12 Facts About Pagliacci


Pagliacci is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

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

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Pagliacci is the composer's only opera that is still widely performed.

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Pagliacci is often staged with Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, a double bill known colloquially as "Cav and Pag".

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

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

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

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

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Pagliacci says the play will begin at, an agricultural method of time-keeping that means the play will begin an hour before sunset.

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

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In 1907, Pagliacci was the first opera to be recorded in its entirety, with the Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Paoli as Canio and under Leoncavallo's personal supervision.

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Pagliacci was recorded in English in 1997, and released commercially in 1998, for the Chandos "Opera in English" label with Dennis O'Neill as Canio, Alan Opie as Tonio, and Rosa Mannion as Nedda.

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