In Italy, honor killing (which is motivated by jealousy for a lover) was abolished in 1981, long after the composition of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, which premiered in 1892 and was inspired by such a crime…In fact, the plot of Pagliacci is taken from a real event that the composer had witnessed when he was young in Montalto Uffugo, a small town in the South of Italy: in this regard, Leoncavallo confirmed (to defend from allegations of plagiarism) that he saw a man stabbing his wife outside a theater. With his veristic approach, Leoncavallo’s work is often compared with Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. But the metatheatrical dimension of the piece also shows the limits of this stylistic definition! In fact, in Pagliacci, the assassination takes place during a theatrical performance, breaking every boundary between fiction and reality. And the fourth wall is definitely abolished within the last line of the piece: “The play is over!”
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A selection of our programs is available for free for all registered users and the rest can be unlocked with a subscription, including Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Live videos, replays or VOD, stream right to your living room from the most renowned concert halls in the world, and you can watch our concerts on your biggest screens with AirPlay, Chromecast, and our new Roku app. On medici.tv, you can find some of the best interpretations of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, played by some renowned artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and many other incredible interpreters! Take a seat at the best venues to listen to some of the best Italian operas on the best classical streaming platform, whenever you want, wherever you like! Join us on medici.tv, the best classical music streaming platform.
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Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci is well known for the mise en abyme of its dramatic action. In this play, the framework of the story is not only a theatrical show—that was already the case in Shakespeare’s Hamlet—but the actors coincide with the story’s characters. In short, what is interesting in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, is that the levels of reality and fiction multiply, blend, and bewilder. As the Prologue says: “Le lacrime che noi versiam son false!/[...] No. No./L’autore ha cercato invece di pingervi/Uno squarcio di vita.” ("The tears we shed are feigned!/ No. No./The author instead has sought to paint/for you a scene from life.”) Besides, does the plot not recall, through the figure of the clown, the notions of solemnity and dissension? Come and listen to Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci on medici.tv, the best classical streaming platform.