A traveling troupe of commedia dell’arte brings with them not only a play that is frighteningly true to life, but also a host of secrets and jealousies. In Pagliacci—Clowns—composer Ruggero Leoncavallo created not the usual love triangle, but a love quadrangle, with three men—Canio, Tonio, and Silvio—all fighting for the love and attention of one woman, Nedda. Using the classic ‘play within a play’ format, the real lives of the characters act as a mirror to their parts in the play, with tragic consequences. As the on-stage drama melds with real-life passions, the two stories explode in a finale of manipulation, jealousy, violence, and of course, death. This is commedia after all.
The ultimate sad-faced and sad-hearted clown, Canio, is sung by tenor Jonathan Burton, returning to Austin Opera after his 2018 appearance as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos. Making her role debut as Nedda, the target of so much welcome and unwelcome attention, is Hailey Clark, last seen at the Long Center in 2019 as Anna Sørensen in Silent Night. Troublemaker Tonio is sung by Anthony Clark Evans, and Nedda’s lover Silvio is sung by baritone Benjamin Taylor, both making their Austin Opera debuts, as is character tenor Rodell Rosel, who also makes his role debut as Beppe.
Austin Opera’s Sarah and Ernest Butler Music Director, Timothy Myers, will conduct this powerful heartbreaker, collaborating with director Tara Faircloth who returns to Austin Opera after her last visit for Rigoletto in 2019. Scenic design is by Laura Fine Hawkes, with lighting design by Kathryn Eader.View Map