one of his signature roles

Canio chases Silvio, but does not catch him and does not see his face.

He demands that Nedda tell him the name of her lover (cf. TABURINI, a melodramma), but she refuses.

He threatens her with a knife, but Beppe disarms him.

Beppe insists that they prepare for the performance.

Tonio tells Canio that her lover will give himself away at the play.

Canio is left alone to put on his costume and prepares to laugh (the famous Vesti la giubba – "Put on the costume").

In ATTO II, as the crowd arrives, Nedda, costumed as Colombina, collects their money.

She whispers a warning to Silvio, and the crowd cheers as the play begins.

Colombina's husband Pagliaccio has gone away until morning, and Taddeo is at the market.

She anxiously awaits her lover Arlecchino, who comes to serenade her from beneath her window.

Taddeo returns and confesses his love, but she mocks him.

She lets Arlecchino in through the window.

He boxes Taddeo's ears and kicks him out of the room, and the audience laughs.

Arlecchino and Colombina dine.

Arlecchino gives Colombina a sleeping potion to use later.

When Pagliaccio (Ganassa, Pedrolino) returns, Colombina will drug him and elope with Arlecchino.

Taddeo bursts in, warning that Pagliaccio is suspicious of his wife and is about to return.

As Arlecchino escapes through the window, Colombina (Nedda) tells him, "I will always be yours!"

As Canio enters, he hears Nedda and exclaims

"Name of God! Those same words!"

He tries to continue the play, but loses control and demands to know her lover's name. (Cf. "La moglie di Taburini).

Nedda, hoping to keep to the performance, calls Canio (cf. San Canio) by his stage name "Pagliaccio," to remind him of the audience's presence.

He answers with his arietta:

"No! Pagliaccio non son!"

(Side B of Caruso's famous recording).

He sings that if his face is pale, it is not from the stage makeup but from the SHAME Nedda has brought him.

The crowd, impressed by his emotional performance, which they do not realize is real, cheers him.

Nedda, trying to continue the play, admits that she has been visited by the innocent Arlecchino.

Canio, furious and forgetting the play, demands the name of her lover.

Nedda swears she will never tell him, and the crowd realizes they are not acting.

Silvio begins to fight his way toward the stage.

Canio, grabbing a knife from the table, stabs Nedda.

As she dies she calls: "Help! Silvio!".

Silvio attacks Canio, but Canio kills Silvio also.

The horrified audience then hears the celebrated final line:
La commedia è finita!
"The comedy is finished!"

In the original manuscript, Tonio sang the opera's final line, "La Commedia è finita!", paralleling the prologue, also sung by Tonio.

The appropriation of this final line by Canio dates back to 1895.

In terms of the dramaturgy of the opera in the context of assignment of the final line, the original assignment of the final line to Tonio is the most consistent and appropriate assignment.

Wright says that Tonio shows more deliberate control in his manipulation of the other characters in order to obtain his revenge upon Nedda, after she has rejected him, and is more aware of the demarcation between life and art.

By contrast, Canio is unaware of the behind-the-scenes manipulations and surrenders control of his perception of the difference between life and art as the opera proceeds.

In the present day, the assignment of the final line to Canio has continued to be standard.

Several exceptions, where Tonio delivers the final line, include:

A 1968 RAI-TV production directed by Herbert von Karajan
The HMV recording conducted by Riccardo Muti (EMI CMS7 63650-2)
The Philips recording conducted by Muti (Philips 0289 434 1312), in conjunction with live performances in Philadelphia in February 1992[9]
The 2013 English-language production by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
The 2015 Metropolitan Opera production directed by Sir David McVicar -- in the double bill with "Cavalleria Rusticana", as per December 1892 in the same theatre.
The orchestra consists of 2 flutes, 1 piccolo, 2 oboes, 1 cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, 2 harps, timpani, tubular bells, percussion (triangle, cymbals, bass drum, glockenspiel) and strings.

Additionally, there is an onstage violin, oboe, trumpet, and bass drum.

Also included in the final pages of the score is a part in the percussion section marked "T.T." (not assigned in the instrumentation page at the beginning.)

Performers have taken this to be a tam-tam (partly because Mascagni used one, although to much greater effect, on the final moments of Cavalleria rusticana). It is given three strokes right after the announcement that "The comedy is over".


