George Gagnidze singing in The Metropolitan Opera Spring Highlights Concert
Pagliacci opens not with a love triangle scene between Canio, Nedda, and Silvio, but instead with a clown. This is Tonio, the fool of Canio’s troupe. He emerges and addresses the audience directly—“Si puo, si puo,” asking for indulgence.
The show to follow, he sings, is based on real-life, “deep-embedded memories that stirred one day within the author’s heart.” It’s a slice of life. Tonio tells the audience that the characters are human, with human emotions, and human flaws. Whatever occurs on the stage is real and audience members should “give heed to its unfolding.”
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