Curator Melissa Wolfe talks about the inspiration we can all take away from the Columbus Museum of Arts newest exhibition showcasing the work of home town hero George Bellows. George Bellows and the American Experience through January 4, 2014. This exhibition follows on the heels of a major retrospective of the artist organized by the [...]
Opera Abbreviated Podcast: Opera Project Columbus’ Pagliacci
OPERA PROJECT COLUMBUS presents Leoncavallo’sÂ PagliacciÂ (Clowns) at the Jewish Center of Columbus on Saturday June 14 and Sunday the 15. Alessandro Siciliani conducts. Your obedient servant, the chubby, elderly broadcaster Christopher Purdy, directs the opera. Listen to the Opera Abbreviated newÂ PagliacciÂ edition!
Get more information at Opera Project Columbus’ website.
Shameless plug then, okay?
Pagliacci was first performed in 1893. It was Leoncavallo’s first opera and his only enduring success. That’s a shame, since two of his other operas at least, Zaza andÂ La bohemeÂ are worthy of revival.Â Zaza the storyÂ of a racy French music hall heroine, served as a vehicle for the glamorous soprano Geraldine Farrar in the 1920s and has faded away since. Leoncavallo’sÂ La boheme was obliterated by Puccini’s blockbuster, composed atÂ the same time!
Most of us are aware of the sad clown. ComedyÂ by day, tragedy by night.
Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) was the son of a magistrate who heard a murder case concerning an actor who had murderedÂ his wife and her lover. Who could resist adding a little stageÂ makeup up and transforming this sordid tale into an opera. EspeciallyÂ sinceÂ the late 19th saw the verismoÂ movement of opera and theater. The stage was now meant to represent dayÂ to to life, with a very direct text and dramatic music.
Pagliacci both the story and the score have beenÂ parodied for a hundred years. But this condensed, violent operaÂ has never lost its dramatic punch. Most traveling players lived a sordid, miserable life a century ago. The young wife Ndeda only wants freedom. Canio the leader of the troupe lives a very controlled life in fear of losing his young wife. He does-taking her life and truly, his own.
Opera Project ColumbusÂ has a fine orchestra and chorus and wonderful soloists. Our tenor will blow you away. Alessandro Siciliani is a world-class conductor who has led this opera at the Met. The stage director, well, he’s a lovable thug who hopes you will come to the opera and see/hearÂ for yourselves!