Main article: Pagliacci discography
In 1907, Pagliacci became the first opera to be recorded in its entirety, with the Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Paoli as Canio and under Leoncavallo's personal supervision. In 1931, it became the first complete opera to be filmed with sound, in a now-obscure version starring the tenor Fernando Bertini as Canio, in his only film, with the San Carlo Opera Company. A filmed version of the opera was directed by Franco Zefirelli in 1981.[10] The production starred Placido Domingo as Canio and, when released on DVD in 2003, was paired with Cavalleria Rusticana.[11]


The title is sometimes incorrectly rendered in English with a definite article as I pagliacci. "Pagliacci" is the Italian plural for "clowns", and "i" is the corresponding plural definite article.

In correct Italian an article is put in front of the title when referring to an opera ("La Tosca", "La Didone", "Il Pagliaccio") although such article may not be part of the title.
    According to Konrad Dryden, the original spelling of the character's name was "Peppe". Dryden, p. 38.
 Literally - the twenty-third hour, but not as in 23::00 hours (11pm), but referring to when the hours were counted from avemmaria to avemmaria, and hence one hour before avemmaria (Trecanni 2015, Ventitre)


  1. Jump up ^ Sims, M. 2007
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b Leoncavallo, R. (November 1902). "How I Wrote "Pagliacci"". The North American Review 175 (552): 652–654. JSTOR 25119331. 
  3. Jump up ^ Dryden, p. 5.
  4. Jump up ^ Sansone, Matteo  --  "The 'Verismo' of Ruggero Leoncavallo: A Source Study of Pagliacci" (PDF). Music & Letters 70 (3): 342–362. doi:10.1093/ml/70.3.342. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  5. Jump up ^ Dryden, p. 37.
  6. Jump up ^ Dryden, pp. 39–40.
  7. Jump up ^ Phillips-Matz, p. 196
  8. ^ Jump up to: a b Wright, John "'La Commedia è finita' – An Examination of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci". Italica 55  
  9. Jump up ^ Daniel Webster (1992-02-02). "A Grand Finale: Two Titans – Muti And Pavarotti – Are Collaborating For The Philadelphia Orchestra's Performance And Recording Of "I Pagliacci."". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  10. Jump up ^ Information on the La Scala production which was filmed between 27 January and 7 February 1981, on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk
  11. Jump up ^ "Pagliacci (1982)", on imdb.com


Dryden, Konrad. Leoncavallo: Life and Works. The Scarecrow Press (Plymouth, UK), ISBN 978-0-8108-5880-0 (2007).

External links[edit]

"Viva Pagliaccio, viva Pagliaccio, Evviva! il principe se' dei pagliacci!"


Viva Pagliaccio, viva Pagliaccio,
Evviva! il principe se' dei pagliacci!




Pagliacci (opera)

Lingua originaleitaliano
Genereopera lirica
MusicaRuggero Leoncavallo
LibrettoRuggero Leoncavallo
Fonti letterarievicenda reale
Prima rappr.21 maggio 1892
TeatroTeatro Dal Verme, Milano

Pagliacci è un'opera lirica divisa in due atti di Ruggero Leoncavallo, su libretto del compositore, rappresentata per la prima volta al Teatro dal Verme a Milano, il 21 maggio 1892 con Fiorello Giraud, Adelina Stehle, Victor Maurel, Mario Ancona e la direzione di Arturo Toscanini.

Il melodrama si ispira a un delitto realmente accaduto a Montalto Uffugo, in Calabria, quando il compositore era bambino e in seguito al quale il padre di Ruggero Leoncavallo, che era magistrato, istruì il processo che portò alla condanna dell'uxoricida.

L'opera fu ed è ancora una delle opere più eseguite al mondo, il successo immediato trova spiegazione nell'attualità del linguaggio e nell'approccio verista e popolare che in quel periodo permeava tutte le arti, ma non secondari furono l'impegno dell'editore Sonzogno che all'epoca conduceva una battaglia per contrastare il dominio dell'editore di Giuseppe Verdi e di Giacomo Puccini, Ricordi, e la celeberrima registrazione discografica con Enrico Caruso quale protagonista.

 Infatti il disco è ricordato come una pietra miliare dell'allora nascente industria discografica, essendo stato il primo ad aver superato il milione di copie vendute.

L'opera di Ruggero Leoncavallo s'intitolava originariamente "Pagliaccio", un personaggio della commedia dell'arte (creato da "Pagliaccio Ganassa, nel 1572).

