Pagliacci

Opera

Writers: Ruggero Leoncavallo

Overview

Show Information

Category
Opera
Number of Acts
2
First Produced
1892
Genres
Drama, Romance
Settings
Simple/No Set, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
1865-1870 in southern italy
Cast Size
small
Orchestra Size
Large
Dancing
None
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult characters

Synopsis

A dramatic tale of love and betrayal, Pagliacci revolves around a commedia del arte troupe. Canio and Nedda are married, and the leads in the troupe along with Tonio and Beppe, however Nedda is secretly having an affair with Silvio. Fearing Canio’s anger, Nedda continues to hide the affair, and even goes as far to attempt to break it off with Silvio. Silvio and Nedda’s love is strong, however, and they plan to run away together. Tonio, also in love with Nedda, confesses his love for her, but she turns him away, shaming him. In an act of revenge, Tonio tells Canio that Nedda is having an affair like he suspected. During a performance, Canio confronts Nedda, and stabs her. Silvio attempts to save Nedda, running up on stage, but gets stabbed by Canio as well. The audience, not realizing it was real, claps until Canio screams at them, “the comedy is ended.”

Lead Characters