Pagliacci may be the most completely compelling short opera in the repertory and owes much of its impact to a brilliant story based, it is said, on true life and told through the device of a play-within-a-play. The action is set in Calabria in the deep south of Italy where the jealousies and illicit passions of a troupe of strolling actors precisely intersect with the play they are performing - to both touching and tragic effect. Leoncavallo was his own librettist, and his literary skills, allied to great melodic creativity, guarantee that in its two short acts Pagliacci - ‘Clowns’ - delivers an overwhelming emotional experience.
©2004 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2004 Naxos AudioBooks
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