Ma, siccome doveva rappresentarlo per la prima volta il baritono francese Victor Maurel, persona molto orgogliosa e puntigliosa, questi s'impuntò:

"Nelle opere del mio repertorio la parte del baritono dev'essere nel titolo."

"Qui il titolo, "Pagliaccio", comprende solo il tenore."

Pertanto, se non cambiate il titolo, io non canto!".

L'editore, per evitare di mettere a rischio la prima, ebbe un'idea geniale: cambiò il titolo da singolare a plurale: "Pagliacci".

Cfr. 'Pagliaccio', 'principe dei pagliacci'.

Così nel titolo era compreso anche il baritono.

Si andò in scena regolarmente e il successo fu trionfale.

La rappresentazione inizia a sipario calato, con Tonio che, in costume da "Taddeo", si presenta come Prologo, fungendo da portavoce dell'autore ed enunciando i principi informatori e la poetica dell'opera.
Il Prologo di Pagliacci costituisce un vero e proprio manifesto poetico-programmatico della corrente verista all'interno della Giovane Scuola italiana (Si può, si può?).
La compagnia di Canio è giunta in un paesino meridionale, (Montalto Uffugo in provincia di Cosenza riportato da molti libri, ma in realtà è ambientato ad Acerenza dove il santo patrono di tale città è San Canio), per inscenare una commedia.
Canio non sospetta che la moglie Nedda lo tradisca con Silvio, un contadino d'Acerenza.
Tonio, che ama Nedda ma che è da lei respinto, avvisa Canio del tradimento.
Canio scopre i due amanti che si promettono amore, ma Silvio fugge senza che Canio lo veda in volto.
Canio vorrebbe scagliarsi contro Nedda, ma arriva uno degli attori a sollecitare l'inizio della commedia dell'arte perché il pubblico aspetta.
Canio non può fare altro, nonostante il suo turbamento, che truccarsi e prepararsi per la commedia (Recitar... Vesti la giubba).
Canio, nel ruolo di "Pagliaccio", impersona appunto un marito tradito dalla sposa "Colombina".
La realtà e la finzione finiscono col confondersi, e Canio, nascondendosi dietro il personaggio di Pagliaccio, riprende il discorso interrotto dalla necessità di dare inizio alla commedia dell'arte e, sempre recitando, rinfaccia a Nedda la sua ingratitudine e trattandola duramente le dice che il suo amore è ormai mutato in odio per la gelosia.
Di fronte al rifiuto di Nedda di dire il nome del suo amante, Canio uccide lei e ferisce Silvio accorso per soccorrerla.
Tonio e Beppe, inorriditi, non intervengono, ma gli spettatori, comprendendo troppo tardi che ciò che stanno vedendo non è più finzione, cercano invano di fermare Canio.
A delitto compiuto, Canio, esclama beffardo: "la commedia è finita!".

Le partiture di Leoncavallo prevedono l'utilizzo di:
Da suonare sul palco:

Brani famosi[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Vesti la Giubba (info file)

No, Pagliaccio non son (info file)
  • "Si può?", Prologo (Tonio)
  • "Son qua, ritornano!", coro (atto I)
  • "Qual fiamma avea nel guardo", aria di Nedda
  • "Vesti la giubba", aria di Canio
  • "Canzone di Arlecchino", Beppe (Atto II)
  • "No, pagliaccio non son", romanza di Canio e finale

Prime esecuzioni

Nel Regno Unito esordisce al Royal Opera House, Covent Garden di Londra il 19 maggio 1893 con Nellie Melba ed al Lyceum Theatre di Edimburgo l'11 settembre dello stesso anno.
Negli Stati Uniti debutta al Grand Opera House di New York il 15 giugno 1893 con la Melba ed al Metropolitan Opera House l'11 dicembre dello stesso anno con la Melba, Fernando De Lucia ed Ancona diretta da Luigi Mancinelli e da allora è stata rappresentata settecentododici volte risultando l'ottava opera maggiormente eseguita.

