5 Favorite Things from This Week’s Gianni Schicchi/Pagliacci Rehearsals

Pag Rehearsal

George Gagnidze as Tonio in Pagliacci (2015)

There’s a lot to be said about LA Opera’s opening show, a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci. We’ve been watching rehearsals all week and have compiled a list of a few of our favorite things:

1. You’ll laugh a lot. Gianni Schicchi is hysterical and it’s clear that Plácido Domingo and the whole cast are having a ton of fun playing these characters.

2. If you’re on a low carb diet, stay off the set. There’s spaghetti in both of the one-act shows, and it’s real! Of course we make accommodations for our actors if they have dietary restrictions, but those aren’t rubber prop noodles!

3. The shift from black and white to technicolor is quite a sight. Woody Allen’s production of Gianni Schicchi has a black, white and gray set with costume design by Santo Loquasto. To contrast, Franco Zeffirelli’s Pagliacci is all color, all the time, thanks to a bohemian carnival design.

Schicchi Rehearsal Panorama

Gianni Schicchi (2015) Rehearsal Panorama

4. Donkeys and puppies and clowns, oh my…all of them are in Pagliacci, but did you also know there’s a drag queen named Mama, and a stilt walker? Come see the show and see if you can spot all of the different characters that make this show fantastic.

5. It’s grand, and not just a little grand, a lot grand. Maestro Domingo plays the title role in Gianni Schicchi and after intermission will conduct Pagliacci. If that’s not enough, the two magnificent and ginormous sets are entirely different. It takes about 50 crew members to complete the set change in the short 30 minute intermission. Super human on all accounts.

If you’re in the audience during the show’s run, be sure to share your observations with us after the performance.

There are still tickets available, but they’re going like, macaroni on a Sunday night. (If you’re part of an Italian family, you’ll know what that means.)

Can’t make the show?

  • Tune into the live broadcast from opening night, September 12, on KUSC.
  • There’s Opera at the Beach. Get yourself a ticket to the live simulcast at the Santa Monica Pier on October 3.

Better yet, do both.

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