San Diego Opera: Leoncavallo's Pagliacci
“Crazed clown murders wife in front of live audience” is what the headlines would have screamed after the jealous Canio stabs his wife Nedda and her lover to death in a jealousy-driven rage while performing a comedy before an audience of shocked Italian villagers.
One of the most powerful operas in the repertoire, Pagliacci is gut-wrenching as Tonio, a member of the traveling troupe of players rejected by Nedda, sees her with another man and tells Canio how to get vengeance. In the famous aria “Vesti la giubba”, Canio applies his clown make-up saying that the show must go on, but creates his own tragic ending.
Debuting artists Romanian soprano Adina Nitescu, a consummate actress at the Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Florence, and powerful Brazilian baritone Rodolfo Giugliani, join Uruguayan tenor Carlo Ventre, fresh from successes at Covent Garden, Hamburg and the Verona Arena. Yves Abel, following his great success leading The Daughter of the Regiment last season, returns to conduct with Andrew Sinclair directing this extraordinary production.