In questa occasione, per la prima volta, viene rappresentata con l'altro capolavoro del teatro musicale verista, Cavalleria rusticana di Pietro Mascagni, accoppiata che diventerà consuetudine anche grazie alla brevità dei due lavori.
Il 14 agosto 1894 avviene la prima rappresentazione nel Politeama Pacini di Catania.
Il 25 dicembre 1894 avviene la prima rappresentazione nel Regio Teatro Metastasio di Prato diretta da Emilio Usiglio.
Il 25 gennaio 1895 si esegue per la prima volta al Gran Teatre del Liceu di Barcellona.
Il 14 dicembre 1902 avviene la prima rappresentazione di "Paillasse" all'Opéra Garnier per l'Opéra national de Paris nella traduzione francese di Eugène-Edmond Crosti con Jean de Reszke.
Al Manhattan Center di New York la prima rappresentazione avviene il 1º febbraio 1908.
Al Wiener Staatsoper la premiere è stata il 28 ottobre 1908 diretta da Bruno Walter e da allora è stata rappresentata quattrocentocinquantasei volte.
Al Teatro dell'Opera di Roma va in scena il 19 ottobre 1914 con Lucrezia Bori, Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe De Luca ed Angelo Badà diretta da Toscanini.
Al Teatro La Fenice di Venezia va in scena il 9 gennaio 1921.
Al Festival lirico areniano debutta nel 1922 e va in scena per sei stagioni.
Al San Francisco Opera va in scena nel 1923 con Giovanni Martinelli, De Luca diretta da Gaetano Merola.

Nella cultura popolare[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Nel 1943, per la regia di Giuseppe Fatigati, viene girato il film ispirato alla scrittura dell'opera e alla vicenda narrata, con Alida Valli nel ruolo della figlia di Canio.
Nel film Gli intoccabili di Brian De Palma vi è una famosa sequenza in cui Al Capone, interpretato da un Robert De Niro sopra le righe e d'antologia, si commuove mentre assiste all'aria eseguita da Enrico Caruso di "Ridi pagliaccio".
Nella città di Montalto Uffugo (CS) si tiene ogni anno un festival dedicato al Maestro Ruggero Leoncavallo. L'8 luglio 2007 è stata rappresentata per la prima volta l'opera Pagliacci, integralmente, sulle scale del duomo della Madonna della Serra, con la regia di Maria Francesca Siciliani e l'interpretazione, oltre che di professionisti, di personaggi presi tra la popolazione.
  • L'aria è presente anche nel gioco Alone in the Dark 2, nelle scene che compaiono in caso di morte del personaggio e nei sotterranei della casa. Presente solo la musica, senza parole, viene intitolata "Mysteries".
  • Nella miniserie a fumetti di Alan Moore e Dave Gibbons Watchmen (così come nel suo adattamento cinematografico), uno dei personaggi, Rorschach, scrive nel suo diario di una barzelletta sentita una volta che coinvolge Pagliacci, in riferimento alla morte di un altro personaggio, Il Comico. La barzelletta racconta di un uomo che va da un medico e si lamenta della depressione. Il medico gli dice di andare allo spettacolo del "grande clown Pagliacci" al fine di rincuorarlo. Tuttavia, l'uomo scoppia a piangere, dicendo al medico che, in realtà, lui è il clown Pagliacci.
  • Nel film The Mask - Da zero a mito, durante la scena dell'officina che vede il protagonista Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) truffato dai due meccanici, si può sentire in sottofondo il "Ridi pagliaccio".

Incisioni discografiche[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

AnnoCast (Canio, Nedda, Tonio, Beppe, Silvio)Direttore
1954Giuseppe Di Stefano, Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi, Nicola Monti, Rolando PaneraiTullio Serafin
1959Mario Del Monaco, Gabriella Tucci, Cornell MacNeil, Piero De Palma, Renato CapecchiFrancesco Molinari Pradelli
1960Franco Corelli, Lucine Amara, Tito Gobbi, Mario Spina, Mario ZanasiLovro von Matačić
1965Carlo Bergonzi, Joan Carlyle, Giuseppe Taddei, Ugo Benelli, Giuseppe TaddeiHerbert von Karajan
1971Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, Sherrill Milnes, Leo Goeke, Barry McDanielNello Santi
1977Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Ingvar Wixell, Vincenzo Bello, Lorenzo SaccomaniGiuseppe Patanè
1979José Carreras, Renata Scotto, Kari Nurmela, Ugo Benelli, Thomas AllenRiccardo Muti
1983Plácido Domingo, Teresa Stratas, Juan Pons, Florindo Andreolli, Alberto RinaldiGeorges Prêtre
1992Luciano Pavarotti, Daniela Dessì, Juan Pons, Ernesto Gavazzi, Paolo ConiRiccardo Muti
2000José Cura, Barbara Frittoli, Carlos Álvarez, Charles Castronovo, Simon KeenlysideRiccardo Chailly

Voci correlate[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Altri progetti[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Collegamenti esterni[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

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