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Pagliacci (‘Players’)locked

  • Michele Girardi

Extract

Dramma in a prologue and two acts by ruggero Leoncavallo to his own libretto, based on a newspaper crime report; Milan, Teatro Dal Verme, 21 May 1892.

The success of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana encouraged the music publisher Sonzogno to look for other subjects with strong emotional appeal, and when Leoncavallo offered him the libretto of a story of love and jealousy in a company of wandering players he was sure that it would be successful. Leoncavallo tried first to follow Mascagni’s example faithfully by making it a one-act opera, but apart from the larger dimensions of the work he found it dramatically necessary to use the curtain to make clear the distinction between the ‘real life’ first part of the opera, and the second part in which the play is performed. The triumph of ...

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